Tips For Disposing Of Unwanted Computers

Because computer technology evolves so rapidly, there is an ever-increasing supply of outdated machines created every year. Over 78% of the population in North America uses the internet, and Importance Of Green Biotechnology millions of new computers are sold annually. Unfortunately, many outdated and broken computers end up in landfills, where they contribute to pollution and use valuable waste storage space.
There are alternatives to tossing out unwanted computers. The greenest solution is to repair or upgrade the existing model. In the modern throwaway culture, it may seem easier to just buy a new computer when the old one develops issues. However, computers contain lead, mercury and other toxic substances Technology Tools 2019 that can leach into the soil and water if disposed of in landfills. It is better to invest in upgrades or repairs to make the existing unit work more efficiently rather than adding to the waste stream. Replacing a defective part can also be cheaper than purchasing a new PC or laptop.
If the lure of a new computer is irresistible, the old computer can be donated rather than thrown away. If the old unit still works, there are nonprofit organizations that will spruce up the computer for reuse by charities or schools. Some organizations provide free or low-cost computers to low-income residents. These organizations may also accept nonworking computers to harvest usable parts. An internet search can help locate agencies that accept used computers in the local area.
Some electronics manufacturers also accept old models for recycling. Information about whether the maker of the unwanted computer accepts defective units for recycling can be obtained online or by contacting the manufacturer directly by phone. If the computer is shipped to the manufacturer for recycling, there may be shipping fees to consider. Some retail electronics stores also participate in recycling programs. If this option is available, it can be cheaper and more convenient to use.
Larger communities may have electronics salvaging businesses. These companies have the expertise and equipment to safely break down computers into recyclable components. In the past, some recycling companies shipped old electronics to other countries for processing. Some of these countries relied on prison labor or impoverished people to do the recycling work. Techniques used to disassemble old computers were not safe for the workers or the environment. If a computer is given to an electronics recycling business, the donor should make sure the company uses environmentally-sound practices. It makes little sense to waste energy shipping recyclables halfway around the world for processing.
Regardless of which option is chosen, personal information should be deleted from the computer prior to donation. Unscrupulous individuals can harvest every bit of information off of old computers if the hard drive and memory are not wiped clean. A local computer repair specialist can assist, and information is available online on how to protect personal data.

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