During the holidays, thousands of people would be unwrapping brand-new computers, leaving the old ones discarded and gather dust, or even worst, head to the garbage. Nonetheless, in today’s global warming and the harmful effects on nature, there is a growing concern for preserving and protecting nature. For those conscious of the growing e-waste problem in the world, there are however some solutions and ideas on how to get rid or recycle old personal computers.
True, discarded computers, TV sets and cell phones added up to 2.5 million tons of electronic waste in the year 2007. Only around 18 percent of these were recycled. As far as computers, it is estimated that 40 million will become obsolete every year. Fortunately, there are companies such as Dell that are stepping into the marketplace to recycle old and discarded electronics. Computers owners could drop off their machines at designated locations to recycle, refurbish or dispose of the item. These different organizations also work with environmental partners, which are regularly audited to ensure adherence to environmental and ethical standards. They keep track and document every computer from pick-up to disassembly and so forth.
The following are tips and guidelines on recycling old personal computers:
- Wipe all personal information before dropping them off at recycling centers. Everything that is important should be backed up first. Consider overwriting the hard drive fully, most preferably multiple times and re-installing the operating system from scratch.
- Consider donating the computer. Actually, it is much better for the environment to donate old computer systems to a place that might be able to use it still, such as in school or retirement center, than it is to strip it down then recycle part-by-part, which is labor intensive and taxing. It is always worth trying to donate it before opting to recycle.
- Recycle via a reputable service. All electronics recycling programs are not the same. That is why, it is necessary to check out the EPA guide to find places to donate for free without adding to the harm in nature.
- Do not ever throw old electronics and even batteries in the trash. This is because the toxins inside these items do not belong to the landfill at all.
Before recycling or donating used electronics however, there is also another option and that is to upgrade the hardware or software instead of purchasing a new one. The environment experiences the biggest impact with the level of computer and electronic waste being introduced regularly. The wastes are dumped on landfills and grow over time until the resources become scarce since old devices and e-wastes are used up. It takes up a lot of space and contributes to the spread of harmful toxins. If the toxins infiltrate the water system, it could cause degradation in the water’s quality. Each and every computer owner should help in avoiding the consequences by recycling electronic and computer products and protect nature from more pollution. Recycling old computers is not only doing the environment a favor, but one’s budget as well. Re-using old electronics and computer products means much savings as well.