How do I properly dispose of old computer equipment?

I’v got some old computers, monitors and printers taking up a good amount of space in my basement. I’m guessing that I’m not allowed to simply throw them out with the garbage. So, how do I get rid of this stuff?

Do they still work? A local school might be happy to take them off your hands. In high school, I had a computer engineering course where we’d take apart old computers to learn about them.

Some of the stuff probably still works. But most of it is probably too old to help kids. I know that the schools in my area are quite modernized in terms of computer equipment.

Check with your local government. LA County has a drop off center, and a couple times a year they do a toxic round up. Also, try or any of the computer websites (Dell recycles).

Your local Goodwill will take everything but the actual computers themselves. Monitors, printers, and - wait - not peripherals. No keyboards or mice.

There are a lot of locally run places that will recycle old computers, too. And they’ll take everything. If you were in my neck of the woods I’d tell you who to go to, but other than that, my suggestion is to call up the local computer shops, and ask them who’s recycling old computers and computer equipment for schools and such.

This same question occurred to me when I finally had to get rid of the Frankenstein machine last April - it, or at least, one component of it (the hard drive) had been with me since 1996, whne I started college.

It had worked okay up till April, when I booted it and discovered it was having major issues - locking on boots, error messages about the BIOS being corrupt… and , I suspect, a dead CMOS battery.

I pondered disposal options, but was ultimately persuaded to stick it in a bag and put it out for the garbage guys. They took it…

Bonfire. Or even better, have you ever seen that scene in Office Space?

try - chances are someone will want it.

I had an old Pentium 200 machine sitting around that I was considering dumping. I decided to give Linux a whirl: the machine now has two good-sized hard drives in it and is performing the duties of a file server on my home network, running Samba. Now every machine can get at the MP3s.

Maybe this isn´t your bag, but I was very pleased with the outcome.

The State of Wisconsin accepts old computer equipment, working or not, for the Department of Corrections. The inmates either fix and donate them, or dismantle them for recycling and disposal. Perhaps there’s a similar program in your area.

If you’ve got a St Vincent de Paul nearby, check with them. They seem to be pretty good at taking computer stuff.

Also, HP has a program where they’ll take dang near any chunk of hardware off your hands. There is a modest cost of $13-34 per item, but that includes shipping. You just need to box it up yourself.

Read about Retrobox a few months ago in Fortune Small Business. It sounds like a very cool business model, as well as being good for the environment.

Put a price tag of $50.00 on it and advertise it in Henrico County?