Congratulations! You own a brand new state of the art computer, but now you have to do something with the old one. If you have no intention of keeping the system, then consider alternatives to throwing the computer out with the trash.
If you throw away your old computer it will simply get dumped in a landfill somewhere and all those electrical parts and components will add to the toxic wasteland of old electronics already polluting the earth.
Instead, there are recycling, donation and reuse options that consumers can try which are environmentally friendly. If your hardware works there is even a chance to turn a profit from some of those old parts.
Donating is a simple approach to rid yourself of those unwanted computer parts that pile up around the office. If the computer still works, consider a friend or family member who may need a system. Additionally, you could try contacting local schools and community centers to see if there is a need for old computers or accessories. If the system is not in working condition, then consider a local tech or computer repair center. They can reuse parts for testing or refurbish the old computer if it isn’t too badly damaged.
Although you aren’t likely to receive any monetary value for donating items, it can feel rewarding not to mention relieving to know your old pc won’t be collecting dust inside your house anymore.
Another possible solution is to find a recycling center or program. You can search for recycling centers near you at Earth911 or through eBay and the Rethink Initiative. Some communities already have electronic recycling programs in place, but aren’t well known. Contact your local municipality about your old electronics to see if a curbside pickup service exists.
If you are technically adept or have an IT guy on speed dial, then why not look into reusing some parts from that old pc. While your new pc is likely leaps and bounds above your old one, there could still be parts worth using in your new system. Your hard drive for example is a relatively simple piece of hardware to move assuming your new system has the expansion capability to take it. Other parts including, monitors, printers and external devices can be salvaged as well so keep that in mind before you toss the old machine.
It’s worth mentioning that if you don’t intend to keep your old hard drive or reuse it in any way, then you should make sure it is either destroyed or completely erased so that others cannot get their hands on your data. There are a number of ways to accomplish that task, but a couple to consider are Darik’s Boot and Nuke (DBAN) or Killdisk.
If you’re looking to turn a profit from your old pc, then try eBay. A lot of used parts are bought and sold there and as long as the parts are in working order you could make a few dollars. Apple offers a reuse and recycling program which will give you an estimate on the value of your pc whether it’s a Mac or not. If all else fails, try using ads in local newspapers or Craigslist.
How have you disposed of old computers or electronics in the past? Have you used any of the services listed in this article? Let us know in the comments!