According to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in cooperation with the University of Tennessee Electronic Environmental Benefits Calculator, reusing just one computer with a CRT monitor saves:
30lbs of hazardous waste
77lbs of solid waste
77lbs of materials
147lbs of water from being polluted
32 tons of air from being polluted
1,333 lbs of CO2 from being emitted
7,719 kilowatts of energy
It is also equivalent to taking half a car off the road for a year.
Many places charge a fee for you to recycle your PC or laptop. But there are places like HP that will take HP products back and offer you a rebate or a trade in.
Dell offers free recycling of anything Dell. Even IBM has a program as does Apple.
So check your brand name computer’s website to see what they can offer you.
You can also check with your local computer shop to see if they take old computers, laptops and monitors. Chances are and they will not only take it for free, but may offer you a discount on other things as well. Older computers can be used for spare parts and some companies will actually pay you for them. Those types of companies are hard to find though. Sometimes local cities will run things like “Cure for Cancer Donate your old PC here.” In which case, if it’s for charity it’s a tax write off as it’s a form of donation.
Recycling should be made easy, and it is easier than it was several years ago.
Because most major cities are changing over to trash containers, putting a PC on the curb and a person spotting it and taking it is no longer an option. Though I’m sure if you tried it wouldn’t make it to a trash truck, though older monitors would. If you call your local cities recycling department they should be able to direct you to a location that will take your PC for free, but you will have to dump it off there.
If you don’t wish to recycle but you need to get rid of your PC, you can donate it to charity shops, you should also consider selling it on Ebay.com or offering it to a family with young kids. Older computers are good starter computers for young kids. If anything breaks, you don’t have to worry about how much you paid for it. They are also a good training tool for patience, because they run slower. This way when you purchase a newer model computer, even if it’s not the top of the line, your kids will be fooled into thinking it is. You can of course always hang on to it you never know when you may need a backup even if it’s only temporary.
I’d also like to mention a very important issue, before you dispose of your PC or laptop, please be sure to wipe all the data off your hard drive by doing a format. You don’t want some stranger seeing all your personal information or even stealing your registration codes, which are stored in your registry. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been given people’s PC’s and laptops with critical information still stored on it.