Recycling old PCs and cell phones

PC World reports that eBay has set up a recycling initiative called rethink. The web site includes organizations that will accept donations or recycle your old equipment. In the Seattle area, the Take It Back Network will accept your old equipment for reuse or recycling.

On the other hand, I have equipment so old nobody would take it.

Comments (12)
  1. Moi says:

    And in London "Community Technology" do the same kind of thing:

  2. ChipH says:

    OfficeMax had a computer recycling program (and may still have).  I recycled a PS/2 P70 microchannel "luggable" machine — they didn’t even blink.

  3. Steve says:

    a PS/2 P70 microchannel "luggable" machine

    Holy crap. I remember those! They had the swing out handle on the top. We used to put "2 Man Lift" stickers on them as a joke.

  4. Bill says:

    GoodWill Industries in Pittsburgh will accept just about any equipment. What they can not resell, they sell to scrap dealers

  5. tsrblke says:

    I really don’t like the site.  Unless I’m missing something, I can’t find anywhere to look up local organizations taking donations.  After all I’m not going to mail my stuff to California.

  6. DavidK says:


    Basically, you give stuff away to people who want or need it :) I’ve cleaned out quite a few cupboards of old computer parts this way, and you’d be surprised how many people actually want stuff (very few, but hey, any at all is surprising!).

  7. Bill Sempf says:

    I have a NeXT Cube if anyone wants it.


  8. Matt says:

    In Sunnyvale, CA, the Computer Recycling Center ( will take anything you have to donate, and will give you a receipt that can be used for tax deduction purposes!

  9. Norman Diamond says:

    For somewhere around the last 4 years or so, computers sold to individuals have to include the recycling fee in the sales price.  If you recycle a computer older than that, you have to pay the fee at the time of recycling.

    And what happens if you just stick it in a bag for non-burnable garbage where you’ve only paid the fee to dispose of some volume of non-burnable garbage, I don’t know.  I have occasionally seen stickers attached to bags of garbage where pickup was refused.

    I can’t figure out why the recycling mark is optional on computers sold to businesses.  As far as I can tell, the omission of a recycling mark doesn’t reduce the price, but just causes the standard fee to become payable at the time of recycling.

    Odds are that the fee doesn’t really accomplish much and recycling of unrecyclable components is accomplished by shipping it to India the same as was done 10 years ago.

  10. Hayden says:

    Kit too old? Oh, yes. I tried "recycling" a load of stuff on eBay, with 0.01 starting prices. I only lost about half of it.

    Mind you, there was a lot of ISA cards in there…..

  11. Merle says:

    What, nobody will want my old 16-colours-of-gray Zenith 286/12MHz laptop?  It’s got a killer 40M hard drive, and 640K of RAM…

  12. I found an even better system.  20 miles north of here there’s a computer recycling plant.  People drop off their discarded items, the plant separates and melts down the materials and sells them (i.e. plastic, metal, glass).  They have no security and alot of their stuff is just left outside.  It’s a small two-cop town so anyone can basically drive in, load up the car, and leave.  I got 4 21" viewable CRTs that do 1920×1200 in one night.

    Rather amusing, really. I used to load up, go home and test it all, and return the stuff that didn’t work the next day when I came back for the next load.

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