Laptop Recycling: How to Recycle Your Laptop?
“Manufacturing a desktop computer and 17-inch CRT monitor uses at least 240 kg (530 lbs) of fossil fuels, 22 kg (50 lbs) of chemicals and 1,500 kg (3,330 lbs) of water — a total of 1.8 tons (1.9 English tons) of materials — roughly the weight of a sports utility vehicle or a rhinoceros.” The time for laptop recycling is now.
E-waste is increasing rapidly as you read this, while precious resources that can be found in discarded laptops are going to waste, and our landfills are poisoning our air and our bodies. We are upgrading and purchasing new computers faster than ever, yet the country is slow to handle its e-waste responsibly. When you simply throw your laptop in the garbage, you are leaving the government and taxpayers to pick up the costs of your irresponsibility. About eighty-eight percent of laptops will go right into the landfills.
Laptop Recycling: How do they do it?
If the laptop is recycled in the United States by a reputable e-cycling plant, it will first be manually deconstructed. This is due to the abundance of hazardous substances that comprise the laptop. Laptops’ plastic casings and circuit boards are treated with brominated flame retardants. Transformers and monitors along with other devices are filled to the brim with heavy metals, like zinc, lead, chromium, and cadmium. The lighting in laptops contains mercury, along with batteries. These parts must be removed and shredded.
Rare precious metals are then extracted including nickel, gold, platinum, indium, and lithium are needed to produce personal computers, thus they have a lot of market value. They must be extracted and processed for reuse. Indium alone – which is a substance used for making flat screens has exponentially risen in value – its price has increased by six times in the past five years. It is now more expensive than silver.
Before recycling your laptop, be sure that you either destroy the hard drive or at least wipe it clean of its data. You do not want your personal information to get lost or falling into the hands of a dishonest person. Programs like DataErase and Darin’s Boot and Nuke are helpful when it comes to wiping your computer clean.
If you cannot find a responsible recycler who is in a convenient location, you can consider dropping off your laptop at Best Buy, Staples, or Office Max to be reused. Best Buy will charge you ten dollars but offer you a ten-dollar gift card, Staples and Office Max will charge a small fee. Another chain store that will accept used laptops is Goodwill – they will typically take any brand for free.
Selling a Laptop
E-waste such as laptops can be handled in a couple of ways. You could throw it out, recycle it, take it somewhere for reuse as described above or you could sell it. Selling a laptop is fairly easy these days, you can turn to Craigslist or eBay. Manufacturers may offer you the value of your old computer if you return it to them. For example, Apple will give you a gift card to the Apple Store for the value of your depreciated laptop. The laptop recycling process is growing in importance as our landfills are increasing in size. Please dispose of your computer thoughtfully.
3 Reasons You Should Recycle Your Laptop
Here we will talk about why laptop recycling is important. There are hundreds of recycling centers all over the nation willing to take your laptops and we are making it our mission to help you get them there! Keep reading to find out why recycling these devices is so important.
Recycling e-waste, like laptops, helps in lessening pollution.
E-waste of gadgets like laptops have chemicals and deadly materials that may damage the environment. The chemicals can damage the surroundings we live in. Thus, they may cause deaths of living organisms, including humans.
Recycling your old laptop can help Mother Earth. Not recycling might lead to an accumulation of unusable items that are harmful to the environment. However, recycling your old laptop can prevent the destruction of the ecosystem due to chemicals contained in your computer.
If computer recycling is not done, one of the areas to be affected is the water supply. Water is especially prone to contamination. It can then cause serious illnesses to humans.
Further, by recycling e-waste properly harvesting and over-extracting of metals is avoided. It can prevent or mitigate environmental catastrophes and destruction.
Learning how to dispose of old computers, like laptops, is part of the “electronic recycling process.” This gives importance to the idea that your laptop can be of use again. It saves energy and time, and it helps the environment a lot.
Recycling your old computer may protect your secret, private and important files and data.
Nowadays it is easy for hackers to get your personal information by using technology. With just one click they can get your data and files without you knowing it. Even though you may think you have deleted all your information stored on your old devices, there is still be a chance your information can be stolen.
In this case, you are susceptible to having another person intruding into your files and data. They might use them to perform illegal acts against you. To avoid this possible scenario, you need to learn how to recycle your old laptop properly. Then you will be free from concern that your identity and secret files may be stolen.
It is now illegal or unlawful to throw away e-waste, like laptops, so it’s better to recycle it.
Laws are being implemented against the disposal of e-waste such as laptops. This is to make sure that recyclable wastes are used again, instead of dumped in landfills. Currently, there are twenty-five states that are implementing this law.
The bottom line is that recycling your old laptop is essential. By doing so you are protecting the environment. Once you help protect the environment, you also protect life. This is important so that the next generations can still enjoy the beauty of Mother Earth. Again, recycling computer equipment is one of the things that we can do to help save Mother Earth.
How to Wipe a Laptop Before Recycling
- Backup – It will be important to migrate your data to your new laptop by using a cloud service or an external hard drive.
- De-Authorize – Go through the process of de-authorizing your devices for programs that limit your device use, such as iTunes and Adobe.
- Clean and Reset – Use software that complies with DOD standards to completely wipe your old laptop hard drive. You will find that there are reset and restore instructions for both Apple and Windows.
Where to Recycle Laptop Computers
When it comes to laptop recycling, the point is you want to keep it out of a landfill. There are several ways that you can do that. Many recycling companies will focus on reusing or properly dismantling the laptop. Click here to find an All Green Recycling Center near you.