Wondering what to do with old computers!!

Do you have a computer or laptop too old to be used? Not sure what to do with it? Looking for a way to dispose of it? Or maybe, wondering how to dispose of old computers.

Well, then this is the right place for you. There are different ways you can dispose of old computers – let’s take a look at what these different ways are and how you can recycle old computers.

Let’s learn what to do with old computers!!

Can I Just Throw Away My Old Computer?

Computers are an essential part of our everyday life. They help us to do various tasks, such as work, research by surfing the internet, watching movies or shows, playing games, and much more. It is said that every person uses or owns a computer at least once in their lifetime. This means a lot of computers are being manufactured regularly, which requires a lot of raw materials.

Throwing away old computers means having a massive amount of energy emissions, and they also produce a lot of waste which can be turned into new products!

Old computers contain valuable metals, such as copper and aluminum, that can be reused to produce new products. This is particularly true for computers that have been built with recycled metals.

The second thing is that old computers can be disassembled and used as raw materials to manufacture new products like circuit boards with other components attached to them. The components contained within an old computer can also be useful in creating new products like televisions and refrigerators, which need electrical components for their operation.

Finally, computers use an incredible amount of electricity to keep them running (which is why you need to turn off your computer when not in use).

So, if you want to save money and protect the environment simultaneously, your best bet is to recycle old computers!

What is Old Computer Recycling?

Computer recycling is the process of collecting, processing and disposing of old computers. It is one way that you can get rid of your old PC or laptop before it becomes a costly problem.

The goal of recycling computers is to recover materials such as metals, plastics, and glass that are usually discarded while processing an old electronic device. Computer recycling helps reduce waste during the manufacturing process and the amount of waste going into our landfills.

How to Prepare Your Old Computer for Recycling?

You may have a computer that is broken, outdated, and out of date. You can recycle it by taking your old computer to a local recycling center. Here are some tips to prepare your computer for recycling:

  • Unplug the power cord from the electrical outlet and remove any visible cords from the back of the computer.
  • Remove all removable parts from your computer, such as RAM, hard drives, and CD/DVD drives.
  • Remove any solid-state drives or internal hard drives if you will not be using them again and dispose of them properly.
  • If you have a laptop, remove any batteries before recycling it.

Where to Recycle Computers?

To recycle computers, you have several options:

  1. Manufacturer or Retailer Take-Back Programs: Many computer manufacturers and retailers offer recycling programs for their products. Check the website or contact the manufacturer or retailer of your computer to see if they have a recycling program in place.
  2. Local Electronics Retailers: Some electronics retailers have recycling programs for computers and other electronic devices. Best Buy, for example, has a recycling program where you can drop off old electronics for recycling at their stores.
  3. Municipal or Local Recycling Centers: Many cities and towns have designated recycling centers or electronic waste (e-waste) collection facilities where you can drop off your old computers. Check with your local municipality or waste management department to find out if they accept computers for recycling.
  4. E-Waste Collection Events: Keep an eye out for e-waste collection events in your community. These events are often organized by local organizations, schools, or environmental groups and provide a convenient way to recycle old computers and other electronic devices.
  5. Non-profit Organizations: Some non-profit organizations, such as Goodwill or the Salvation Army, accept computer donations for refurbishment or recycling. These organizations may have specific guidelines or requirements for donation, so it’s best to check with them beforehand.
  6. Online Recycling Programs: There are also online recycling programs where you can ship your old computer for recycling. Websites like Dell Reconnect, eBay for Charity, or the Electronics TakeBack Coalition provide information and resources for recycling electronics.

Remember to erase your personal data from the computer’s hard drive before recycling it to protect your privacy. You can either use data erasure software or remove and destroy the hard drive if you have concerns about sensitive information.

When choosing a recycling method, consider selecting options that prioritize proper disposal methods and recycling practices to minimize the environmental impact of electronic waste.

How to Dispose of Old Computers?

When disposing of old computers, it’s important to handle them properly to protect the environment and prevent any potential data breaches. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to dispose of old computers responsibly:

