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Proper Disposal Of Old PCs?

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the down-sewer-to-sea dept.

Upgrades 409

IMNTPC writes "Over the years, I've advanced from a 386DX-33 to a Celeron 1.3 Ghz system. I've slowly been accumulating enough old parts that now I think it's time to start disposing of anything that predates a Pentium 166. Does anyone know of a good place that will properly dispose/recycle of these old parts and PCs for little or no money? So far I've found pcdisposal.com, but anyone know of any others, either online or physical dropoff points in major metropolitan areas?"

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409 comments

First post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7807394)

FIRST COMMENT! I got the first post everyone!

Re:First post (-1, Offtopic)

Zero_K (606548) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807399)

Seconds behind...I feel like the fat/smelly/short/tall kid that was never picked for teams sports in elementary school

Re:First post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7807409)

Feel like? You are!

Re:First post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7807495)

Donate the computer to the terrorist cell of your choice, you dumb fuckers.

Re:First post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7807505)

>Donate the computer to the terrorist cell of your choice, you dumb fuckers.

You maen like the american talaban? [salvationarmy.org]

yo (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7807397)

give it to me =)

24 Anon St
Cowardville US.

ASK ESTEBAN (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7807400)

INTERNATION MUSIC SUPERSTAR ESTEBAN [idea-direct.com] has designed a guitar for the rest of us. Available for hands on inspection at any of the fine insturment specialist chains like K-mart or Wal-Mart.

Truly a Slashdot icon.

nmmmm pie (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7807401)

I like pie with cheese

Re:nmmmm pie (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7807466)

thats because you are FAT! I bet you can't even get out of your chair without help.

EBAY!!! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7807402)

Those suckers will buy ANYTHING!

Old run down neighborhoods are great places (5, Funny)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807404)

Just leave it out on the sidewalk and enterprising young people who are cash-strapped can build their e-empire using your old throw-aways.

It's the American Dream.

Not on the sidewalk. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7807595)

The American Dream is happening in India nowadays.

Now, IMHO, Africa wiould be a better place to donate your PC...

Merry Xmas to everyone!

Re:Old run down neighborhoods are great places (5, Interesting)

fataugie (89032) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807598)

OK, I know this is modded funny, but another true story from my past working at a local bank in the facilities dept.

We would get orders on occasion to clean out storage rooms, repo'd houses, old offices, etc. The problem was, usually there was a bunch of stuff and only one dumpster behind our headquarters. We tried the "fill the truck and cruise around and fill up some other branch's dumpster" trick, but that usually ended in shouting matches.

If we filled our dumpster, the cleaning people during the week would just toss the trash bags on the ground and make a huge mess.

What we started doing was, the big, bulky items like chairs, computers, desks, whatever....we would place one at a time on the sidewalk (we were located in an urban downtown area). The longest anything ever stayed on the sidewalk was 15 minutes. People would take anything.

It was actually a win-win for everyone, the people were happy, we were happy, the bank was happy. No one could sue (we figured we'd say the item was "stolen" off the sidewalk if they tried). This was not a sanctioned event by the bank, but they really didn't care because the task was completed (items disposed of).

So, especially if you are in an urban setting, try leaving it outside on the curb with a "take me" sign on it.

Give them to schools (4, Insightful)

rastakid (648791) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807407)

You could give your old systems away to schools and such. The schools with younger kids (up to the age of 10-12) are still able to do a lot of things with older systems, like grammar and mathematics educational games, requiring not more than MS-DOS. Of course there are enough schools with a rather big IT budget, but there also enough school who have to do it with less, is my experience. And they will really be glad with your donations.

Re:Give them to schools (1)

John Courtland (585609) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807419)

Don't forget the possible tax deductions. I don't know what you could hope to see, but donating a non-functional car to the ACF or the ALA or whatever is worth quite a bit off your taxes.

Schools don't want them (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7807428)

Licensing problems, lack of support, and a myriad of other problems plague these old computers.

They will turn you away at the parking lot, let alone allow you to drag that crap in through the front door.

