Why Recycle Computers?:
In the US especially, computers are ubiquitous and almost everyone has them. The problem is, computers also wear out, or people simply want “newer and better.” That leaves a lot of older computers that are still perfectly good, or computer parts that could be used elsewhere, in landfills when they could be put to good use. One solution to this is to recycle computers.
A Number of Reasons to Recycle Your Computer
1. It’s environmentally friendly to do so and may even be illegal in your area to simply “dump” old computers you don’t want to use anymore. You can check local ordinances to make sure this is legal, but even if it is, why not do something better by recycling yours?
2. Even computers that have “died” and can’t be used anymore in their entirety have parts that are valuable. There are many small computer businesses that take working parts of existing computers and build “new” computers that they then sell for a small profit. In addition, there is at least one major computer manufacturer that accepts old computers for no additional charge when you purchase a new computer from them. It will even pick old computers up from your house at no extra charge when they deliver your new one. One caveat with this is that you make sure any sensitive data is wiped off of hard drives since they don’t guarantee the safety of any personal data, etc., that you leave on them (even “dead” hard drives can have data taken off of them, so make sure hard drives are completely wiped free of any data before you give away computers).
3. A computer that still works perfectly fine but that may be too “old” for your uses can be used by someone else who doesn’t need the absolute latest in technology. Many local charities and even some schools are grateful to accept older model but good condition computers that you don’t want anymore.
4. You might just benefit yourself from someone else’s recycled computer. If you’re someone who doesn’t need the latest in technology, you can buy a perfectly fine refurbished computer from a local computer dealer for very little money, sometimes for as little as $100. Especially with a desktop computer, it’s very easy to plug in a monitor, keyboard, and mouse, and you’re good to go. Laptops, of course, will usually need to come with these peripherals already included. Nonetheless, unless you’re someone who must absolutely be on the cutting edge of technology, older computers can provide you exactly what you need to keep in touch via e-mail, track of your finances, or do word processing and Excel functions, etc., without missing a beat.
5. Parts can be cheaper if you get them used, too. Depending on the setup of your current computer and the ability of the motherboard to accept new technology, it can be quite easy to update your processor or random access memory and get yourself a “new” computer for very little money. Where do these parts come from? That’s right; recycled computers.
6. It’s possible to make a little money yourself if you like to work on computers and know how to refurbish them. Investigate the possibility of opening up your own little shop, whereby you can accept nonworking or older model computers and use them to put together refurbished computers that you can then sell for a small profit. It’s a good business to get into if you’re good with computers, and you can help people save money even as you make some yourself. (One note here is that it’s true that computer chips do have small amounts of valuable metals in them, but the amount is so small that you shouldn’t expect to make any money from extracting this metal unless you literally expect to gather hundreds to thousands of pounds of these chips and then spend most of your time and money extracting bits of precious metals from them. It’s a tedious and laborious process, and it’s not really worth it. Make your money from selling refurbished computers instead.)
So do yourself and the environment a favor and don’t toss that old computer when you’re ready to upgrade to a new one. Instead, look for local businesses or charities in your area that recycle computers; there are many, and they will take your old computer, refurbish it, and give it to someone else who can use it, instead of having it end up gathering dust in your basement or worse yet, in a landfill.
And if you’re in the market for a “new” computer and you don’t need the latest in technology, why not consider getting a recycled computer? You’ll save yourself some money and will still have everything you need to get online or get work done. What could be better? So, go ahead…. recycle computers.
A Great Video Clip on Recycling Computers
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