According to the EPA, between the years 2000 and 2005, 250 million computers were thrown away. That’s not only enough to fill many of our landfills, but when computers are not disposed of properly, they emit many hazardous substances producing toxic waste in our environment.
As technology continues to evolve at an incredible speed, it’s easy for a two-year old computer to become irrelevant. Which makes it more important that as consumers, we understand how to get rid of computers safely.
2 Simple Ways to Get Rid of Computers Safely
There are of course many ways to dispose of old computers. If you really wanted, you can toss it in a garbage can. The purpose of this article is to discuss how to get rid of old computers safely…i.e. protecting the environment along with protecting your identity.
Here are two different ways to ensure your computer is properly recycled, in someone hands you can trust.
- Check with your city or county’s recycling program for electronic recycling days. Kane County, which includes Aurora, St. Charles, Geneva, Bartlett, and Wayne, has electronic recycling the 2nd day of every month at 540 S Randall Road in St. Charles.
- Check with your states Environmental Protection Agency for recycling programs. In Illinois, the Illinois EPA has drop sites in Chicago, Naperville, and Rockford. Each site schedules a number of days when you can drop off old computers to a trusted source.
Eliminating Data from an Old Computer | How to Dispose Old Computers Safely
Even though you’re recycling your computer with a trusted source, doesn’t eliminate the fact that there’s valuable data on your computer. While it helps to give your computer to a verified recycling program, instead of just throwing it away, you can never be entirely sure your data is safe. That’s why it’s best to still prepare your computer as if it you’re selling it–eliminating any data (social security, bank info, passwords) that would be valuable.
Here’s an article from one of my favorite websites Lifehacker, that goes into detail about preparing your computer to sell. I recently got rid of an old laptop and used their method to eliminate any private information from getting in the wrong hands.