Re:Schools don't want them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7807521)

How very true. It is cheaper for corporations to tell their staff "Use your old PC in case of an emergency e.g. 9-11", when handing them their new PC than to pay some middleman more $ than the actual value of the PC to recycle old PCs that are going to be rejected anyhow by the system. I've witnessed this cycle in several corps long enough to get smart about it. Once the depreciation runs out, I don't even want to know what happens to these things. Officially, if they are asked for, they can be gotten back anyhow (yeah, right)

Re:Give them to schools (4, Insightful)

Dominic_Mazzoni (125164) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807514)

You could give your old systems away to schools and such. The schools with younger kids (up to the age of 10-12) are still able to do a lot of things with older systems, like grammar and mathematics educational games, requiring not more than MS-DOS. Of course there are enough schools with a rather big IT budget, but there also enough school who have to do it with less, is my experience. And they will really be glad with your donations.

Please don't donate very old hardware to schools. Many schools have policies that require them to accept donations like this, and others might accept the computers because they don't realize how old and worthless they are (remember, the article mentioned "older than a Pentium-166").

All you're doing is shifting the disposal cost to the school, which may end up costing them more than the value of the computer itself.

Keep in mind that schools typically do not have a staff of IT people to repair computers, install software, train teachers, etc. I wouldn't argue if you wanted to take an old but perfectly working computer, load it up with educational software appropriate for a particular grade level, donate it to a specific teacher who's interested, and train him/her on how to use it. But my guess is that's not what you had in mind.

Re:Give them to schools (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7807575)

I find this a bit sad. My first computer had 1k of RAM and was a 4 Megahertz Z80 processor. With this I learned to program in basic, play games, do word puzzles to improve spelling and maths.

Why should a 166MHz machine that would have been some futuristic dream to me be any less use to kids today?

Also we had no 'IT' department at school. Mostly the kids (me and a few geek friends) maintained and set up the 2 ancient computers we had, being the only ones besides the math teacher who knew anything about them.

We are completely spoiled. You could probably run some third world goverment on a 300MHz machine that most of us would pass by lying on the street.

anyway , best Xmas regards to yall.

Re:Give them to schools (2, Informative)

RTPMatt (468649) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807528)

if your in the San Jose, CA area, RAFT [raft.net] takes donations of all types, and cleans/fixes them and sells them them back to teachers. They have a department spcifically for computers & computer related stuff. if you want to donate, or are a teacher looking for cheap classroom computers, i stongly reccomend them.

Re:Give them to schools (5, Interesting)

openmtl (586918) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807566)

As the IT person at a local school I don't automatically accept any PC and I tell staff to not drop off PCs that they get given. Why ? Many reasons.

Firstly software: Being On Microsoft Schools Agreement means that any PC will thus cost money each year in the per-PC fees EVEN IF ITS USED WITH LINUX/*BSD. Don't matter - as long as its a Pentium class PC its fee liable.

Most PCs that are handed in are slow, maybe of a motherboard brand thats not well know (meaning company gone bust so no BIOS updates) or of a unusual processor e.g. Intel in a AMD site or vis versa of uses old EDO memory (which now costs a lot to replace) or ....and it goes on.

Also the device has to be electrically tested (which costs money) and prepped with correct build (driver issues here) plus would usually have to have a optical mouse added (small kids and balled mice don't mix !) and usually a new (i.e. clean without coffee and food) keyboard. Sometimes the harddisk is just 1 Gig or so which was big a few years back but now doesn't fit our standard image (intended for 2.5 Gig or higher). We also get offered old 14 and 15 inch screens - waste of electricity and room now. I'm happy with 17inch or **flat** but not less than that.

This all takes up valuable time. Now in 3rd world and LDCs time is cheaper than parts but in any first world country time is the expensive component and taking old PCs is a false economy.

Now many companies are dumping PCs on schools: why because in the UK and EU PCs are deemed as hazardous waste and thus have expensive disposal costs. They see schools as a nice way of offloading dispoal costs. Yeh great thanks but no thanks - we have a room filled with old '386/P133s already ! Once you have one router/firewall/Nessus scanner PC then you don't need any more.

You could... (5, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807410)

... say throw linux on it [or wipe the drive] and donate it to a local school. You could post a bulletin in your local newspaper [usually you can find ways of doing this for free] and offer it for free.

