Computer manufacturers are starting to make it easy to recycle your retired computers and peripherals. It will take a little extra work on your part, but it’s worth it wouldn’t you say?
So stop piling your old equipment in a bin in the alley or stacking it on the curb. They’ll end up in landfills or shipped to other countries where they’ll foul up the environment for years to come. Plus if you play your cards right and you’re disposing of computers of a relatively modern vintage, there’s the possibility of earning some cash back.
But before you responsibly recycle your old gear, take some precautions like completely wiping those hard drives. I don’t mean to imply that these services are shady, but you just can’t account for everyone that may come in contact with your old stuff once it leaves your hands. Most asset recovery programs will certify that the data on your drives has been wiped, but this is a step you’ll want to do in-house, especially if they stored any sort of confidential, proprietary, personal or customer data at any time.
Listed below are the computer recycling programs for the major IT brands you’re likely to be using at your office and/or home. Let’s start with the undisputed industry leader in this regard, Dell.
Dell offers free recycling to Home, Home Office, and Small Business Customers for Dell branded equipment. What if you don’t have a Dell system? If you happen to be shopping for a new Dell system and make a purchase, they’ll recycle your old PC and monitor regardless of brand for free.
If you’re a large business, things are a bit more complicated but not unmanageable. This requires you to interact with your Dell rep as part of their Asset Recovery service. They’ll help you resell your old servers and guarantee that the drives on those units have been scrubbed. If there’s no value in hardware, Dell will recycle them.
HP will see to it that your old equipment gets a new life or a recycled afterlife via a couple of programs and trade-in/up partnerships. For instance, recycling HP ink and toner cartridges is free.
HP also offers free consumer recycling for HP and Compaq branded machines. It will require that you embark on a slightly intimidating clickfest but you will emerge from it with nothing to pay out of pocket provided that you’re indeed recycling those HP and Compaq relics.
Business clients (the vast majority of you) are better off contacting their rep for info on IBM’s asset recovery programs. You’ll find that they can help tailor an arrangement that will help you properly and security dispose of your old IT gear along with the possibility of recapturing a sliver of that initial investment.
Individuals have a tougher time of it, but that’s to be expected when you have an International Business Machine in your possession. Though they have a partnership with the UPS Store, some states don’t require manufacturers to take-back their electronics at end-of-life. And while their website offers direct links to the relevant guidelines by state, there’s precious little else to be gained.