Laptop Recycling: How to Recycle Your Laptop?
You’ve had your clunky laptop for many years and now it’s time for an upgrade. Once you finally pick out the perfect one, you’ll find yourself with two laptops taking up space. What do you do with the old one? That’s where laptop recycling comes in!
Laptops are becoming more and more important in our everyday lives. From business to personal, we need them for a variety of tasks. Plus, every 3-5 years, a new generation of laptops emerges that is lighter, more powerful, and more user-friendly. It’s hard to pass up.
That’s why laptop recycling plays a big part in today’s world. According to the EPA, “recycling 1 million laptops saves the energy equivalent to the electricity used by more than 3,500 U.S. homes in a year.” Most consumers also don’t know that electronics contain metals and other components that can be used to create newer products. (You can read more how that process happens here.) Or that they contain toxic materials that will harm the environment if left to sit in a landfill!
But before we get into what to do with your old laptop, you need to know how to clear it of any sensitive information. Some of the things we do online involve confidential data such us our social security number, driver license, bank account, and birthdate. We also log in to many online services with our username and password. That means, you need to make sure all confidential data moves to your new laptop before recycling.
How to Wipe a Laptop Before Recycling
Migrate all your data to your new laptop using cloud services and an external hard drive (like a USB flash drive).
Products like iTunes and Adobe limit the number of devices that can access them. You need to deauthorize your old device on these accounts before recycling. Otherwise, you might not be able to access them on your new laptop!
- Clean and Reset
Wipe the old hard drive completely with software that conforms to the DOD standard. Both Apple and Windows have reset and restore instructions to help.
After you’ve wiped your laptop clean, you’re ready to recycle!
Where to Recycle Laptop Computers
Take your laptops to a responsible recycling company that focuses on reuse or proper dismantling. You can check out our Green Directory or TIA’s E-cycling Central website to find an electronic recycling center near you.
For those in the San Francisco Bay area, you’re in luck. GreenCitizen offers free laptop recycling and will make sure your old laptop computers are safely recycled or reused. We offer convenient drop off and business pickup options so you can stay green!
If you’re not in the San Francisco Bay Area, or you don’t want the hassle of going to our Eco Center in Burlingame, you can also easily mail in your laptop to us. Check out our mail-in recycling page to know how you can do that.
For more information about how to recycle your laptop in San Francisco, feel free to call us at (650) 493-8700 or message us on our online chat today!
James Kao is the founder/CEO of GreenCitizen, which provides products and services that help make every day Earth Day. He’s passionate about data and sustainability, with a deep background in launching, funding, and managing successful tech companies. James enjoys spending quality time with his family, hiking, traveling, watching well-made documentaries, and eating good healthy food. read more »