I can imagine there are families out there that wouldn't consider a P166 [in working order] a "bad computer".

So I'd say as long as your older machines still work clean on up and offer it to someone needy.

That, or you could fill the thing with propane cylinders and explode it in a local abandonned quary. Make sure you tape it and post a url to your video later on!!!

Tom

Re:You could... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7807442)

rofl.. P166. Most calculators these days have more juice than that.

Get your do gooder head out of your ass. Anything less than 500MHz is headed for the junk pile.

Re:You could... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7807478)

What!? I am using a Pentium 233 on my main computer, and it works just fine.

Re:You could... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7807474)

I don't mind if someone accepts donated ancient computers to use them at home, but don't donate them to schools. A "free" 486 or slower will cost more in lost administrative time than the price of a non-free low-end Duron system which can handle current software. Don't take teachers away from kids. They will do a much better job without your trash. Just because some schools' computer labs look like computer museums doesn't mean you have to add to the misery.

Re:You could... (2)

leprasmurf (561814) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807496)

I disagree, reason being school teachers don't really need access to the computers during class time or whatnot (at least not in my old HS). I could see many uses for an old computer, hell my main computer crashed and I'm on a 150Mhz computer right now. You could put it in a student area and allow them to browse the internet behind netnanny or something. They can't cause to much trouble because the computer can't handle causing to much trouble.

There are other uses in schools, my typing class couldn't have been on much more than a glorified type writer/part time paper-weight and I learned well enough. At absolute worse the schools themselves could even give them to the less than well off students, they would know alot better than a stranger who is in need if they are any type of teacher to begin with.

Re:You could... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7807537)

Point in case is that the knowledge, the publically available support and replacement hardware for old machines is in short supply. Therefore (not just because the machine is slower as such) it takes much longer to make a 486 into something useful than it takes to do the same with a reasonably current low-end system. If a student accepts the challenge of browsing today's web on a 486, I'm all for it. There's a lot to be learned on that path. There are much better uses for a teacher's time though. Total cost of ownership isn't just a buzzword. Go visit a local school's computer lab and tell me if you still feel it's ok to donate your trash. You should properly recycle it and donate the hardware you were going to sell on ebay for $100 instead. Something's wrong if you think "dump", and then "local school" and "cheaper" cross your mind.

MOD UP (1)

Zork the Almighty (599344) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807516)

I'm sure the parent post will get modded into oblivion, seeing as how it's Christmas and people are looking for that warm fuzzy feeling.

Here are my suggestions : Convert anything with 16mb of ram or more into an X-terminal; load FreeDOS and maybe Windows 3.1 and use it for old games and legacy apps; use it to experiment with weird operating systems; if you program, test your code on it - your own impatience will improve your algorithms; attach it to some sort of household device, like a coffee maker, so you can control it over the network; make an IASD setup (irredundant array of shitty disks) and store all your important files on it;

...and last but not least : find a geek, preferably unmarried, who expresses interest in any of the preceding.

Re:You could... (1)

strike2867 (658030) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807513)

Im at college and we would be happy to take that computer. I go to UIC. We are using the old 75Mhz up to like 160 to run honeypot stuff.

Some garbage tips have a place for them. (4, Informative)

danamania (540950) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807411)

When I lived in Sydney, one of the nearby dumps had an area where old computing equipment could be left. It -claimed- to recycle these properly, but I can't vouch for the truth behind that.

There seem to be many places that will take ancient working machinery too, and use it as donation equipment - for some people, a simple 386 is heaven. In 2001 I helped shuffle some of this stuff around, and for students who had absolutely no access to a computer for doing university work at home, a 386 that could edit text was a godsend. No, it's no use for software development or comp sci courses, but for those students who do only need to type up essays and the like, a simple machine with floppy is well appreciated and more than enough. Not every college course is comp.sci or IT.

Personally, I just get a new one and push the old ones to the side. They seem to become part of the furniture [danamania.com] and I don't notice they're there any more :)

Re:Some garbage tips have a place for them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7807465)

When I lived in Sydney, one of the nearby dumps

Which one?

http://www.danamania.com/gallery/vhacks/abf

I wish :) That was my first Mac... ah, memories...

