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Recycling computers

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

So after much, much searching I found a place that takes old computers for recycling in Madison. I do not part with hazardous stuff like this easily but it was time: the computer decided that there was on operating system installed!!! Hey, who am I to argue, besides the computer was as old as my marriage... Finding a place to recycle the CPU and monitor was not easy. A few months ago, when I had to let my old laptop go, I was faced with the same long search. Finally I found that the city would take it for $10. Now, since I am thrifty, I tried one last thing: I went to the manufacturer's website and thankfully they had a free recycling program. If you have a Toshiba or Dell computer you can send it back to them for free. I wasn't this lucky this time around. We ended up paying $5 to recycle both the CPU and monitor, which was a bargain in my mind. So we drove away happy that we did the right thing once more; blah, blah, blah....

A few days later I read this article in Audubon:
http://www.audubonmagazine.org/features0805/technology.html

Apparently all these electronics are sent to developing countries and are "recycled" there in abysmal working conditions! I was pissed off to say the least! So my $5 are basically paying for the shipping of my trash to these poor countries!
What pisses me off the most is that we don't even need to reinvent the wheel to do the right thing. I mean, some European countries have already successful and safe recycling  facilities installed. All we would have to do is copy them! But no, why do that when we can just ship our crap all the way across the world? Grrrrr....

 

Anyway, here are some websites to help you find a computer recycler in your area, even though if I had a basement I would just keep my old electronics there until I trusted this whole process...

 

I don't remember which one was more helpful for me:

http://www.electronicsrecycling.org

http://www.MidwestComputerRecycling.net

http://www.epa.gov/e-cycling/donate.htm

http://www.eiae.org/

 

 

post #2 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by eris:



A few days later I read this article in Audubon:
http://www.audubonmagazine.org/features0805/technology.html

Apparently all these electronics are sent to developing countries and are "recycled" there in abysmal working conditions! I was pissed off to say the least! So my $5 are basically paying for the shipping of my trash to these poor countries!

__________

 

Last night (10/09/08) 60 Minutes TV show did a segment on the same subject.  For years I have seen still photos on piles of cell phones, old computers, used and discarded shipping bins - pile after pile.  But it never really hit me until I saw horrifying scenes of thousands of throwaway computers, toxic fluids all over the ground, and heard and saw disaster after disaster happening in real life.  Very eye opening !

post #3 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by counterstrike:
Last night (10/09/08) 60 Minutes TV show did a segment on the same subject.  For years I have seen still photos on piles of cell phones, old computers, used and discarded shipping bins - pile after pile.  But it never really hit me until I saw horrifying scenes of thousands of throwaway computers, toxic fluids all over the ground, and heard and saw disaster after disaster happening in real life.  Very eye opening !

 

Yeah, electronic waste is quite a big problem...back in college, I got to watch a few of the films on the subject from the Basel Action Network.  I definitely recommend checking them out.  It's not exactly light subject material...but it gives a great overview of e-waste dumping.

 

I also just found this video from GOOD Magazine that used some of BAN's footage:

post #4 of 27

Another option (at least for you, it doesn't solve the end of life problem) is to donate it to a local school.

 

Local schools can generally always find a use for computers - especially special education classrooms.

post #5 of 27

I try to retrofit my old computers into internet appliances that are secure and stable enough to give to people who don't need a computer except to browse the internet and email their family members. Of course, this just prolongs the computer's life and really doesn't help what happens at its 'death'.

 

I just try to recycle them when I can and hope for the best.

post #6 of 27

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi View Post

 

Another option (at least for you, it doesn't solve the end of life problem) is to donate it to a local school.

 

Local schools can generally always find a use for computers - especially special education classrooms.

