Because technology is always changing, most people replace their computers every few years. This means that most people also need to figure out a way to get rid of their old computers when they upgrade.
1. Recycle It
Computers contain components that can be toxic to the environment, such as mercury and lead, which means that simply throwing your computer in the trash is not a good option. Fortunately, computers also contain materials, such as aluminum, copper and gold that are valuable to computer recycling services. Recycling your old computer allows you to dispose of your old machine in an environmentally friendly way, while also making a bit of cash.
2. Sell It
If your computer still works or even if it doesn’t work, but it still has some useful parts, you may be able to sell it. You can try selling your computer locally by using Craig’s list, taking it to a pawn shop or running an ad in the local newspaper, but you will usually get the best price by selling through an online site, such as eBay. If you are selling your machine for parts and you know how to take it apart, you might make more money by selling the parts individually. However, whichever method you chose, make sure you completely wipe your data off the disk drives before selling.
3. Donate It
If your computer has some value, but you don’t want to bother with selling it, you can donate it to a charity or thrift store. This will allow someone else who may not be able to afford to purchase a computer to get some use out of your old machine. If you want to do the most good, it may make more sense to sell your machine and then donate the money to the charity of your choice, so that they don’t have to do the legwork to get it sold.
4. Trade It in
Some electronics stores offer incentives for customers to trade in their old devices. If your computer isn’t worth enough to bother selling it or you simply don’t want to mess with it, it might make sense to trade in your old machine for a discount on the purchase of your new rig.
Whichever method you choose for disposing of your old computer, be environmentally conscious and make sure there is no data left on your machine for hackers to exploit. If you aren’t sure how to wipe your machine, a professional computer service in your area can help you.