Many businesses don’t know how to properly dispose of their e-waste. They stockpile old or broken computers in a storage room indefinitely. These computers could have another lease on life by being donated or recycled. Thankfully, businesses, as well as the home user, have easy options for recycling computers.

Why recycle? The rate that computer technology is being upgraded is alarming. With prices of computers much lower than they’ve been in a decade, users can continually replace old technology with the most modern available. Thus, the number of computers in landfills is increasing at a fast pace. When decomposed, some of the dangerous chemicals, such as mercury and lead, get into the air we breathe and the water we drink.

Some components inside of the computer contain valuable resources that should not be left to sit in a garbage dump. These include tin, iron, and silicon, which can be reused after reclamation.

Consumers have more and more options for recycling e-waste. Looking for a tax break? For consumers, donating a computer to a worthy cause is often a good alternative. By donating your computer to an organization in need, these charities can use the donated machines in their education programs, job search programs, and community outreach programs.

Most consumers know little about the various take back programs offered by computer companies. These computer recycling programs are offered by most of the major companies, but vary from program to program. Some companies will take back their own brand of computers for free, but charge a small free for other brands. Others will only take back their own brand but will offer you discount on your next computer purchase as an incentive to buy their brand again.

Companies may also exchange your old computer for a new one. If the computer is still in good working condition, the manufacturer will refurbish the old machine and offer it for sale at a discounted rate. These typically come with some sort of warranty for the new owner. This program is helpful to those that may otherwise not be able to afford a computer.

Businesses have some of the same alternatives as consumers, but often they have bulk e-waste that doesn’t lend itself to the usual disposal methods. Computer manufacturers may offer bulk recycling service, but tend not to include brand names other than their own. There are third party contractors that specialize in the proper removal and disposal of bulk e-waste. Regardless of what method a company uses, they must remember that they are responsible for complying and abiding by all rules and regulations, both federal and state.

While most people recycle their household waste, they forget about recycling their e-waste. This waste is just as harmful to the environment and must be disposed of properly as well. There are many options for both consumers and researchers to dispose of their old computers in a way that is painless for them and the environment.

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