How to Dispose Old Computer Equipment

So you finally got that upgrade you’ve been longing for or that must have computer gadget you didn’t think you could live without.  It’s all unpacked and the only thing in the way of setting it up is your old dated machine it will be replacing.  Doesn’t seem like a very big obstacle right?  Well maybe not, but if you were planning on getting rid of it with the rest of your house hold refuse you should think again.  This is not only extremely bad for the environment but actually illegal in many countries.

How to Dispose Old Computer Equipment - This photo shows several old computer monitors being dumped.
Image by Freepik

Why is it bad for the environment?

Electronic products contain a large number of toxic materials that can’t safely just be left in landfills.  The average older monitorhas around 5lbs of Led inside that if released into the environment can cause serious health problems for those living in the surrounding areas.

Recycle your machines

So when it’s time to get rid of your out dated machine you really need to look into other options, the greenest option is to not get rid of it at all but to give it to someone who can use it.  The vast majority of electronics being dumped now days are still fully functional just slightly out dated.  If your device still works why not try finding a friend or family member that can use it, or maybe donate it to a charitable cause.  Not everyone has very demanding computer needs and even if you find it too slow it could meet someone else’s needs and make them very happy.

[Read also : How to Sell Used Computers]

Even if your computer has stopped working, chances are it still contains a number of parts such as RAMs and the hard drive that work fine.  Do a little research online and see if there’s anyone in your area that is looking for parts.  There are a lot of people who repair and even build whole new PCs out of salvaged parts.  It is then the responsibility of who ever took your machine to safely dispose of any parts they did not use.

[Read also: All Sizes of Toner Cartridges Can Be Recycled]

Use the proper disposal services

Even if you really can’t find a new home for your old machine it is still not ok to just dump it with your regular bin collection.  You have a moral and often legal obligation to make sure the toxic parts are broken down properly.  In many areas local government will have set up centres that you can take your electronics to for safe disposal, some will even arrange to collect your devices from you, if you’re lucky enough to be in one of these areas you should do this.

If your city hasn’t got a public service like this you should still be able to find a private service, most electronics stores should be able to advise you on nearby companies that do this.  One major company that offers a collection service for many PC and Apple products is Equanet: IT Solutions. If you bought your new device from them, they will often arrange to take the old one for free.  Even when there is a small charge attached you should consider this a small price to pay for conserving the environment and not breaking the law.

[Read more: Tips to Get Rid of Old Computers Safely]

How did you get rid of your old computer equipment? Let us know in the comments.


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