Re-use or Recycle old Computers

Re-use or Recycle old Computers

If a laptop or desktop computer needs upgrading, don’t immediately think you need to go out and buy a completely brand new computer. First consider whether you can add a new hard drive and a new operating system, maybe even a new screen, and boost it’s performance and appearance that way.

If you do, however, determine that it cannot be improved using the existing kit to the standard that you require then you will need to carefully consider how to dispose of it because electronic equipment contains both harsh chemicals that can cause environmental damage but also valuable resources such as copper and other metals. Did you know that your mobile phone actually contains small particles of gold and silver so imagine all those valuable metals we throw away along with our old computers and phones. Resources that manufacturers then have to mine again from increasingly depleting natural resources and often using energy from fossil fuels to do so; again a natural resource with a finite supply.

So instead of just dumping old electronic equipment consider whether maybe a school or charity could use it in it’s present condition? Why not donate it to a worthy cause before considering a trip to the local dump; and that goes for all electrical and electronic equipment: PCs, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, printers, TVs and even kettles, toasters and fridges. In fact anything with an electrical plug on it or anything that runs off batteries, including the batteries themselves.

Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is a problem for the environment that is getting steadily worse because such equipment contains toxic chemical that can leach into the ground from landfill sites. Simply disposing of your old computer is not a eco-friendly approach but here are some ways you can dispose of your old computer that will help the environment.

  1. Return it to the manufacturer – Many manufacturers and retailers have schemes where you can return your computer to them for free and they will dispose of it in the right environmentally friendly way.
  2. Pass it on to a certified electronic waste recycling company – They will dispose of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) with consideration for the environment and in compliance with the WEEE regulations.
  3. Sell it – If your computer still functions then you might be able to make some money from it by selling it via eBay or CraigsList. If you plan on doing this remember to thoroughly destroy all of your personal data ad files on the hard drive first.
  4. Donate it – Your old PC may be slow but there are many families, schools, youth clubs or charitable organisations who could still make very good use of it. Old PCs can also be used by colleges to train the hardware engineers of the future.
  5. Trade it in – Check with your local retailer whether your old machine has any trade-in value. They will need to be complying with WEEE regulations so should want to encourage people to trade-in rather than dump old equipment.

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