How To Get Rid Of An Old Computer Without Sacrificing Security
Time passes, and things get old. This is especially true of technology, as new and better options are developed and released all the time. Sooner or later, youre likely to find yourself in need of a new system The only question left is how to get rid of the old one.
As with most subjects we discuss in this blog, there is a right way of doing things, and a very wrong way of doing things. This case is no different.
Thats why were going to take you through the how of properly disposing of an old desktop or laptop.
Notice Regarding Personal Data
Your identity and other personal information can be stolen from a computer, cell phone, or other data storage devices. Before recycling your electronics, protect yourself from identity theft by removing personal data and your files. For information on how to remove data, check with the manufacturer, a computer retailer or search the web.
Hennepin County is not responsible for any data that is left on electronic devices.
How Do I Dispose Of Or Recycle Old Computers And Laptops
When it’s time to get rid of your old computer, you may be wondering the best way to do it. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has specific guidelines for consumer computer disposal. Ideally, old computers should be reused or donated first, recycled next, and then disposed of as a last resort.
Heres how you can handle computer or laptop disposal:
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Selling An Old Computer For Cash
Yet another option for your old computer is selling it yourself. Many times an older laptop is outdated for our use or our business, but it could suffice for another person or maybe serve a young person well as a first computer. Parents often dont want to purchase an expensive brand new laptop for their child, but they need one for school. As long as your computer is functioning correctly, you should be able to find a buyer. You can use online marketplaces such as Craigslist or eBay, be sure you have encrypted and wiped all of your data before selling it. You do not want any of your data available and put yourself at risk for identity theft.
Getting Rid Of The Computer
Once you are confident that your old system no longer contains any data, you can get rid of it–but you do have to be careful of how you do so. Leaving it on the curb like a couch from a college apartment isnt an option. You may not have known this, but your computer and other electronics contain heavy metals and materials that can cause serious harm to the environment, so just dumping it into a landfill is dangerous and irresponsible.
Therefore, it is better to recycle it but even then, you have to be cautious. Some recycling companies will take your machine and send it to a developing nation, where children will pick through the hazardous materials we mentioned to extract valuable materials from its components, thereby poisoning groundwater. Make sure you find a resource that will only leverage recyclers that operate ethically.
Finally, you could also donate your system once youve wiped or replaced the hard drive. Many good causes could use computers, but dont always have the means to procure them.
RCL Systems can help with this process from start to finish. Reach out to us at 281-240-2777 to learn more.
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Safely Dispose Of Your Computer
Youve saved your personal information and wiped your hard drive clean. Now youre ready to get rid of that computer. Most computers contain hazardous materials like heavy metals that can contaminate the earth and dont belong in a landfill. So what are your options? You can recycle or donate your computer.
Computer manufacturers, electronics stores, and other organizations have computer recycling or donation programs. Check out the Environmental Protection Agency’s Electronics Donation and Recycling page to learn about recycling or donating your computer.
Where Can You Recycle Computers And Electronics
If you live in the US, check out the website of the Environmental Protection Agency for your nearest electronic recycling facility. Please dont just put your unwanted PCs and laptops into general household waste for disposal to landfill. In the UK, recycling is carried out by local councils. Not all civic amenity sites accept electronic waste, so check with your local authority to find the nearest appropriate facility.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the authors knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
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What Should I Do Before I Get Rid Of My Device
When you’re finished a gadget, make sure it’s also finished with you. Even though it might be old, someone just needs a charger to reboot your old phone or computer to get to your personal data.
The moral of this story: Make sure to back up anything you want off the device — photos, videos, songs — and then perform a factory reset. Don’t worry, we’ll give you pointers on wiping your device in the sections on phones, laptops and cameras below.
How To Recycle Phones
Phones and their batteries are some of the easiest electronics to recycle, according to .
Remember to transfer any data and photos on your old phone to a new phone, or otherwise save your photos before performing a factory reset. Remember to also remove the SIM card .
The company accepts all phones and batteries regardless of size, make, model or age. Call2Recycle can refurbish the device for resale or recycle the materials for a new device. If you look hard enough, you can even get paid for recycling your phone.
If your phone is new enough, you may be able to trade it in to a carrier, if you’re buying a new phone, or sell it on the open market. Otherwise, if it’s lost a lot of value, recycling may be your best bet for getting a dusty phone off your hands.
Cables are fair game, too.
Whole Foods works with Secure the Call to send 911 emergency-only phones to senior citizens and residents of domestic violence shelters. Just make sure you bring the charger.
You can also donate gently used phones to Cell Phones for Soldiers: The program helps service members call their families for free. Local communities may also accept phone donations as part of a citywide drive. Additionally, you could also check with your employer to see how it handles e-waste. You may be able to add a few items to the collection.
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Sign Out Of Accounts Disconnect Devices And Erase Your Hard Drive
After you save your personal information, however you save it, sign out of all your online accounts from the computer youre getting rid of. Un-pair your computer from Bluetooth devices like a mouse, keyboard, or wireless display.
Then, erase your computers hard drive. Look for a program or function on your computer that will let you erase all your files from the hard drive and reset it to factory settings. If it doesnt have one, look for expert reviews online to see what programs are out there and which ones are compatible with the type of computer and hard drive you have.
What To Do With Old Computers And Laptops That Still Work
Sometimes youll have a need for greater speed or capacity and get a new laptop or computer before your old one actually stops working. You also might also clean out an elderly parent’s house and come across a functional but non-used computer.
Here are some ways to get rid of functional laptops and computers and put them to good use.
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Find Your Old Pc A New Home
PCs contain harmful substances like mercury, lead and arsenic so it can be tricky to know what to do with old laptop. UK councils will not allow such dangerous materials in wheelie bins, for example. However, there are a number of ways you can dispose of your computer:
Recycle: Your local recycling centre may be able to take it. Contact them to find out if they will accept it.
