As the volume of e-waste continues to skyrocket globally, reusing, repurposing, or recycling old computers has never been more important. After all, while we all need computers for our jobs and daily activities, we also have the responsibility to effectively handle old electronics responsibly without creating more waste.
If you are unsure how to dispose of your old laptop or desktop properly, this blog post can help. Below, we’ll explore different ways you can use your old computer, from reusing it as a tool for educational activities to partnering with a specialized e-waste disposal company. Let’s get started!
Learn More About Disposing of Electronic Waste
Before you decide what to do with your old laptop, take some time to understand how and why your old electronics need to be disposed of properly.
Today, it is estimated that over 50 million metric tons of electronic waste are generated globally every year, and, in the US alone, over 112,000 computers are discarded each day. However, only around 15% of this e-waste is efficiently recycled.
What’s more, when throwing away electronics in the communal waste, you may be aggravating an already existing public health risk. Indeed, only electronics, when breaking down, release toxic materials such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and beryllium, which are dangerous for human health and other living organisms, and can pollute waters and soil.
Because of this, you should choose the best way to repurpose, recycle, or reuse your old electronics. Let’s look at how below.
Check if You Can Fix or Refurbish Your Computer
You don’t have to get rid of a broken computer just yet! With the right tools and help, you may be able to repair it. Seek out tutorials and resources online to diagnose issues yourself, or find a qualified technician. If that isn’t an option, consider purchasing replacement parts or working with online companies that take in broken electronics, refurbish them, and resell them.
Gift Your Computer to Friends or Family
If you have a friend or family member who requires an old computer, it can be a great idea to give them yours! After backing up the hard drive and erasing personal information, bring your old laptop to a technician to fix minor issues before gifting it to a loved one.
Donate Your Computer to Charity Or Local Training Schools
One of the best ways to declutter in an environmentally-friendly way is to organize a yard sale or donate your old belongings to charities. Organizations like annual computer drives collect working computers for donation to charitable causes and associations.
If you have checked with the charities in your area and you are in need of a second option, speak to local training schools. Associations that provide technology training to young students may be in need of old computers and parts to show how these machines work to pupils.
These ways of upcycling electronic waste can extend the life cycle of your old computer, reduce e-waste, and help the community as a whole.
Some Scrap Companies Will Take Electronics and Recycle Them Responsibly
If you are looking to safely and responsibly discard your old computer, get in touch with experienced scrap companies that specialize in securely disposing of and recycling electronic waste.
Make sure to use a company with high standards and look for one that follows environmentally responsible recycling practices, such as deconstructing the items rather than melting them down.
Check if Your Computer Manufacturer Runs Trade-In Programs
You may be able to trade in an old laptop or desktop computer for a discount on a new model. Major manufacturers like Dell, Apple, and HP all have trade-in programs where you can send them your old computers and get a newer device in return. It’s worth looking into before deciding what to do with your outdated machine!
Put Your DIY Skills to the Test and Create Art and Crafts Out of Your Computer’s Parts
If you are an expert DIYer, consider using your imagination to create art and crafts out of your old machine’s parts. For example, you may craft lamps, clocks, or artworks that can be used to decorate your home, office, or workshop. If you are looking for inspiration, consider checking out tutorials on YouTube or Pinterest!
Looking for More Ways To Fight Electronic Waste? Shop Second-Hand!
If you’re looking for a new laptop, tablet, or desktop computer but don’t want to create more e-waste, look no further than shopping secondhand. Not only will you save money by opting for preloved items instead of brand-new gadgets, but you’ll also know that your purchase isn’t contributing to the growing piles of discarded tech littering landfills!