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Recycling Your Old Computer Parts the Right Way

Not your normal techy blog this week we are going to get dirty! Since I was a young boy I loved taking things apart. I have dissected more microwaves, toasters, radios and computers than I can remember. When I attended ITT Tech we had at every break room and bathroom a Tall white box with the Green Recycle logo on it. It was a treasure trove for me to look into and sometimes see a laptop that just needed a new screen or a keyboard. I thought how can someone just throw this away are they NUTS?

I have become a stickler in the last 15 years or so about saving and recycling or even re-purposing old computer hardware. Let me be clear (Best Obama voice) I am NOT a hoarder ok! But I do love it when I have parts for everything I need at my disposal. I love it, even more, when I can donate computers to charities or people in need.  There are people who are struggling just to keep the lights on and I can give them an opportunity in a box.

Recycling is a household name and good or bad we all play a major role in the continuation of this beautiful world.  In Cape Coral, Florida where I live we have all been assigned garbage bins. We have the tan one for non-recyclables and the green one for all the rest. It was made easier for us and has become so popular that it is now just another way of life for us. I like to collect a large amount of recycles and make one drop-off every few months or so at the local drop-off point here in the cape.  I have also made it part of my business since starting in 2011. We provide “for free” a pickup and drop-off for any current or previous customer.  Since I started going to the local recycling drop-off, I have recycled close to 1000 pounds of “techie waste”.

I don’t want to come off as Mr Green peace or a hippie or hipster or whatever label we stick to them these days, but I do admire the spirit of them. Choosing to recycle those 20-30 pounds of tech waste every time you buy a new computer is a big deal people. I wish that other companies would follow suit. Can you imagine if ALL of the big box stores recycled your old computer or TV for free if you bought a new one from them? It would be fantastic walking into best buy with that 12-inch bathroom TV with the hangar for antennae lol.

If you have any techie waste meaning cell phones, cameras, printers, old tube monitors, new led monitors, desktops, you name it RECYCLE IT PLEASE. If you are not sure how or where to get on the internet and search for “local recycling”. It is so easy and beneficial to the next generation and so on and so on. You don’t necessarily have to learn how to get rid of old computer and make money or become a super recycler overnight but start somewhere. At least think about it and ask your local techs if they can help. I’m sure there are plenty of other nice guys out there as well.  If you are worried about your personal information getting used here’s a cool tip. Remove the hard drive from your old pc then either run a drill bit through it several times. Beat it up with a hammer or take out that old shotgun from the closet and turn that drive into something you can see through. That last one is my personal favorite btw you can make a whole day of it at the range with your kids.

Written By

I am 35 years old and the owner of a small computer repair business, I have been working in the field for over 15 years now and just as excited about tech as i was when i started.



  1. Steve

    October 20, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    I will have to do a local search for recyclers as I have a bunch of old system parts sitting in the basement that I have been meaning to get rid of. Thanks for the tip.

  2. Sabrina

    October 20, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Unfortunately, you can’t just chuck an old computer in the garbage and move on. Computers, like many electronics, contain heavy metals that pose environmental hazards when disposed of improperly.

  3. Michael

    October 22, 2012 at 8:10 am

    Yes.. this is actually the need of the hour. Every house has some waste that we are looking to get rid of but that keeps lying in some corner of our place. Reading your post, I think I’d make it a point this weekend to look out for some local services. Btw Brent.. I liked your idea of playing whole day with HD at the range. At the end of the day, either the kids will learn shooting or your Hard disk will be completely ruined… 😀 which is good in any case 🙂

  4. jerry sawyer

    October 22, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Proper recycling gives good result. In this manner, we are helping the environment as well as others. You can find additional informations in this link as well. http : // www .

  5. Kenny

    October 22, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Wonderful post, the computers has increased drastically & people are upgrading to new versions so ultimately leaving their older computers behind. Recycling computer parts is a very good initiative. computers or other electronics are a valuable source for secondary raw materials, if treated properly if not treated properly, they are a source of toxins.

  6. Thomas

    October 22, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    I think we should not simply throw our old computers just because the new updated versions has come up. We can easily recover metals like copper, aluminium, silver & more from computers. The parts are really going to be very useful if we use this in a proper way & you have provided those wonderful tips.

  7. Luis

    October 24, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    I am proud to say I have never completely disposed of a computer or laptop that I have owned. Like you, I love repairing or taking apart things for parts. What I can’t use I recycle. Recycling is very important, but I think its always better to find a use for things you would instead get rid of.

  8. Phil

    October 25, 2012 at 8:00 am

    Whilst there are precious metals contained within a computer/laptop there are also hazardous components that will require specialist treatment, which is another reason why not to discard them into the trash. You should also ensure that data is removed/hard drive destroyed as you recycle or reuse equipment.

  9. kimwillson894

    October 30, 2012 at 5:59 am

    Here am reading very rare articles. i feel very happy to read this kind of articles. Am totally agreed with this, there are lot of E-pollution will be increasing by the old computers not selling, this causes to harmful to humans. So don’t waste your old computers buy the new computers with that old computers.

  10. Michael

    February 3, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Computer parts are somehow need to reuse like collecting the parts that still functioning. You can sell some of the reamining at any Junk Shops.

  11. alan

    February 11, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Recycling is essential (when done ethicaland in a legally compliant way). However the word “recycle” seems to occupy such a righteous space these days no other options are considered when computers and other bits of IT kit are no longer wanted. It doesn’t seem to occur to many that “end of life”, for IT Kit, for the most part means end of life in your company not necessarily the end of its life full stop. These days most pieces of electronic equipment when being replaced are fully functional being rendered “unwanted” merely by the rapid pace of technological development and shifts in fashion & style. These perfectly re usable items should not be regarded as waste. The company fleet manager would be fired pronto if he sent all of the company’s 3 year Passats to the scrap yard when the new ones arrived. We need the same mentality to apply to computer equipment, office equipment & furniture and other things too. A complete culture shift is required. Sure data and confidentiality sure can be an issue for IT Managers but this can be easily overcome by appointing the right partner to decommission, sanitize and then sell on your old kit for you.

  12. Rohit kabdwal

    March 3, 2013 at 8:13 am

    very nicely written and informative article Brent.,
    recycling is the innovative and money saving process which should be practice everyone not only in the case of computer but in the global way. there are there three principle for healthy earth namely 1. reduce 2. reuse and 3. recycle.
    you are doing a great job by telling the importance of recycle Brent.., keep it up 🙂

  13. jennifer richard

    May 14, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Nice post, Recycling of Old computers is very good task because there are lot of new computers are coming in market . so all person using latest model and configuration of computers.

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