Advancements in technology emerge at astounding rates. When you first buy your computer, it could satisfy all of your needs. However, a year or two later, you may find that your device lacks core functions that you need on a daily basis.
If your machines don’t connect or otherwise cooperate with your needs, they can become an operational obstacle in today’s fast-paced digital landscape. Top tech brands develop and release updated models of computers so frequently (and at relatively low prices) that you can often afford to invest in the latest release if it serves you.
But how do you dispose of your unwanted devices responsibly? Below, we’re discussing how to recycle used computers.
Can You Throw Away Old Electronics?
As great as it is to own the most current technology, it may not feel great to have old laptops and desktops sitting around and collecting dust. However, like many computer users, you may not know what to do with your previously invaluable tech tools since you cannot just dump them in your home or business’s trash bin.
Old electronics are often full of toxic elements like lead, arsenic, and cadmium – all of which have no place in a landfill, as they could leak into the ecosystem and damage surrounding animal and plant life. According to Time Magazine, this toxic e-waste seepage could ultimately impact our food supply. Therefore, it’s best to avoid throwing your old devices out in the garbage.
Luckily, recycling is a simple, practical, and beneficial answer to the question of what to do with old electronics.
The Benefits of Recycling Your Old Computer
Instead of designating a spare storage room as the dedicated dumping ground for old equipment, more people are beginning to recycle their e-waste. And not only is this form of disposal environmentally conscious, but it also provides businesses and individuals with a number of benefits, including:
- Less Clutter – Old electronics take up a lot of space. By recycling them, you can make room for new workstations or store more useful items.
- Reduced Costs – While many waste removal companies charge a fee, some organizations (like NerdsToGo) offer free computer recycling.
- Enhanced Data Security – By destroying the hard drive from your old computer, you can ensure that valuable data stays out of the wrong hands. Most computer recycling companies charge a small fee to destroy your hard drive, but it’s well worth the added peace of mind.
- Improved Business Reputation – Environmentally conscious businesses enjoy better reputations than companies without such a commitment. Many people are concerned about the environment, so anything you can do to reduce those fears creates improved customer confidence and loyalty.
How to Recycle Computers Properly
Now that you know the many benefits that await you with computer recycling, you may need some help to get started.
Here are a few steps for recycling your old computer safely:
- Save Important Data – If you haven’t done so already, you should save your important files to an external hard drive or cloud storage service. That way, you can later transfer them to your new computer.
- Deauthorize Programs with Limited Machine Access – If you have a subscription to a service like Microsoft, you may only be able to use it on a limited number of devices. Although you can usually deauthorize programs from another machine, it’s best to make sure you’ve done so before shutting down your old computer.
- Delete Your Online Browsing History – Browsing history is often chock-full of important information about users, particularly stored usernames and passwords for various websites. Leaving this vital information on your computer could prove devastating if it falls into the wrong hands. Therefore, you should clear your history on any browsers you have installed and actively used on your old computer.
- Uninstall Your Programs – Programs like Microsoft, iTunes, and Skype may contain important information like your address and telephone number. Be sure to uninstall them before recycling your device.
- Wipe Your Hard Drive Clean – It’s important to wipe your hard drive clean, even if you plan to invest in hard drive destruction with your chosen recycling company.
- Find Out Where to Recycle Computers – When it comes to recycling your old computer, you can’t simply throw your device in your recycling bin. First, you must find a location that can safely process computers and has sustainable electronics policies. Many times, companies refurbish and re-introduce old computers back into circulation.
Are You Ready to Recycle Your Old Computer? NerdsToGo Can Help
If you have old computers that you no longer use, NerdsToGo can help. We offer free recycling services for a variety of old computer equipment. Plus, for just $20, we’ll safely destroy your hard drive to ensure your data is protected.
For more information about our recycling services, contact us today!