Getting rid of an old or used computer is becoming a more common issue these days. Technology is progressing at such a rate that the traditional desktop computer is becoming obsolete after 4 years – or less! As a computer enthusiast, I am constantly upgrading one computer component after another and I often find my room littered with old computer parts, wondering to myself "what do I do with an old computer?"
It is illegal in several states to simply throw computer parts, or old computers, in the trash. The average color CRT monitor has about 4 pounds of lead in it. The rest of the computer is a buffet of heavy metals that can cause liver damage, kidney failure, cancer, and a host of different diseases that affect not only human beings but wildlife as well.
So what can you do with your old equipment? If it's still usable, you can donate it to a charity or to an individual. If it's broken, or so obsolete that not even a charity will take it, then look for reputable recyclers.
When you buy new equipment, check to see whether the manufacturer will accept your old equipment back for recycling. Some of the computer companies do this routinely, as do some of the phone manufacturers. Also check with your local city or county government to see if they have special electronic-equipment recycling days.
Out of frustration with this difficult problem has come some humor. In Finland, they have an annual "Mobile Phone Throwing World Championship." The Championship promoters say this is "the only sport where you can pay back all the frustrations and disappointments" that modern electronic devices have caused. The men's winner of the Seventh Annual Championship, who threw an old Nokia phone 292 feet, told the press, "I prepared by javelin throwing, I haven't really practiced throwing mobile phones." Humor aside, don't throw your old equipment around out of frustration. Give your equipment to people who can use it, whenever that's possible, and when it's not, seek out the most reputable recycling companies. Then you'll have the satisfaction of knowing you did the best you could