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Home > Computer Articles > How To Recycle Computers

Where To Recycle Computers

As the e-waste piles up more and more people are beginning to realize the importance of recycling computers and computer related items. If you need more information on why recycling is so important, please read about it in our articles Why Recycle Computers? and Where To Donate Old Computers. If you have additional information you feel would assist us in our recycling efforts please send them to recycle@pcbargainhunter.com.

If you already realize we must become more responsible with our electronics, then gather up your Cheap Laptops and used desktops and let's clean them up!


Nationwide Computer Recycling Locations

The following are national organizations and their recycling policies. Included is contact information where available:

Program Christina Reconnect Best Buy Staples
Free yes yes yes -
Pick-Up yes - - -
Computers yes yes yes yes
Peripherals yes yes yes yes
Consumer yes yes yes yes
Business yes yes - -

About the chart:

  • Free - It doesn't cost the consumer anything for the recycling service.
  • Pick-Up - Comes to the consumer's residence or business to collect items.
  • Computers - Desktops or laptops that are in a tower or case (not in pieces).
  • Peripherals - Printers, mice, keyboards, monitors, individual computers parts, possibly game consoles or similar items. Check with the recycler for details.

National Cristina Foundation

The National Cristina Foundation

500 West Putnam Avenue
Greenwich, Connecticut 06830
(203) 863-9100
Contact Form

This group is number one on the list because they have partners in all 50 states, cost nothing to the donator, and are completely tax deductible. What better way to make sure your computer doesn't end up in a landfill than by not throwing it way. The National Christina Foundation provides computers to people with disabilities, at risk students and disabled persons. NCF works to ensure used computer technology is given a second life and used for developing human potential. This is a grand goal that almost anyone could get behind, and it's not hard to do. Products that the NCF are looking for are:

  • Desktops - Pentium III & Higher CPUs (or alternative equivalents like AMD).
  • Laptops - Pentium III & Higher CPUs (or alternative equivalents like AMD).
  • Peripherals - Printers, Monitors, Keyboards, Cards, Modems
  • Software - Office, Operating Systems, Design Software

Hardware needing repair is considered on a case by case basis, and any software licenses available should be included in any donation.

The donation itself is made online and usually takes two weeks to complete. Once the online form is completed NCF looks for approved partners in the donator's area to connect the donated equipment too. The equipment is usually removed by the NCF partner organization, but it may be possible to arrange a drop-off. Once the equipment is picked up NCF send the donator a Donation Acknowledgement Letter for tax purposes. The letter doesn't contain the fair market value of the equipment so it is up to the donator to fill that in. Hang on to the letter and write the entire donation off. Everyone wins.


Reconnect

Reconnect

15810 Indianola Drive
Rockville, MD. 20855
(800) 741-0186
Contact Form

Reconnect is a partnership between Dell and Goodwill Industries that uses donated equipment to provide technology and training to people facing economic challenges. Specializing in individual consumer donations this group does not accept corporate donations at this time. Reconnect does not export any waste or send any environmentally sensitive material to landfills.

Reconnect accepts the following items:

  • Any brand of consumer computer equipment.
  • Most peripherals.
  • Xbox and Xbox peripherals.
  • Zune and accessories.

There are many locations available to make donations, and they can all be seen here. Although not as widely available as the National Christina Foundation, almost all Goodwill locations are a part of Reconnect and there are over 1,900 of these so finding one shouldn't be difficult. Here is their process:

  • Make sure they will take your item here.
  • Find a drop-off location here.
  • Drop off the item and get a tax deductible receipt.

Not as simple as the National Christina Foundation but if you have a Goodwill close by it could just be a quick drive up the street.


Best Buy's Recycling Program

Best Buy E-Cycle Program

P.O. Box 9312
Minneapolis, MN 55440
1-888-237-8289
More Info

The Best Buy E-Cycle program takes items purchased from anywhere, and every store in the United States has a kiosk dedicated to recycling electronics. As one of the world's largest electronics retailer Best Buy has the facilities to really make a difference in the fight for clean electronics disposal. The following items are accepted at Best Buy kiosks:

  • TV's
  • Computers
  • DVD Players
  • Computer Monitors
  • Cell Phones
  • Audio and Video Cables

The products are removed from the store and consolidated at a third parties location. From there the electronics are delivered to a recycling partner. Best Buy's partners include:

  • Electronics Recyclers International (ERI)
  • Material Processing Corporation (MPC)
  • E Structors
  • Regency Technologies
  • Environmental Field Services National (EFSN)
  • Jaco Environmental
  • Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC)

The recyclers above will determine if the products can be refurbished, repaired, or recycled. In the event an item must be recycled the electronics are dismantled and the individual materials such as metal, plastic and glass are repurposed into new products. Although this process differs from item to item disposal is always handled responsibly and each partner is inspected by Best Buy. For Best Buy's specific recycling requirements please refer to their Consumer Electronics Recycling Standards.