Re:Some garbage tips have a place for them. (1)

danamania (540950) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807526)

> Which one?

It wasn't far from the huge Macquarie Centre shopping complex, along the same main road I can't remember the name of. This was back in 1997 :). Lane Cove Road perhaps? It was on one of the small side roads that led off it northwards.

Re:Some garbage tips have a place for them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7807580)

LOL a 386?! do you have any idea how SLOW one of them is? I doubt it could even keep up with most peoples typing these day's!

Ebay (5, Interesting)

Killshot (724273) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807412)

I put all my old parts, working or not on ebay People are actually willing to buy them In fact I read an article a while back that NASA has been trolling Ebay for old computers to power our space shuttle.. apparently upgrading isnt as easy an option as it is for the average computer user

Valuable metals...? (1)

wrinkledshirt (228541) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807413)

I remember seeing this report on tv or the internet or somewhere that alot of the stuff inside some old motherboards contains some valuable metals that can be melted off...? Like, silver or gold or something?

I'm sorry if I've repeated an urban legend or something, but I'm positive this was legitimate...

Re:Valuable metals...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7807426)

I'm sorry if I've repeated an urban legend or something, but I'm positive this was legitimate...

Way to go contradiction-man...

Re:Valuable metals...? (1)

kastberg (726375) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807444)

This is actually rather true, i have worked at a place where you disassemble electronics, and the circuitboards, you send on to melt. there is actually rather large amounts of these valuable metals.

Re:Valuable metals...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7807471)

Once upon a time motherboards were built with high quality tantalum capacitors. These are worth salvaging; tantalum is in high demand.

Lately, the industry has moved to cheap aluminum electrolytic capacitors. These wear out and when they go, the motherboard gets flakey. Not worth salvage.

Thourgh-hole tantalum capacitors have are recognizable by their tear-drop shape. Surface mount tantalum is a bit harder to identify.

Re:Valuable metals...? (1)

teledyne (325332) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807502)

Back in the day 10MB MFM drives, and even 1GB SCSI hard drives were the size of 2 5.25" bays (full height spec). These bad boys (at the time) weighed a ton, and of course went well with those huge AT cases. Anyways, people have been known to melt these drives down and extract the gold that was used to plate the inside of the drive.

Seriously, these hard drives would make a great paperweight buy on ThinkGeek, although the shipping would obviously be a little high...

Welll..... (5, Informative)

UnCleverNickName (730102) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807420)

There's always Goodwill [goodwill.org]. They'll take it and put it up for sale for ya. I buy a lot of old Macs from there. Their pricing is a bit odd with regards to computers, the bigger the box the bigger the price, that's the way they do it here. So while I got a 600Mhz desktop for 90$ they wanted almost twice that for a huge ppro machine hehe. Oh, and don't forget your local Churches and boy & girl scout organizations - they have computer/PC merit badges and a used PC is a great way to get their feet wet!

Re:Welll..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7807437)

You're not kidding. $80 for an empty Quadra 900 with no hard drive, and sitting next to it $20 for a beige G3/300, packed with RAM and SCSI.

My gain :)

Re:Welll..... (3, Interesting)

velo_mike (666386) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807507)

There's always Goodwill.

I think this varies by area. When we left Denver for Europe 2 years ago, Goodwill wanted to pick and choose - some clothes were ok, others weren't. 3 15" monitors were unacceptable. They wouldn't take dishes but some cookware was ok, we were combining 2 houses into one and leaving the country, basically everything redundant had to go. In the end, I ended up telling Goodwill to piss off and took everything to ARC (Assoc of retarted citizens) or the battered womens shelters. Same tax right off, less headaches.

Dispose of them properly by.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7807431)

Dispose of the old parts properly by SHOVING THEM UP YOUR ASS. Fuck you ASSHOLE.

Re:Dispose of them properly by.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7807487)

Hey Goatse man, god didn't bless us all with large assholes like you.

