With technology advancing at such a rapid pace, computers nowadays only last for a few years before they’re deemed obsolete. As new programs, apps, or games require higher specs to run, your old hardware will slowly start to be pushed out. When that happens, you’ll likely be looking to throw away your old computer and replace it with a new one. But don’t just throw it away! Computer recycling is a super helpful program that not only helps the environment but helps those in need to have the computers they need to access the internet. Read on to learn more about computer recycling!

Why You Should Recycle Your Computer

As mentioned before, recycling your computer is beneficial for multiple reasons. The first being it allows computer repair programs to be established that will take your old computers or parts and turn them into refurbished computers. These can then be given out to those who are in need, such as underfunded schools, to give them access to the internet. Another great reason to recycle your computer is to keep the components out of landfills.Computers are built with elements such as mercury, nickel, and cadmium that have a toxic effect on the environment when improperly disposed of.

How to recycle your computer.

How to Recycle Your Computer

Knowing the benefits of recycling your computer can be really motivating, but how you recycle it is also important. You’ll want to make sure you get any useful information off your hard drive beforehand and take it to the right place.

Wiping you computer.

Wiping Your Computer

Before you go ahead and take your computer to a recycling center, you’ll want to wipe the hard drive. This will clear all of your data so that it is safe to give to someone else without worrying about any information being stolen. Here’s the steps you should take to ​wipe your computer​:


1. Save your files: save any pictures/videos, documents, contacts, passwords, etc. to an external hard drive that you do not wish to have deleted.

2. Delete your files: be sure to go through and delete any sensitive files that you do not want anyone to have access to.

3. Encrypt your drives: turning on drive encryption will prevent users from easily being able to decipher your data if there is any left.

4. Deauthorize your computer: you’ll want to deauthorize your computer if you are running a program that only allows a certain amount of installs per purchase (such as Office365). This will ensure you can install the program on a new computer and run it without needing to purchase a new license.

5. Delete browsing history: browsing history can also contain sensitive usernames and passwords that you don’t want to pass on to the next user. Be sure to clear them beforehand!

6. Uninstall programs: this will help to delete any stored personal information found within those programs.

7. Wipe your hard drive: now that you’ve removed everything, perform a factory reset on your computer to ensure that no personal data remains. And there you have it! Once you perform those steps, your data will be removed from the computer and you can bring it to a recycling center.


Where can I recycle my computer?

Where Can I Recycle My Computer?

Unfortunately, you can’t just throw your old computer in the recycling bin. You’ll have to take it to a recycling center. Usually you’ll find many centers to choose from, but make sure that they try to refurbish old computers. That way your old computer can be repurposed and used by someone who needs it!If you are in or around Eugene, OR, we recommend ​NextStep Recycling​, a non profit recycling center that can refurbish your computer and get it in the hands of someone who needs it. And if you are worried about your personal data, NextStep will clear your data by using a program that adds a random series of 0’s and 1’s to all of your disks, overwriting your personal information. NextStep works with underfunded schools, persons with disabilities, children and adults in foster care, and more to help provide access to the internet with their recycled computers. They also have programs to teach computer skills to individuals to help them get better jobs.If you aren’t near NextStep, simply do a search for ‘computer recycling centers’ in your area!


Recycling broken computers.

Recycling Broken Computers

Recycling computers doesn’t have to be just for working ones! If you have a broken computer lying around, places like NextStep can still utilize the components to piece together a working system. No matter how banged up your computer is, it still contains useful pieces! And if things aren’t salvageable, they can then send those components to a facility that will properly recycle the material.


Recycle Your Old Computer Today!

So there you have it: how to recycle your computer! Your old computer may be obsolete for you,but it can be refurbished and repurposed for use as a computer to help teach kids online courses, help someone read their email, or even allow someone to watch a movie. And don’t forget that broken computers can be recycled as well! With your help, your old computer can be used by someone in need, helping them and also keeping harmful materials out of our landfills.