How To Dispose Of Old Computers

Computers hold a lot of information and data about us, as well as being made from potentially hazardous materials which make disposing of them in the correct way crucial. Our expert furniture removal experts have put together a guide on how to get rid of and dispose of old computers safely, and securely. 

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Steps to take before getting rid of your computer:

If you’re looking to get rid of your old computer, you must not throw it in the bin. If you’ve got several taking up space in your house, or have just recently invested in a new one, then read on to find out how to safely dispose of old computers

1. Delete all personal information

When you get rid of your computer, no matter which disposal method you choose, you need to ensure you have removed all personal details from the hard drive. In the past, many people chose to remove the hard drive completely and destroy it, but that means the computer is unusable and therefore not suitable for donation or reselling. 

Instead, you should start by backing all of your data onto an external device. This includes logins for important websites, emails you want to keep, songs or films you’ve downloaded, and messages you want to keep. 

You can then uninstall and delete any programmes you put on your computer, taking care to remove your account from Microsoft products such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel, as well as Apple iTunes.

2. Do a factory reset

After you’re sure you’ve got all the information and documents you need from your old computer, you can restore it back to the factory settings. This means that all of your user settings are wiped and it is taken back to the state it was in when you first bought it. 

You can do this on Windows computers by going into settings, recovery, and choosing ‘reinstall Windows’ before following the on-screen instructions. For Apple products, restart your Mac and then quickly press and hold Command-R.

WEEE disposal

WEEE waste is categorised as anything with a plug, so many items in the office come under this umbrella term. Computers, television screens, printers, laptops, and fax machines all need to be disposed of in a specific manner due to the potentially hazardous nature of some of the materials used to manufacture these items. 

The regulations surrounding the disposal of WEEE products are strict and can result in businesses and individuals receiving expensive fines if they are not followed. 

Office Furniture Removal

How to recycle old laptop computers

If you’re buying a new one

When you buy a new laptop or computer in the UK, the retailer you bought it from is legally required to assist you in disposing of the computer you’re replacing. This means that they should either offer:

  1. A service where you can take your item in-store when you pick up your new computer, or
  2. An alternative collection or drop-off service

If the retailer is not able to offer these options then they are obligated to contribute towards the total cost of using your local recycling services.

In whatever capacity your chosen retailer chooses to help dispose of your old computer,  they need to have written information about the specific details of the service, how computers can be recycled, and why WEEE items need to be disposed of separately from your household waste. This could be presented through online pages, posters dotted around the store, or leaflets with purchases.

Free services

There is a free of charge service called WeeeCharity that will collect your old computers from your home and reuse them in the best way. Not only that, they will wipe your computers free of charge to make sure all personal information is removed. Your computer will either be donated to those in need if it still works well, or are disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner. 

Recycle Now has a handy search tool that shows all of the recycling schemes near you, such as: 

This is a non-profit organisation that looks to keep usable items out of landfills. It is free to sign up and you can choose to either give away your old computer or use it for a place to look for your next one! 

If your laptop computer still works, but you’re just looking to buy a newer model, then donate it to ComputerAid. This charity works to bring technology to developing countries. 

How to dispose of monitors

If you buy a new monitor from Dell, they will take away your old one and dispose of it, even if it’s from another brand. So, if you’re in the market for the latest monitor but are worried about what to do with your old one, it may be worth considering Dell. 

As well as this, most types of computer monitors can be taken to and recycled at local household recycling centres. Charity shops are also usually on the lookout for working monitors to sell so, if your one is still in good condition and sellable, contact your local store to see whether they’d be interested.

Disposing of computers in bulk

If you’re a business and are looking to get rid of a large number of broken computers, you may need to look into other options. Many household recycling centres will not allow larger vehicles, such as vans, to use the facilities as this is seen as commercial waste. 

Instead, you may want to consider hiring a professional team to dispose of these old and unwanted computers.

As part of our office clearance service, we offer office furniture removal whereby we can take away all monitors, laptops, computers, printers, and other types of WEEE waste.   

To book our furniture disposal services, or get a free no-obligation quote, get in touch with London’s leading waste removal company today.