1) Contact the manufacturer. Today, most computer manufacturers offer some sort of end-of-life disposal service for their products. If you’re unable to find someone to take your computer off your hands or your computer is in a non-functional condition, consider contacting the manufacturer for safe disposal options.

  • However, note that not all manufacturers behave equally ethically when disposing of old computers. Some ship computer waste to landfills in the developing world, where it becomes an environmental and health hazard for the local community.
  • Before handing your computer over to your manufacturer, try to research it’s ethical record with regards to computer recycling and disposal.

2) Trade your computer in when you buy a new one. Some companies, such as Dell and HP, now offer to recycle your old computer for free when you buy a new one from them.

  • If you have yet to buy your new computer and you’re interested in purchasing from the same company as before, consider this option, as it allows you to leave the process of finding a responsible means of disposal to the experts while (possibly) receiving a discount on your new computer.

3) Use a computer recycling or disposal firm. Today, many independent companies exist for the purpose of processing, recycling, and disposing of computer waste.

  • Some are philanthropic organizations, some are non-profits, and some are for-profit. Search for local companies in your area – you may be able to dispose of your computer for free or may need to pay a disposal fee, depending on which types of services are available.
  • However, note that, like computer manufacturers, some e-waste recycling and disposal companies have less-than-stellar business practices. Be a responsible consumer by researching the companies you choose for your disposal needs.
  • Make sure your computer will not end up in a landfill in China before handing it over.

4) Salvage any usable parts before disposal. Before disposing of your computer, consider whether you have any uses for the case, accessories, or any internal components.

  • For instance, if disposing of several computers of the same model, you might consider using the cases as oversize building blocks for a makeshift bookcase or wall of cubbyholes.