Although we live in a world where environmental concerns have become paramount, many people do not realize the importance of correctly disposing their computers. As a result, many discarded computers end up in landfills and cause a lot of damage to the environment.
The most hazardous part of the computer is the Cathode Ray Tube in the colour monitors. Each of these monitors can contain up to four or five points of lead; also apart from the lead, computers are known to contain hazardous materials like mercury, hexavalent chromium, Selenium, Arsenic, Polybrominated flame retardants, Antimony trioxide, Cobalt and cadmium. These chemicals can cause immense damage to the soil and human beings as well. To prevent this from happening, there are a number of different steps that you can take to ensure that your PC is disposed in the best possible way.
The first option is to recycle your computer. Most countries have different laws that govern the recycling of computers, and there are a number of companies that will undertake the recycling process for a fee. Recycling is a fairly inexpensive process, and reputable companies often require you to pay a fee for pick up and collection. However, there are voluntary recycling programs that are usually set up by the local government, which have stipulated drop off locations for old PCs. If you own a pre-Pentium computer, or a broken monitor that you would like to dispose of, then recycling is the best option.
Another option to consider is a “trade-in”, where larger computer manufacturing companies allow customers to donate, trade or sell old computers. Trading in an old computer for a new one is a good way to ensure that the computer parts will not end up in landfill. Often, when you trade in your old PC, the company will give you either a discount on your new PC, or they will pay you the value of the old PC.
If recycling is not an option, and you would like to dispose of your computer, then the first thing you should do is to delete all personal information from your system. In order to do this, you may want to install software that will do it for you, and this step is crucial to prevent identity theft. Once that is done, it is a good idea to check with your local municipality or community to check if they have any measures to ensure the safe disposal of old computers. Government programs are often very effective, and will ensure that your old computer is disposed of in the best way possible.
Ian works in the IT Industry and talks about ways to dispose of your computer in a green world IT Support Bristol and IT Support Bath.