Monday, June 2, 2008

Don't just put old PCs out on the curb

An estimated 500,000 computers in the United States alone are considered obsolete, and the way you throw away those old computers could determine the future health of our environment.

It they are tossed out with other trash, chances are they'll eventually leak toxic chemicals such as lead, mercury and cadmium into our soil, water and even the air.

"It's really just trace amounts of these hazardous elements that are in each individual PC, but with the hundreds of millions of PCs that are being disposed of every year and with more of the them, the countless that are sitting on desktops and in homes, it's this aggregate problem of throwing all of those in a landfill that creates a real toxic hazard for us," said Jeremy Kaplan, of

Besides the computers, add mp3 players, cell phones, televisions and the like and you can see the importance of disposing of the devices properly.

You could also recycle those electronics or donate the equipment to schools or community centers, which would be a tax credit. You might even want to ask how your recycler handles recycling.

"We try and process everything here domestically so that none of it goes out to these kind of strange processing plants that we've heard about with children in China or whatnot trying to break apart old electronics to earn $5," Jazmin Hupp, of Tekserve, said.

One important note to remember about throwing away computers, make sure to either remove the hard drive before recycling or download software that will permanently delete all of your data.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency has a Web site dedicated to answering questions about donating or recycling your old computer equipment.


b79 said...

One of the solutions I’ve found that help tackle e-waste and keep existing, outdated PCs going is to go with a company called Userful. They’re huge on green computing and can use a single existing PC to power up to ten workstations at once. This is a huge way to help combat e-waste and bring outdated PCs back to life. You can find out more on this here –