Recycle a Computer

How Do I Recycle a Computer Properly?

As your system becomes outdated, it may be time to recycle your old computer and purchase a new model. Rather than simply discarding an old system, recycle a computer in a way that will protect the environment and also help those in need. We hope this page will provide any information you need in order to properly recycle a computer.

Computer Refurbishers

Refurbish computers that are less than five years old. A refurbisher will make sure that everything is working properly before passing the computer on to charities or schools. Refurbishers will also recycle computer parts on newer systems that do not function properly.

Computer Recyclers

Recycle computers that are more than five years old or that have significant hardware problems. A recycler will take the salvageable parts from your computer and will recycle computer parts that are unusable. Recycled computer parts from several machines can then be combined into a working system and are then donated to schools or charities.

Before You Recycle a Computer, You Must Securely Erase All Hard Drive Data

Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America and old hard drive data may put you at risk. A recent study of 129 old hard drives revealed more than 5,000 credit card numbers, medical correspondences, love letters, pornography, bank account information, and other confidential data. Deleting files or formatting a hard drive will not erase your data! To ensure your data is gone, use WhiteCanyon's WipeDrive before you recycle a computer. WipeDrive is approved by the US Department of Defense and is listed by various computer recycling sites.

To clean and recycle a computer, simply insert the WipeDrive CD, restart your computer, and follow the prompts. Recycle a computer with a nonprofit organization to receive a tax deduction. Individuals that recycle a computer may deduct its current market value. Businesses that recycle a computer may deduct its un-depreciated value. After wiping your hard drive, there is no need to reinstall the operating system since it will likely be reinstalled by the person receiving the computer. Instead you may also donate the operating system software when you recycle a computer and receive an additional deduction.

Remember:

  • Don't forget to recycle computer accessories such as the mouse, keyboard, modem, and printer
  • Don't forget to donate the computer owners manual and any hardware documentation that you have
  • Don't forget to either contact the computer recycling center ahead of time or follow their computer recycling procedures