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How to Dispose of Old Computers

If you’ve recently purchased a new tablet, cell phone, or laptop, you’re probably still in the honeymoon stage with your tech and not thinking about how to properly throw away your old electronics. While you enjoy all the exciting features of tech’s latest innovations, you’ll soon have to face the issue of how to dispose of old computers. 

The fact is that for every tablet, laptop, and cell phone, there will come a dying day. Whether it’s because you’re ready for an upgrade, you want to live a more tech-free life, or your device breaks, at some point you’ll likely face the question: how do I dispose of an old computer, tablet, or smart device?

Here are some tips and tricks from the environmental services and recycling experts at Wall Recycling.

Picture of a person holding an old desktop computer for the article about how to dispose of old computers.

Save Important Information

Chances are you have a lot of personal information stored on your phone and laptop. Whether it’s financial and tax records, medical information, or other confidential documents and photos, sort through your files on your device to make note of what you need to preserve. 

Backup your Data

Once you know what you want to save, you can get started backing it up. There are a few different ways you can do this: 

  • Transfer your info to your new device
  • Save your information to the cloud
  • Move all of your most important information to a flash drive

Whichever option you choose, make sure to double check that your info is saved to these other sources and platforms before moving on to the next step. 

Wipe Your Hard Drive

So you’ve saved all your data and said your goodbyes, now it’s time to wipe your hard drive. This is simpler than you might think, as most operating systems come with the capacity to erase your hard drive and reset your computer to its original factory settings.

Some technology-recycling companies even offer their own data-erasing services as part of their recycling process. Ask your local recycling locations if this is available to you. 

How to Dispose of Your Old Computer 

Once you have taken care of all of the steps to ensure that your information stays safe, it’s time to figure out how to get rid of the device itself. 

The most important thing to keep in mind is that you should never throw away your computer. As of 2011, it’s actually illegal to throw away computers and televisions in North Carolina. Instead, you’ll have to take advantage of one of the following recycling options:

Donate Your Old Computer

If your computer still has some life left in it, consider donating it. You can take it to a donation center like Goodwill, or find a local organization that specializes in technology donations. 

Sell Your Old Computer

If you’re trying to turn a profit with your old computer or TV, try selling it via online platforms like Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or EBay. 

Take It to a Recycling Center

Recycling centers like Wall Recycling can take old devices off your hands responsibly. We ensure that your old computer won’t end up in a landfill, and you comply with your local technology recycling laws. 

Why You Should Recycle Old Computers 

So now you know how to dispose of old computers in North Carolina, but you might be wondering why you can’t just toss it into any nearby dumpster or leave it out on trash collection day. Here’s why it’s important to know how to dispose of an old computer:

To Keep Toxic Chemicals Out of Landfills

The inner workings of old computers might contain toxic components like arsenic and lead. If these end up in landfills and junkyards, they can seep into surrounding ecosystems, harm animals, and even affect food and water sources.

To Save Energy

When a computer is recycled, it can then be melted down to harvest certain materials, and old parts may be able to be reused. This can save precious resources: experts estimate that simply by recycling the number phones that are typically thrown away in a year, that energy could be used to power more than 24,000 homes.

Financial Rewards 

Some stores and companies offer financial incentives for turning over your old device. Whether it’s store credit or cold hard cash, it’s a nice little bonus of making the right choice for the environment. 

Call Wall Recycling Today!

Looking for a fast and easy way to responsibly dispose of an old computer? Count on Wall Recycling to safely take it off your hands and out of your way. We provide dumpster rental services, trash pickup, auto salvage, scrap metal recycling, porta potty rental, and other reclamation services to Raleigh, Apex, Asheboro, Greensboro, Wilson, Wilmington, Goldsboro, Fayetteville, Franklinton, and Durham. Don’t see your city listed? Contact us today!