Sell it: If your PC still works, you can list it on sites like eBay. Don’t worry if you have removed the hard drive as they are relatively inexpensive to replace.
Donate it: Charities like Computer Aid International refurbish your old computer and send them to developing countries. You can also hand it to a local youth club, school or give it away using sites such as Freecycle.
Wipe Your Personal Data
How concerned are you about disinfecting while cleaning?
If youâve decided you definitely need to get rid of your laptop, itâs vital you take steps to remove your personal data before you dispose of your laptop or computer. That applies whether you pass it on, donate it, sell it or recycle it.
Some charities offer to do this for you. But the safest way is to do it yourself, so hereâs our advice…
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Laptop And Computer Recycling
Computer components contain many toxic substances, like dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls , cadmium, chromium, radioactive isotopes, mercury and lead. These can leach into groundwater or create air pollution if theyâre incinerated.
So if you canât reuse your laptop, then your final option is laptop recycling. Whatever you do, donât throw it in your regular bin or any âgeneral wasteâ receptacles.
What If Theres No Recycling Center Nearby
Most urban and suburban cities will have several retailers that can recycle your laptop battery or, if not that, a waste management service that can recycle electronics, including batteries.
Rural areas are a different story. You may discover that your nearest recycling center is an hours drive away or more. Thats inconvenient, but dont fret yet. You may have another option.
Nearly all laptop manufacturers provide a laptop recycling program. Most manufacturers will recycle a laptop they’ve made for free and even pay the cost of shipping the computer back to the company. Some also offer free recycling of any computer from any brand if you purchase a new laptop or desktop from the company. The manufacturers customer service website will provide instructions.
Here are links to the programs run by the worlds largest laptop manufacturers.
Whats the catch? Unfortunately, this service may apply to the entire laptop and not to the battery alone. It’s likely to reject a laptop with a battery the company considers non-serviceable. The manufacturer will likely offer the option to replace the battery while keeping the laptop but will charge a fee for performing that service.
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Donate Resell Or Recycle
You cant just throw your computer away. There are various components within a computer that are either environmentally toxic, such as mercury and lead, or valuable, such as copper, aluminum, and gold. Because of this, there are many programs available to help take your old computers off your hands.
If your computers are in good working order, consider donating them. Many charitable organizations specialize in providing used and refurbished computers to underfunded schools or families in need. You can also look into options to resell your old computers, if theyre still in good enough condition.
If your hardware isnt usable, there are many options for recycling. Some hardware suppliers, such as Dell and Apple, have programs in place for taking back old equipment. Most towns and cities have drop-off locations for computer recycling, and many computer retailers, such as Staples, offer recycling or trade-in services. If you have a lot of computer equipment to dispose of, there are even professional services that will come to your office to pick up your old tech.
Where To Get Cash For Recycling Your Computer And Electronics
Most computer equipment circuit boards contain small amounts of precious metals such as gold, platinum, silver, copper, nickel, and aluminum. Recycling centers will sometimes pay for these items so that these metals can be reclaimed from the circuit boards. In addition, by recycling you can also help to create new jobs. According to a study done by the Institute for Self-Reliance, for every 10 thousand tons of reused materials, 296 jobs are created.
It also helps reduce the amount of heavy metals found in landfills in the U.S., with computers and other e-waste having been reported to account for nearly 70%. In California alone, it is estimated that the average consumer has two to three computers lying around their home, yet they have no idea what to do with them once they are no longer in use. Now, just think about those numbers on a national scale. If everyone just threw them away, instead of simply taking them to a local computer recycling center near them, there would an environmental disaster that would take years to rectify.
Recycling just one computer can have a tremendous impact on lowering e-waste pollution. And by doing so, you can help to create more jobs and a cleaner environment. So, do everyone a favor and take that old PC or Mac to a nearby computer recycling center today. Computers are here to make our lives easier today, so dont let them ruin our tomorrow.
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Why Is It Important To Recycle Or Properly Dispose Of Old Computers
Recycling e-waste helps prevent harmful materials from negatively affecting the environment. Proper computer disposal can keep old plastic and metal devices out of landfills and reduce the need to use non-renewable, raw materials to create new products. This means using less energy, less financial resources, and having less of an impact on areas that would be mined and destroyed.
Many computers contain harmful materials that can cause damage to the environment if not handled properly. These materials include:
- Radioactive isotopes
Because of the potential danger leaving these materials in landfills can cause, many local dumps will not accept old computers. You may also find yourself facing fines if you put your old computers out with the trash.
Getting Rid Of The Laptop
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Wipe Your Hard Drive And Recycle Your Laptop
As it is now increasingly evident unless there are pressing reasons to dispose of your computer through physical destructions, there are many environmental and security reasons for you to recycle your laptop. Donating or recycling has steadily picked up the pace. It is currently becoming a popular way of getting rid of unused electronics, sometimes resulting in a profit or just a way of mitigating your costs to upgrade to a new, more powerful model. However, formatting your device wont be enough for you to be sure you can peacefully part ways with your old laptop, as skilled cybercriminals could still easily access your personal data: banking details, credit card information, you name it. The potential loss is amplified if you are looking to dispose of tens or hundreds of work or business computers. To safely erase all your traces from your laptop, you need to choose a dedicated software that will safely wipe the hard drive for you so that it becomes impossible to retrieve.
Many free tools fit the purpose however, if you have sensitive data and are disposing of your assets in bulk, you should consider professional data wiping and sanitisation or secure computer disposal to safeguard your or your companys data. Data are wiped using state-of-the-art software with proved effectiveness, and the procedure is controlled and standardised. After the wipe is complete, a check to ensure no piece of data remains retrievable.