If you have an old computer you’re not using, you might be wondering what to do with it. The short answer is: Don’t just throw it out!
Many people, once they have replaced their old PC with a newer model, simply dispose of the old machine, and it will just end up in a landfill. As we all know by now, it is always better to reuse and recycle things, instead of simply trashing them. To get a better idea on what you could do with an old computer, we spoke to an IT support company from London, called TechQuarters; they have been providing IT support services London businesses rely on for more than 10 years, and have much experience dealing with old hardware. They listed 3 recommended things to do with your PC once you are finished with it.
Before you start…
When you’re considering getting rid of an old computer, you need to take measures to ‘sanitize’ the device of your data. This is as much for your protection, because the hard drive will have a lot of your personal data on it – that data will last forever unless you take actions to deliberately wipe it from the hard drive.
The first thing to do is backup your data on another computer or external hard drive, and also transfer any software you have purchased onto another PC. One you have done this, you should restore the computer to its factory settings – this essentially removes most traces of your use on the computer. But to really sanitize the PC you should use a Disk Erasing software. This destroys every last trace of your personal data from the hard drive, meaning there is no way of anyone else retrieving it.
Once you have done all this, you can decide what to do with the PC…
1. Sell It
If the condition of your PC is still good, and its performance is reliable, you can definitely sell it on as a second-hand PC. In doing this, you will get one last return on your investment. You could sell it on eBay, Facebook Marketplace, etc.
If you PC is outdated, and therefore not likely to be wanted by anyone, you can still sell it. Consider stripping it and selling the different components. All the different hardware components may be wanted by someone else for something – whether it’s for them to use in their own PC, or even just for some amateur computer lab work.
2. Recycle It
You want to just get rid of your old PC without bothering to make any money from it. But if this is the case, you still should not just put it in the trash. Instead, you should recycle your PC. This will ensure that all the materials in your computer are being disposed of in the most ecological and economical way possible. There are usually plenty of local services who can help you recycle a PC – sometimes there are recycle centers; sometimes computer hardware chain stores will accept old PCs for recycling.
3. Donate It
If your PC is workable, but you don’t want to go through the hassle of selling it, you could always donate it. Schools are one option; most schools are happy to accept a second-hand PC so long as it is running properly; even if it isn’t very new or well-performing, they might still find use for it if they have a computer lab. Alternatively, you could consider donating it to a hospital, if it is still usable. There is also the option to donate it to a charity store, who will sell it to raise money.