Top 5 Ways to Reduce Electronic Waste & Repurpose Old or Damaged Computer Equipment

Jazz Marie KaurTechnical Support Specialist, Poet & Cartoonist
Computers don't hold all of the answers,
neither do I
but when a problem comes around
I'll never give up and won't hide underground
This article goes over how to properly eliminate electronic waste and provides a number of ways you can best repurpose your old computer parts rather than tossing them in the dumpster. These disposal tips can apply to individual households, small businesses, and large organizations.


In this article, I will discuss briefly options for ensuring your old computer equipment is not just thrown in the trash or improperly disposed.  Electronic waste is piling up; not just plastic pollution is ravaging our planet, and therefore we must as technology professionals (or anyone for that matter) who go through several computers, keyboards, etc. in our lifetime, not disregard the impact when disposing of electronic waste.

Option #1: Donate It  🚛⌨🖱💻

Most workplaces I have been with have used PCs for People  in Minnesota. They often donate, clean, repair stations to schools and people in need of computer equipment, or allow others who meet their eligibility requirements to buy laptops or desktops directly online. I believe they now offer help regarding low-cost internet access as well. They have expanded significantly across other states since 2015 when I was first introduced to their donation program. They were founded in 1998 though!
We would schedule for our laptops, old keyboards, mice, headsets, display cables, docking stations, and monitors to be picked up by a truck from PCs for People. Our team ensured that we erased the hard drive or Solid-State Drives (SSDs) and untagged each station along with removing them from Active Directory (AD) plus inventory system e.g. Samanage. Each station had a ticket associated with it as well as notes. Some workplaces I've come across with permission from the IT Director would even let individuals take an old, wiped station home to gift to a family member as well or bid on them. Most of these stations were out of warranty or 4-6 years of age.

Option #2: Get Cash & Credit - 💲💲💲

Aside from going to a pawn shop or used electronic shop that places an offer, sites like eBay of course, and some mobile apps allow you to auction off your old electronics and accept the highest bid. Some local flea markets may allow you to sell your electronics as well or you could even throw a garage sale in your neighborhood so local families can buy your old equipment. Some companies as I stated before hold internal department or company-wide online auctions but donate all proceeds to a charity too.

BestBuy has an older electronics program or a way to get credit towards your next purchase depending upon the condition the laptop or device was in. They also help with recycling and gauging how much your old electronic devices are. Some sites provide gift cards or credit. Additionally, mobile device providers have trade-in programs as well such as T-Mobile. Never assume something is worth absolutely nothing. Other electronic stores and competitors of BestBuy may have a trade-in system as well, not all but quite a few are out there.