How to Safely Recycle a Computer

It’s important to do what you can to fight climate change. And, since more than $55 billion dollars worth of e-waste is thrown away by Americans each year, recycling your computers instead of disposing of them can be hugely beneficial for our planet.

Here’s your guide on how to recycle a computer safely.

Maintain Your Privacy When Recycling a Computer

First, you’ll need to wipe all your personal information off the computer. That’s the best way to ensure you won’t be a victim of identity theft or otherwise have your privacy violated. Make sure you log out of all of your accounts and delete all your passwords off the computer.

Ideally, you should be wiping your hard drive entirely before you recycle a computer. You should also make sure that all your information is backed up, so you don’t end up searching for important files with no success.

Find The Right Recycler

You can’t just stick your computer in with your cans and bottles when you take out your trash, unfortunately. In fact, many states have banned you from discarding your old computer or other kinds of e-Waste in a landfill. You will have to put in a little more effort to properly recycle your computer.

When recycling a computer, you’ll want to make sure you’re choosing a reputable recycling venue.  The Environmental Protection Agency lists two different ways for recyclers to gain accreditation, the e-Stewards Standards for Electronic Recyclers and the Responsible Recycling Standards for Certified Recyclers.

Make sure that the electronic recycler you choose is certified by at least one of these programs. You can also confirm with the recycler itself what standard they meet.

Recycling With Retailers

Some computer manufacturers and retailers offer their own programs to recycle your computer. Some companies will even offer incentives to recycle with them — Apple, for example, offers gift cards or in-store credit for some products recycled with them.

Plus, some of these programs will allow you to mail your old computer in rather than dropping it off, which can save you some time if you’re a busy person on the move.

Bring your old wires, keyboards, and monitors at the same time that you bring your computer in for recycling. They can be recycled too, saving you time and energy sorting through them.

Other Ways To Recycle Your Computer

If your computer is still in good or decent shape, you may not want to consign it to e-waste. Donating your computer can also be a great plan, and you may be able to get a tax receipt for donating your computer rather than recycling it.

Some schools offer donation programs for computers, too. Just look into options in your area, and you’ll be sure to find a great way to donate your old computer.

Recycle a Computer Today

As you can see, it’s pretty simple to recycle a computer once you know what to do.

Are you interested in reading more about other, related topics? Check out some of our other articles today.

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