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Disposing of Old Computers

The never-ending technology lifecycle mandates replacing old computers every few years. But what happens to the old PCs after you don't want them anymore? Before you dump them, examine your responsibilities as a lawyer and possible options for safely disposing of old computers.

  • Over 90% of discarded computers are stockpiled, sent to landfills or incinerators, or exported as hazardous waste
  • The vast majority (80%) are destined for landfills
  • As much as 70% of heavy metal contamination in landfills results from improperly disposed electronics
  • About 50% of computers that are recycled could actually be reused instead 

-- Statistics from eBay's Rethink Project

Articles

Rethinking the Process of Hard-Drive Sanitizing by Fred Langa from Windows Secrets, September 2012

Disposing of Old Technology by Jeffrey Alan from GPSolo Magazine, August 2012

When the Devices are Done by Katherine Boehret, May 2012

Five Websites That Turn Your Used Electronics into Money by Jason Cipriani, February 2012

The Best Places to Trade-in Your Electronics by Suzanne Kantra, January 2012

10 Ways to Trade Your Old Electronics for Cash by Christine Erickson, January 2012


 

Links*

New! Goodwill Industries of Lower South Carolina, Inc. has a PC Recycling Center in the Charleston area. Visit their site for more information.

Amazon Trade-In Program - Trade in your unwanted electronics for an Amazon gift card.

Best Buy's Trade-In and Save Program - Trade in your old devices to save money on purchasing new versions. Best Buy will also recycle your old electronics for free.

GreenerChoices.org - A new website from Consumers Union, the people who bring us Consumer Reports magazine.

South Carolina DHEC - Office of Solid Waste Reduction and Recycling

Environmental Protection Agency

Earth 911

Gazelle - Sell your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

National Recycling Coalition

National Cristina Foundation

The Consumer Education Initiative (CEI) 

PC Recycling*

Apple Product Take-Back and Recycling

IBM Asset Recovery Solutions - Recycling and Buyback services

Dell Recycling Programs

Gateway End-of-Life Management Options      

HP Environment: Product Return and Recycling

PC Disposal.com                                                        

Intercon Solutions

*All website links are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended as an endorsement of the companies, their goods or services by the SC Bar. Contact pmap@scbar.org to report broken links.