It is that time of year. Perhaps you will get a new personal computer as a gift or it is time to upgrade at the office. Either way, here are three key tips to safely dispose of your old computers and other electronic equipment, including computers, monitors, peripherals, phones, TVs, VCRs, DVD players, stereos, microwave ovens, PDAs, and iPods.
A is for Always
Always dispose of your old electronic gadgets, often referred to as e-waste, responsibly. Due to toxic components, they can’t be thrown in the trash.
B is for Basil Action Network
When it comes to recycling e-waste, always use a Basil Action Network (BAN) e-Steward approved recycler. BAN created the e-Stewards program to reward recycling companies that don’t export their hazardous electronic waste to developing countries and provide customers with socially and environmentally responsible options to dispose of their old TVs, cell phones, or computers.
E-stewards is an accredited, third-party audited certification program that identifies electronics recyclers who conform to the highest environmental and worker health and safety standards:
* No export of hazardous waste to developing countries
* No landfill or incineration
* No use of prison labor
* Protection of private data
* Protection of worker health
C is for Consumer Electronics and Computers Can Go To Goodwill
For personal e-waste, consider taking your old equipment to Goodwill; they will either refurbish it or responsibly dispose of it. Below is a list of the items they will accept free of charge. For computers, Goodwill works with a partner that destroys the hard drive, ensuring data privacy.
Computers & Networking Equipment
Desktops (PCs/Apple) & accessories
Laptops (PCs/Apple) & notebooks
iPads, tablets & e-readers
Networking & communications
Scanners — working or not
Network equipment — working or not
Monitors, printers & scanners
Televisions (TVs larger than 27 inches accepted only at certain sites)
Home audio & theater
Video & audio
Video games & PC games
MP3 players & accessories
Cameras & video equipment
Cell phones, PDAs & accessories
Car electronics & GPS
After Dump, What Happens to Electronic Waste
Center for Environmental Health