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5 Reasons to Donate Your Computer

Updated on March 4, 2008

So you brought home a brand new computer, and now you have to figure out what to do with the old one. You can try to sell it, but probably won’t get much for it. You could trash it, but do you really want it to end up in a landfill? Maybe you will store it in your garage, but that would be a waste of space.

Your best bet is to donate your computer. If you take your old computer to a certified computer reuse center, they will probably be able to help you wipe all of your personal information off for you.

Still not convinced that you should donate your old computer? Maybe the following five reasons to donate will convince you that it is your best choice.

Don't let this happen with your old computer.
Don't let this happen with your old computer.

Tax Write Off

Your donation will be tax deductible. Not only will you be doing a good thing by donating the computer to a reuse center, but you will get some payback when tax time rolls around. When you drop your computer off, simply be sure to ask for a tax slip—a certified center will be able to provide you with one.


Donating your computer instead of throwing it away will help reduce waste. When computers end up crushed in landfills, they leak toxic metals like lead and mercury. Reduce environmental hazards by doing a green thing: donate your computer instead of throwing it away.


A certified reuse center will be able to refurbish your donated computer so it can be reused by someone else. Even though your needs required you to purchase a new computer, the machine probably has a lot of life left in it (with the proper refurbishment). By donating it, you are extending the life of the computer. Rather than discard the computer, pass it on to an organization that can put it to good use.


Even if your computer doesn’t qualify for refurbishment, a certified reuse center will either be able to safely recycle it for you, or refer you to a reputable recycling center. A good electronics recycling center will guarantee that the computer will not be exported or dumped in regular landfills in the United States or overseas. Computers contain hazardous materials, so they need to be properly and safely recycled.

Help Someone

Most certified reuse centers aren’t turning a profit by refurbishing donated computers. Instead, they provide the computers to non-profit organizations or low-income families in need. When you donate your computer, you will be helping others. These centers make sure the computers are Internet ready, as well as specifically configured for non-profit or community organizations.

What are you waiting for? Go donate your old computer today.


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    • profile image

      Donate Durham NC 

      10 years ago

      Great hub! There are several non profits out there that will take those computers, refurbish them and donate them back to those who need it! Only thing to make sure of as has been previously stated it that you wipe your hard drive with dban or drill a hole in it so no one can access the data.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Very good hub, and information Stacie. I have been involved with this for years. I have a Non-Profit organization (501(c)3, 'Burning Bush Ministries'. It is primarily a prison ministry. We help transition men/women back into society with housing, jobs and counseling. People donate their computers to us to help with our education program. Teaching them how to write resume's, fill out online applications, job hunt, etc., We provide them with our 'Letter of Determination' from the IRS for tax purposes. If you can find such an organization in your area, not just for prison ministry, but any good cause that will help people and society, it would be good. Thank you Stacie for sharing this information.

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile imageAUTHOR

      Stacie Naczelnik 

      10 years ago from Seattle

      quotations makes a good point - which is why it is good to take it to a center that can guarantee you have completely deleted all of your personal info.

    • quotations profile image

      Robert P 

      10 years ago from Canada

      While donating a computer can be a good tax write off not to mention a good way to help your community, always make sure that you have completely deleted your hard drive. This applies even if you are throwing out your computer.

      Simply deleting your files or even reformatting your hard drive will not really eliminate your personal and sensitive information such as online banking info, credit card numbers and personal information such as copies of emails. You need to use special shredding software to make sure no one acquires your used computer and uses to carry out identity theft.

    • raguett profile image


      10 years ago

      Thanks for the tips I have two computers that I will now donate instead of dmping them, my kids school will b happy...thanks

    • Kathryn Vercillo profile image

      Kathryn Vercillo 

      10 years ago from San Francisco

      It's great to see a hub like this. There are still a lot of computers and other electronics going to the landfill when they could get re-used/recycled instead. Here's info for people who don't know how to recycle their electronics locally but want to:

    • Whitney05 profile image


      10 years ago from Georgia

      Very cool. I think I've heard of this. Do they fix up broken laptops and computers? Usually by the time my family is finished with laptops they are so slow and don't work up to speed. If you're going to spend the money on them, you mght was well use them until death. They get passed around in my family, until there's no choice but to upgrade. Ha.

      My dad even took his old laptop with a broken harddrive, and combined it with his friend's with a broken screen, to make a new laptop. (They were the same make and model.)

      By, the way I mean Computers for Kids, instead of Kids for Computers.

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile imageAUTHOR

      Stacie Naczelnik 

      10 years ago from Seattle

      This is a cool site:

      There goal is to get laptops for kids around the world.

    • Whitney05 profile image


      10 years ago from Georgia

      I almost did a similar hub. Donating computers to kids. There's a non-profic organization Kids for Computers that wants to get a computer in the home of every child to help further education.


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