Almost all of us have an old computer monitor or hard drive or any number of computer cords, accessories and peripherals that we no longer use. They are taking up space and gathering dust in garages and basements and storage rooms all over the country. We don’t need them because we have newer and updated models and machines, but we still hang on to them. We might want to just put them out on the curb on garbage day, but that would be a mistake because of the danger it may pose. It may even be illegal in many jurisdictions. Instead of hanging on to these outdated computers and equipment we should properly dispose of them by recycling them. Here are five good reasons to do just that.

1. It’s better for the environment

Finding a company that will take and recycle your old computer is the best approach, for you and the environment. As noted above, it may be illegal to put your old electronics out with the trash. That’s mostly because of the fact that computers and electronics contain many chemicals and materials that are hazardous to the environment. They could even end up back in your own air and water. Recycling computer equipment when done right, removes all of the harmful chemicals and finds ways to reuse and repurpose the old computer. It may then be able to be reassigned to someone who needs one, without using up all the energy and resources to make a new one.

2. It helps protect workers in other countries

Using a professional electronics recycling organization in your own community also reduces the risk posed to workers in other countries. In the past, old computers were shipped offshore to poor countries where workers were paid very little to do dangerous work. That work was to separate out the valuable metals and components from the old computer. These would be sold for a great profit while the workers were exposed to all those harmful chemicals inside the old computers. Recycling right here in Canada helps ensure that this extraction process is handled as safely as possible. And foreign workers do not have to risk their health and their lives in the process.

3. It reduces the size of landfills

We certainly don’t need any more computers and electronics in our landfills. They are already too big and too messy in most Canadian towns and cities. In fact, getting rid of our garbage might be one of the great challenges of our times. We do not want to have large, bulky and non-decomposable items like computers to add to the toxic mix in our garbage dumps. Recycling your computer is a much better option.

4. Someone else may be able to use your computer

You don’t need that old computer, but someone else might. We change computers so often to keep up with technology that we sometimes forget that others cannot afford to do this. Many schools and community centres are using computer equipment that is so old that it barely functions. Your old computer might actually be new to them and increase their capacity and computing speed. Check with your school board and local community centre to see if they have a need.

5. It might make you a few bucks

Nobody will buy your old computer. There’s simply very little market to re-sell them. But many organizations, like schools and community organizations have programs where they match people who need computers with donors. They will not pay you cash, but many offer a tax deduction. And all of them will offer you a hearty thank you for your donation.

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