We all know the cost to our pocketbooks when it is time to replace our current computers with updated models. A new computer with the latest technology can easily cost over $1,000. However, replacing your PC not only costs us in terms of money, but it is costly to the environment as well.
When you get a new computer, you know it won’t last forever. The price tag certainly indicates that it should. However, long before the hard drive dies or the fan stops working, new technology has made your current computer obsolete. Look at the newest trends available today with touchscreens and new operating systems. The operating system needs to be updated when new versions are introduced. And, the touchscreen is quickly becoming a requirement alongside the mouse and keyboard.
Even if your computer still works, the newest software programs likely require you to get a bigger hard drive or updated operating system. So, you find yourself shopping for something you may not feel like you need, but technology dictates that you do. So, what do you do? Do you throw your old PC away, or are there recycling options?
Many non-profit organizations and schools can benefit from slightly outdated computer systems. This enables them to provide computers to staff, students, and others that may not be able to afford the latest models.
Recycling also protects the environment. If computers are not recycled properly, they can leak toxins and carcinogens into the environment. Lead, mercury, and cadmium are placed back into the soil, atmosphere, and groundwater, creating hazardous conditions. However, many of those materials used in designing the hardware can be repurposed.
Statistics show that the majority of computers sold are considered surplus electronics. Only 15 percent are recycled within the United States.
This isn’t where your old computer equipment goes.
How to Recycle
So, what can you do with your old computer when it is time to upgrade? One way to dispose of it is to offer it for sale with an online auction or want ad. There are people less fortunate than us who would be happy to have our old computers. By offering your old computer for a reasonable price, you can reduce the cost of purchasing a new one and provide someone else with a computer.
Alternatively, many manufacturers offer to take your old computer when you purchase a new one. They may offer you a small amount of cash to take your old equipment off your hands.
Don’t let this be the end of your laptop’s journey.
Some larger electronics stores even offer free electronics recycling. Simply drop off your old PC, and it will be recycled in a proper manner.
Then, there’s information security. Before you dump that old box, make sure to get rid of all your data. Don’t think that hitting the Delete button erases everything; instead, destroying or wiping the hard drive is the only way to ensure that everything is removed. You can check with a data destruction company to find out its process for destroying information. If you want the computer to be reused but your data to be destroyed, you will need to use a data destruction program. You can search online for “data destruction programs” to find free and paid programs to use on your computer, such as Active Eraser.
Replacing your computer is costly in terms of money and security to you, and costly in the release of hazardous waste to the environment. When it is time to buy a new computer, you must think about the best way to deal with your old one, too.