 

Yes I agree with Kiwi that recycling computers can be donate to school

post #7 of 27

I love it that you found something to recycle your electronic waste..I have a suggestion as well try Houston Computer Recycle they do a good 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #8 of 27

This green company does office clearance in the UK, I'm pretty sure they would be able to recycle the computers to.

post #9 of 27

If you want to recycle your computer you can take:
In the cities there is a place for electronic waste.
Some plants recycle the materials it is made the computer, shredding, separating and getting new material.
When you buy a new product equivalent to the old, the seller is responsible for collecting the used equipment.
Donate your PC to NGOs, local associations, schools, etc

post #10 of 27

Here in California recycling the CRT monitor or any TV is free (paid for by a fee on new ones) and in the city anyway it's easy to find a place to take them.  Besides the city's own recycling program we have Green Citizen http://www.greencitizen.com/ who will take most any kind of eWaste for a very small fee.

 

On re-using be careful, older computer use way more power than new ones and often don't have any concept of 'low power mode' or sleep.  So you're keeping some heavy metals out of the dump but causing more coal to be burned and mercury to be introduced into the ocean.  You can find a new computer would be able to do the job of several older ones and still uses less power than even one.

 

Also if you have confidential information on your computer (bank accounts, passwords, photos, love letters, email, ...) - it is still there even if it won't boot up.  You can remove the hard disk and smash it with a hammer* - put it back inside and then recycle it.  This would destroy your information.

 

*Lie the drive flat, they are rectangular often with a circular portion inside the rectangle.  Take a hard pointed object like a punch and drive it through the center of the rectangle.  You don't need to pulverize the entire drive just break the disks which is not hard.

post #11 of 27

I work for a company called All Green Electronics Recycling and we recycle computers, monitors, TVs, phones, and basically anything that plugs into the wall for free. There is a small fee for data destruction fee if you need that, but other than that ... We refurbish computers if possible, and if not, we break them apart for parts and materials. Anything that can't be reused is disposed of in an environmentally-safe way.

 

We currently have locations available all over California and we'll soon be open in New York as well.

 

Totally not trying to sound like an advertiser here, I saw this post and couldn't help but throw in yet another place.

 

Other than electronics recycling places, old computers can often be donated if they are in a good working condition. I know a lot of schools are tight on money.

post #12 of 27

I am from Spain and I need to say that people here doesn´t care at all about recycling. People even don´t have different trashes in their houses.

post #13 of 27

That's scary when you think about it, but I am aware of the fact that Mediterranean countries do not have the same awareness for pollution as some other countries, e.g. Skandinavians, etc. Scary, really, but not much we can do about it.

post #14 of 27

Yes, my sister is a special needs child and giving to special education programs will help with better development.

post #15 of 27

I love recycling my computers, well all of my electronics. I have my own business and I must say that when I recycle my electronics I know that I don't have to ever worry about what I'm going to do with them and have them build up at either my business or at my house. The one place that I go when I have to recycle electronics is a place called trade 2 save. It is simply amazing. They do such amazing work there and I wanted to share this with everyone. You have to check it out.

post #16 of 27

I seen some great suggestions when it comes to donating used computer equipment. I donate mine to the local community action program, if it is reusable someone that is in need for one will end up with it. Its a win-win situation :)

 

Also, please do not forget to recycle your remanufactured toner cartridges , it is estimated that 300 million empty cartridges end up in our landfills here in the US and around the world each year. It takes up to 1,000 years for just one of these to decompose.

 

Lindenbrooke

post #17 of 27

I had a problem recently where I was trying to get rid of a old DVR. It was through Dish Network and they didn't want it back. Since it was one of their receivers/DVRs, I don't think it could be used by anyone else. I spent almost a week trying to find somewhere that would recycle it. The usual places like Best Buy weren't interested. I even called the city's municipal building but of course only got voicemails and no callbacks. (shocking!)

 

In the end, my sister-in-law had a yard sale sold it for us for $0.50. The guy said he may be able to get it to work for him.

