Never Throw in the Trash
Computers contain many metals like mercury, arsenic and lead that are harmful to human health and the environment. Never throw them in the trash because they can leach into the water and soil.
Remove Your Personal Information
Before recycling your computer or tablet, make sure you remove all sensitive and personal information from it first. Deleting files won’t do the trick; you’ll need to completely wipe your hard drive. Learn more from Brown University and Stanford.
Alternative Ways to Recycle
HP Hardware Recycling
HP accepts computer and electronics hardware from various manufacturers for free mail-in recycling. Request a mail-back label here.
Best Buy's Electronics and Appliances Recycling Program
Best Buy will recycle old computers and many other home electronics for free; they also offer a trade-in program for more desired electronics. They accept up to three items per day from each household. Find a location.
Staples' Take Back Program
Staples offers free, in-store recycling for unwanted electronics, including desktop computers, tablets, monitors, printers, and other electronics. Locate your nearest Staples.
Apple Store Gift Card
Apple runs a reuse and recycling program for unwanted iPhones, iPads, Mac or PC computers and displays. Depending on the condition of your electronics, Apple can give you credit if they have monetary value. Find out more.
Dell Reconnect Drop-Off and Mail-Back Program
Dell Reconnect will accept most computer equipment from any brand for recycling at many Goodwill drop-off locations. They also have a free mail-back program if you are recycling Dell products or wish to purchase a new Dell product. Find out more.
Microsoft Trade-In and Recycling Program
Trade in old devices, game consoles or games for Microsoft store credit or cash.
Gazelle Trade-In Program
Gazelle purchases used Apple computers, iPods, cell phones and tablets, then refurbishes or recycles them for future use. Get a quote for your item, ship it free of charge and receive payment as soon as they’ve inspected it. Find out more.
InterConnection Charitable Reuse & Recycling
Donate laptops and smartphones less than 7 years old to InterConnection’s Charitable Computer Reuse and Recycling program. Laptops must be able to turn on, and smartphones cannot have a broken screen. Hard drives will be wiped as soon as items are received. Download a free shipping label here.
Ways to Reduce
Buy Used or Refurbished
Instead of buying a brand new computer, consider buying a used or refurbished model. Most major computer retailers sell refurbished computers, such as Apple, Dell, HP, Lenovo and Best Buy. Many online stores like Amazon, eBay, Newegg and TigerDirect also sell used and refurbished devices.