  1. Backup your data: Before getting rid of your old computer, make sure to back up any important files or data you want to keep. Transfer them to an external hard drive, cloud storage, or another computer.
  2. Wipe your hard drive: It’s crucial to erase all personal data from the computer’s hard drive to protect your privacy. Use a reliable data wiping tool or software to securely erase the contents of the hard drive. This process ensures that your personal information cannot be recovered by anyone else.
  3. Consider recycling: Recycling is an environmentally friendly way to dispose of old computers. Look for local recycling centers or electronic waste (e-waste) recycling programs in your area. Many communities have dedicated facilities or collection events for recycling electronic devices.
  4. Donating or selling: If your old computer is still in working condition, consider donating it to a charitable organization or a school. Some nonprofits refurbish computers for educational purposes or to provide them to individuals in need. Alternatively, you can sell your computer if it’s still usable. Online platforms, local classifieds, or computer repair shops may be potential avenues for selling.
  5. Trade-in programs: Some computer manufacturers or retailers offer trade-in programs where you can exchange your old computer for a discount on a new one. Check with the manufacturer or retailer to see if they have any such programs available.
  6. Certified e-waste recyclers: If you cannot find a suitable recycling or donation option, you can turn to certified e-waste recyclers. These companies specialize in the proper disposal of electronic waste and adhere to environmental and safety regulations.
  7. Remove batteries: If your computer has a removable battery, take it out before disposing of the device. Batteries contain hazardous materials and should be recycled separately.

Remember to follow any specific instructions or regulations provided by your local municipality or recycling facilities. Responsible disposal of electronic waste is essential for protecting the environment and conserving resources.

What are the Benefits of Recycling Old Computers?

  1. Conserves Natural Resources

    When you recycle your computer, you reduce the number of new items that will be used to make newer models. This is because these old PCs have many different components that can be utilized when making newer models. Both glass and plastic from old PCs can be used.

  2. Helps Support People in Your Local Community

    Computer recycling can benefit the community quite a bit. They can be useful to charitable organizations, low-income families, and even schools when refurbished. They may not be able to afford new models, so this will go a long way in ensuring that your local community has access to technology.

  3. Helps Create Local Jobs

    You may not have thought of this, but e-recycling may be an excellent way to create job opportunities in your locality. These computers are often sent to local electronic recycling plants for processing, which leads to job creation.

  4. Helps Sustain Resources

    Recycling computers helps the environment by reducing waste. When you recycle old computers, you’re helping to save natural resources that can be used for other purposes.

Recycling is an excellent option if you’re looking for an environmentally friendly way to dispose of your old computer and protect the planet.

By recycling old computers, you can reduce the amount of waste that’s created every time you buy a new one. This is especially true if you have children who will use their computers in the future. By helping them to recycle their old computers, you’ll be doing your part to help keep our planet healthy and clean!


  1. Why should I recycle my old computer?

    Recycling old computers helps prevent electronic waste from ending up in landfills, which can be harmful to the environment due to the presence of toxic materials. It also allows for the recovery, recycling and reuse of valuable resources present in electronic devices.

  2. What components of the computer can be recycled?

    Various components of a computer can be recycled, including the central processing unit (CPU), hard drives, memory modules, circuit boards, power supplies, cables, and peripherals such as keyboards and mice. Additionally, recycling materials like metal, plastic, and glass found in computer components can be recovered and recycled.

  3. How can I find a recycling center for my old computer?

    You can search online directories or use search engines to find local recycling centers or e-waste recycling programs in your area. Check with your municipality, waste management organizations, or electronics retailers, as they often provide information on recycling options.

  4. Can I recycle a non-functional or broken computer?

    Yes, non-functional or broken computers can still be recycled. Many recycling centers accept such devices. However, it’s important to inform the recycling facility about the condition of the computer to ensure proper handling and disposal.

  5. What should I do before recycling my computer?

    Before recycling your computer, remember to back up any important data and securely wipe the hard drive to protect your personal information. Remove any external storage devices, such as USB drives or SD cards, and keep them for future use.

  6. Is recycling my computer free?

    In some cases, recycling your computer may be free of charge, especially if you utilize community recycling events or government-sponsored programs. However, some recycling centers or private recyclers may charge a fee for electronic waste disposal. It’s advisable to inquire about any associated costs beforehand.

  7. Can I donate my old computer instead of recycling it?

    Yes, donating your old computer is a great alternative to recycling, especially if it’s still in working condition. Many charitable organizations, schools, or nonprofits accept donations of computers for reuse or refurbishment. Ensure that you properly wipe your data before donating it.

  8. What happens to my computer after it’s recycled?

    After your computer is recycled, it goes through a process where it is dismantled and separated into different components and materials. These are then sent for further processing, such as refining metals or shredding plastics, to be used in manufacturing new products.

  9. How can I ensure my personal data is secure when recycling my computer?

    To protect your personal data, it’s crucial to securely wipe your hard drive before recycling your computer. Use specialized data-wiping software or physically destroy the hard drive to ensure the information cannot be recovered.

  10. Are there any regulations governing the recycling of old computers?

    Different countries and regions have various regulations and guidelines for electronic waste recycling. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the local regulations and ensure that you comply with any legal requirements when disposing of old computers.