Depends on where you live (2, Informative)

Seraphim_72 (622457) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807433)


Here in sunny Minneapolis ther are several places that will take them - my fav charges 10 cents a pound, and then they part them out and have a salvation army type store next door for the parts. I regularly dumb off my old carp, and then go shopping afterward. Managed to get some great deals on stuff and the monitor prices cant be beat -(17" for $20, 19 for $50) all good stuff too

Sera

Re:Depends on where you live (1)

Groo Wanderer (180806) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807564)

Post the name of those places please. As a Minneapolinite with way to many parts, I could use a place like that. Hell, it might even make for an entertaining article, something like 'this is what happens to your old junk'.

-Charlie

Two options (0, Troll)

SexyKellyOsbourne (606860) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807436)

You have two options: donation and recycling.

If the parts work, there's quite a few organizations that would like to ship your old components to places like West Africa for all the GN's there and so on. The trick, however, is to use it to write off some REALLY hefty tax deductions -- your old 386 is still worth the $3000 you paid for it in the eyes of the IRS :)

Links to donation places can be found here:

http://www.wastecap.org/wastecap/commodities/compu ters/compdonations.htm [microweb.com]

But if they're broken, and you don't feel like giving away dead parts to cheat taxes either, recycle them and make a few bucks. Here's a list of places:

http://www.microweb.com/pepsite/Recycle/recycle_in dex.html [microweb.com]

Actually three options (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7807500)

Take it over to the dumpster at you apartment building and dump it. I've gotten rid of car batteries that way.

Fast, and it works. Everything is just playing pretend with your friends.

Re:Two options (0, Offtopic)

rezulir (688514) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807538)

I wouldn't click on any link you posted including ones directly to the Lord Almighty you deviant prick.

Re:Two options (5, Informative)

davmoo (63521) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807549)

Sorry, but this is an urban legend and could get you in to trouble with the IRS.

The value of your old 386, when you donate it, is NOT the $3000 you originally paid for it. The value of your old 386, for tax donation purposes, is what a reasonable person would pay for it on the open market...in otherwords, maybe $20.

This applies to anything you donate that is used, not just computers. If that old junk heap of a vehicle in your front yard would only get $300 if sold, then that is its value for tax donation purposes. Giving it to the Goodwill does not allow you to write off the $17,000 purchase price when it was new. And the fact that organizations give you a blank receipt and allow you to write in your own value does not change tax law.

Will you get caught and busted for overstating the value? Probably not, unless you do it all the time. But still you should be aware of what you are doing when you put it on that tax form.

Usually here I would put the usual IANAL, but this case is different. Besides being a computer programmer, this time of year I also am a paid tax preparer with bookoo training on the subject, and my mommy works for the IRS.

major metropolitan area? (1)

cpdsaorg (733031) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807441)

Salvation Army.

Re:major metropolitan area? (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807468)

My Salvation Army stopped taking computer equipment entirely. Many goodwills are following suit as they are left holding the bag when REAL junk gets dropped off.

It costs them to have their dumpster emptied to the landfill. There is no profit in having to pay for dumpsters filled with completely unusable equipment.

The stuff I take to the goodwill is very much junk, where the best of the scroungers here would not want to look at it. It really is trash by time I'm ready to haul it off. (broken 10meg MFM drive anyone? How 'bout a cga monitor? Or a 386 board with all of the chips removed? See what I mean?)

industry barometer (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7807446)

One way to check up on the "state of the art" as practiced by the average schmo is to check out the curbside pickings. For a long time in my area, the curbside offerings were Pentium 1 machines with FX chipsets and 16K to 32K of DRAM. In the last six months things have improved. Its not uncommon to find PII 300 systems or AMD K6 300 systems with 64K or 128K. Disk drives now are now usually a respectable 4 or 5 gigs or so.

One weird thing is all the perfectly good monitors that end up in the trash. I've found two Dell Trinitron 17 inch units in the last few weeks alone. Not ragged out units but clean and in excellent working condition. I suspect the reason so many good monitors end up at the curbside is the move to flat screens.

The weeks after Christmas are a good time to keep an eye on your neighbors trash. They have to make room for their Christmas computer and the old one will end up by the curb. Happy hunting.

Re:industry barometer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7807498)

What are you, a garbage man? Try getting your face out of other people's trash for a change.

Ok ok I admit, I've done this too. Brought home an old 386-16 about 6 months ago. It worked, but had been left outside overnight already and had heaps of condensation in it. The spongy stuff on the underside of the old Seagate 40Mb HDD was all brown and mouldy. Ewwww.

