Dealing With Obsolete Computers

Schools and Goodwill stores used to be thrilled to be the recipient of a used computer. No more! Computers become obsolete so fast, that computers just a few years old can’t do much more that help in writing a letter. Computers are now a significant part of our hazardous waste stream.

The Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition estimates that the 315 million computers expected to become obsolete by the year 2004 would contain, among other hazardous wastes, 1.2 billion pounds of lead, 2 million pounds of cadmium, 400,000 pounds of mercury and 1.2 million pounds of chromium. Many municipalities ban the disposal of computer and television equipment.


  • Consider upgrading computers before throwing them out.

  • If your computer is broken, check your Yellow Pages for computer repair services and fix your existing computer before buying a new one.

  • Find a computer reseller near you by visiting the database of national retailers at Recycler’s World was established as a worldwide “trading site for information related to secondary or recyclable commodities, by-products, used and surplus items or materials.” The exchange covers used computer items, cartridge remanufacturing and recycling, computer scrap and dismantling, and recycling traders and recyclers.

  • Call your local municipality and ask about programs for obsolete computers in your area. A Massachusetts company has devised a way of melting down computer plastic and using it to fill potholes! Who knows what computer reusing entrepreneur may be living near you? RecycleNet Help Line: (519) 767-2913.

66 comments

Moosa K.
Past Member 6 months ago

I attach importance to reading this post that could make the people think. Furthermore, thanks for allowing me to comment! Laptop Repair Orlando

Laura Saxon
.3 years ago

Very good.

aj E.
aj E.3 years ago

some computer repair places might recycle old computers/parts for you.

Nimue Pendragon

I replace each part as it dies. I still have the original keyboard (after 12 years) but everything else has been replaced. I don't require a whole new state-of-the-art computer every few years, it's ridiculous.

Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton4 years ago

Thanks for the tips.

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola4 years ago

thanks for sharing

Emil Perera
Emil Perera5 years ago

some times if u clean the rams with surgical spirit it may work. try i did it and it works.
it is a interesting article

Anita B.
Anita B.5 years ago

Rather make-do and mend; even that is getting harder, why should have buy new useless items?

K s Goh
KS Goh5 years ago

Thanks for the article.

beverly g.
beverly g.6 years ago

get rid of proply.