 

Has anyone else had a similar issue?
 

post #18 of 27

I work for EZPC Recycle and we are an Orange County based company we recycle any types of electronics except appliances, We actually pay you to recycle your old junk with us. We will never charge for data destruction and the cool thing is you can view it online while it's being destroyed ROTF.gif

post #19 of 27

I work for EZPC Recycle and we are an Orange County based company we recycle any types of electronics except appliances, We actually pay you to recycle your old junk with us. We will never charge for data destruction and the cool thing is you can view it online while it's being destroyed ROTF.gif

post #20 of 27

If you live or work in New York City and are looking for a local cleaning business to remove your recycling for you, please contact us.  You can visit our website by clicking on the link.

 

We generally take our client's batteries, light bulbs and minor electronics.  We have dump off stations that handle electronic recycling. 


Edited by GreenAir - 1/22/13 at 7:08pm
post #21 of 27

Some company found recycling business not only a profitable firm but also helping out people find solution for agricultural waste and agricultural waste. recycling also helps out environment to have balance atmosphere.

post #22 of 27

This is a new reply to an old post, since it appears the discussion is still going.  Having recently written a white paper for an information-destruction company, I learned that there are essentially two recycling-company certification programs in America that are designed to prevent the dumping of ewaste into other countries. etc. They are:

 

R2 -- this one came first; it's intent is valid, but it's got problematic loopholes.

 

E-Stewards -- The Basil Action Network (BAN) (mentioned in an earlier reply) created this in response to the R2 loopholes. E-Stewards prohibits the export of e-waste for recycling and addresses an issue wherein non- working, obsolete e-waste is exported under a false “for repair” label. It prohibits federal prison system recycling operations, because in those, humans with few rights are subjected (as cheap labor) to hazardous chemicals, creating a situation in which reputable recyclers cannot compete. E-Stewards is monitored by BAN, its creator, and it includes provisions for data security.

 

Government mandates for recycling electronics have ripened the fruit for fraud. Make sure your recycler (or take-back program) is R2 certified at the very least. Better yet, use only E-Steward certified recyclers: (http://e-stewards.org).

 

post #23 of 27

Goodwill Industries will accept old computers and computer parts. They will attempt to fix them up (employing people who otherwise wouldn't be able to work) and sell them in their stores. I'm pretty sure they will accept any computer hardware whatsoever. I don't know what they do with materials they can't use, I assume they must dispose of them in a responsible way.
 

post #24 of 27

I've been running a waste management facility, recycling old computer hardware in the UK for a good number of years now (8 years total).  The UK's laws are very different to the US's, the biggest being the prohibitions placed upon landfill and export.  Unlike the US, the UK is a signatory to the Basel Convention (thank Bush Junior for that one!).  The convention prohibits the movement of hazardous wastes between continents, unless both parties enter into agreements for it. This covers the majority of computer hardware (CRTs are listed in the annex of banned wastes).  Late last year, Africa (subcontinent) produced legislation banning the import of computer related waste (including working hardware), citing the fact that when it arrives it's obsolete and not wanted (their words, not mine).  They burn the stuff in large waste tips (kids burn it as well!).  The plastics give off dioxins as they burn (carcinogens) and the lead enters the groundwater. However, even in the UK, all these treaties and laws don't stop the majority of such wastes being moved around under the radar.   It's the reason we started our company all those years ago, just to give UK businesses a viable, trace-able, ethical alternative.  However, the licensing costs and qualification costs are crippling!

post #25 of 27

Environmental Computer Recycling  have a strict policy of selling it's WEEE related products to UK based companies only.

Our 2nd user IT equipment and refurbished products are also sold to UK based companies for reuse in the 2nd user market place. This market place includes charities, schools and businesses on a tight budget and low income support families.

Our services also include data destruction for hard drives and storage media products.

post #26 of 27

It is convenient and good to recycle your computer.

post #27 of 27

Hi Ronny12

 

Our home user customers in Birmingham make use of our Free IT Recycling services by dropping off their old computer equipment to our warehouse in B32 3BU.


Hard drive data destruction is available to businesses and home users so keep this in mind when you are next looking at disposing of your old PC or Laptop.

 

Let me know if you require our services in the future.

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