Proper Computer Recycling And Disposal

Computers Are A Way Of LIfe

While computers are helpful and fun when they run properly, those that don't work and aren't disposed of properly can lead to many health hazards.
While computers are helpful and fun when they run properly, those that don't work and aren't disposed of properly can lead to many health hazards.

What To Do Now?

So, you have just gone out and bought a brand new computer because your old one ran too slow, didn't have enough memory, or just simply stopped working. The question becomes: How do you properly dispose of that old computer or electronic equipment is a responsible way? Simply throwing the machine into the trash can will not do and a person could get into a lot of trouble for taking such an action. So, what do you do?

Inside of computers there are toxic chemicals, carcinogens, and heavy metals that can do a lot of damage to a person that comes into contact with them, improperly. Until 2000, when it became illegal to import waste electronic equipment into China, many developed countries would send their electronic waste to China for easy, cheap disposal. Even though it is illegal, e-waste is still smuggled into China for e-waste dumping.

There are ways to responsibly recycle your electronic equipment. The best place to check is the Internet. Just typing in the words: computer recycling, will lead you to hundreds of websites dedicated to the topic. Many major electronic companies within the United States have established their own electronic recycling programs.

Check With The Manufacture First...

AT&T offers a Reuse and Recycle Program. This program is designed to allow any person to bring in any cell phone or PDA device into a local AT&T retailer, regardless of make or model, for proper recycling. You can check out the website for further information and local stores in your area.

Best Buy has a recycling program for most electronic equipment including cell phones, computers, and DVD players. Customers are allowed to bring in up to two items per day per household for proper recycling. You can check out the website for further information and more details.

Ebay has a Rethink Initiative. This program offers tips, tools, and advice on the proper disposal and recycling of electronic equipment. You can check out the website for more information and suggestions.

Hewlett-Packard has many options for the consumer to use when recycling used or unwanted equipment. They have a trade-in program, product recycling, and an Asset Recovery Service. The Asset Recovery Service will actually pay money for unwanted computer equipment. Check out the links highlighted for more information on each service and more information.

There are MANY, MANY more companies that offer recycling programs. The EPA website has a more detailed listing. Some of the companies that are included on their list are Sony, LG, Verizon, and T-Mobile, plus lots more.

A Little Effort Goes A Long Way!

If your computer or other electronic equipment still functions but just needs some slight repair, there are some places that you could donate your computer. These places will rebuild the computer and re-sell it at a discounted price. Retrobox offers responsible recycling options and solutions on what to do with old, unwanted electronic equipment. My Green Electronics offers tips and solutions for donating or recycling electronic waste. You can even find information on purchasing green products.

If you don't know, they ask. Local agencies are sure to have information on the proper disposal of electronic equipment. If you do drop off your equipment to be recycled, ask important questions so that you know for sure that the machine will be recycled of properly. Any respectable recycling establishment is sure to be able to answer questions like, how is the equipment recycled, and where to the parts go that cannot be recycled. Those places that offer computer recycling should also be able to tell you how the hard drives are disposed of so that your personal information does not end up some where it shouldn't be. If they cannot answer these questions or offer run-around answers, then you may want to consider choosing another place to recycle your computer or electronic equipment.

While recycling is slightly a federal, state, and local government responsibility, it is up to all of the citizens of this planet to ensure that the resources that are available to us now will be available to those in the future. Everyone has to do their part and that means starting within homes and getting families to take the initiative to make sure that the things that can be recycled are recycled properly. Just a little bit makes a big difference.

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