Staples

Staples Eco Easy Program

500 Staples Drive
Framingham, MA 01702
508-253-5000
More Info

The Staples Eco Easy Program accepts a wider variety of products than the other programs discussed here, however there may be a fee associated with the service. Dell products and small items are recycled for free, however any other item will have a fee depending on its size. A large computer monitor or the computer itself would have a recycling fee of $10.00 to be applied to shipping and handling the item. Staples accepts:

  • Computers
  • Monitors
  • Laptops
  • Printers
  • Fax Machines
  • Cell Phones

On top of the recycling program, Staples is big into eco-friendly products that use recycled material and are produced in an environmentally friendly way. Their recycling program may be lower on the list in terms of how it works, but they care about what they sell.


Recycle Through Computer Manufacturers

One of the simplest options is to use your computer manufacturer's recycling plan. Nearly all U.S. manufacturers have recycling programs.

It should be pointed out that some manufacturers will charge small fees for this service, some will give discounts or trade-ins, and several will require you to do the packing and shipping of the equipment yourself.


Online Computer Recycling Resources

If you don't want to use a computer manufacturer's program, then there are a couple very good online resources for finding a place near you that recycles computer equipment (or e-waste) responsibly.

  • Earth911.com - Search for recycling centers near you, including locations that allow for recycling computers and electronics.
  • e-Stewards Recycling Program - Lists computer recycling locations that are certified by BAN*, the Basil Action Network. BAN* ensures that these locations will not export their toxic e-waste to developing countries.
  • The EPA's Plug-In To eCycling - Information from the Environmental Protection Agency on recycling computers, TV's, and cell phones.

*Note: BAN, the Basel Action Network, only certifies electronics recyclers that have signed BAN's stewardship pledge, under which recyclers agree not to export e-waste or add it to a landfill, and to document where recycled equipment, components and materials go. Its list includes recyclers in all regions of the United States.


Companies That Offer Computer Recycling:

Below is a list of some of the major recycling companies capable of recycling computers.

Genesis Recycling (http://genesisrecycling.ca/)
Phone: (604) 533-2537
Note: Company who's capable of recycling all types of computers, printers, monitors, phones, and numerous other electronic components.

IBM PC Recycling Service (http://www.ibm.com/ibm/environment/products/)
Phone: (888) SHOP-IBM
Note: IBM can recycle any manufacturer's PCs, including system units, monitors, printers, and optional attachments for $29.99 which includes shipping.
Parts capable of recycling: any manufacturer's PC, monitors, printers, and optional attachments.

Back Thru The Future Microcomputers, Inc. (http://www.backthruthefuture.com/)
Phone: (408) 453-4511
Note: Back Thru The Future Microcomputers is one of the largest computer recyclers in the United States.

Total Reclaim (http://www.totalreclaim.com/)
Phone: (206) 343-7443
Note: Total Reclaim provides environmentally responsible asset reclamation and disposition services to the electronics industry. Total Reclaim is the Pacific Northwest's largest electronics recycler, handling 9,000,000 lbs of monitors, televisions, and other electronics in 2004.

United Recycling Industries (http://www.unitedrecycling.com/)
Phone: (800) 323-1574
Note: United Recycling is the environmentally safe disposal and recycling of commercial, industrial, military, and consumer electronic material. Parts capable of recycling: Computers and peripherals, cell phones, office, and telecommunication equipment, laboratory/medical equipment, and many other electronic materials.

E-Tech Recycling (http://www.etechrecycling.com/)
Phone:(503) 693-8939
Note: Company capable of recycling computers, monitors, telephones, and related equipment, and various other electronic items.

Intercon Solutions (http://www.interconrecycling.com/)
Phone: (888) 452-5642
Parts capable of recycling: All types of electronic equipment and material, including computers, printers, fax machines, modems, bridges, hubs, copy machines, consumer electronics, components, and various other types of plastic and metal.


Another matter to bear in mind when selecting a recycler is that many are not setup to accept a single computer at a time. Therefore, it is suggested that you contact your potential recycler prior to visiting to ensure that they can take in your equipment. If they can't, ask them if they know of another trustworthy recycler who can. Also, if you are looking for refurbished computer equipment or Cheap Laptops, then check with places that recycle computers as they often refurbish and resell computer equipment at very good prices.

Also, check out this very helpful Guide To Recycling Your Electronics.

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