Moral of the story: if you can avoid other people's trash, do so.

Re:industry barometer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7807533)

I've picked up 3 perfectly good (1-2 yr old $100~ new) VCRs out of the trash in the past year. 3!!! I keep thinking that some Jane Schmos get a shiny new platinum-colored unit and they don't need the plain black one. Strange.

Re:industry barometer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7807556)

Thanks for the tip. I'll definitely keep my eyes open. It is almost impossible to find a GOOD VCR new anymore. I was starting to despair, but your suggestion raises my optimism. Heck, you are more likely to find a GOOD VCR in someone's trash than at the local Best Buy.

Hi-Fi VCRs are especially nice for recording audio. They use FM modulation so there is no hiss or noise. When recording audio it doesn't much matter what kid of tape you use. The EP or SLP tapes speeds are fine, and you can pack 8 hours of audio on one of the T160 tapes.

There are some vintage Jazz programs on the local NPR stations and I tape them with a Hi-Fi VCR. Later I digitize them at my leisure and burn them into CD.

Yes, I know I could record directly to a PC, but taping audio to a Hi-Fi VCR is so much more convenient. And the quality of the audio is comparable to digital. Of course the VCR has to have a line-level input. There is no need for any video signal either, when taping audio. All you need to do is hook up an audio source to the audio input jacks and tape away.

Craig's List is a good place to get rid of stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7807448)

Use craigslist [craigslist.org] [craigslist.org] to get rid of pretty much ANYTHING--just make sure that you post in the nearest metro area. For those not aware, craigslist is are a set of free bulletin boards that one can post wanted ads, for sale ads, community announcements, and pretty much any other sort of bulletin--each major metropolitan area has its own craigslist board. Check out the computer section--it rocks!

Advanced Recycling Fee (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7807454)

Here in Switzerland we have an advanced recycling fee since a few years. You can bring any electronic device to anyone who sells electronic devices. They have to take it back for free, even if the stuff you bring back is older then the new recycling system. Before people were trying to evade costly recycling fees by dumping things into the wood or the like. From a consumer point of few I like this very much because it sometimes was quite difficult to find the correct place to dispose off something.

But if the device is still working or easily repaired, reuse it rather than recycle it.

The fees (German) [swico.ch]

An english overview over the system [ewaste.ch]

ads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7807457)

it's called eBay.
you'll find it under eBay.com.
they buy every piece of crap :D

You should start earlier (4, Interesting)

wackybrit (321117) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807460)

Instead of hoarding and facing this problem, you should have done something about it a long time ago. I upgrade all the time, but when I do, I always find someone to sell the old parts to, or can put them in a machine I'm building that someone buys from me on the cheap (this is how I seem to upgrade my CDRW about a billion times a year). But you need to get rid of old parts before they become old, otherwise you end up with the problem you're in now.

If you sell the parts while someone still really wants them, and will pay good money, then you remove the whole problem of disposal. (Well, technically you push it on to someone else, but that's just as good) So next time you upgrade, go out and get those benjamins! It helps you rationalize the upgrade if you can get 50% of your costs back too ;-)

Re:You should start earlier (0)

Kris_J (10111) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807489)

Your suggestion just passes the problem onto someone else. I think we can be a little nicer than that...

Several Options (1)

briansz (731406) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807464)

1) Donate to Goodwill and get a coupon you can use at their local outlet to buy more schlock

2) Donate to somebody needy

3) Scrapfest. Steel can usually be dropped off for free at scrap metal dealers. If you clean the standoffs, nuts, screws, and metal ends off the circuit boards, they should be worth about $0.75 a pound for gold recovery. If all the metal is left on, expect half that. Check the Yellow pages under Scrap Metal.

Destroy and despposal (1)

zippo01 (688802) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807477)

Destorying them, DON'T GIVE YOUR DATA UP. but have fun with it, See how long it will run as you pull it's parts out, see how long you can play Tuxracer while it slowly smolderes.

recycle tax (4, Informative)

Potor (658520) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807481)

if you live in belgium, then you can give back the parts to electronics dealers, or dispose of them ecologically soundly at a community dump. we pay a small recycling tax on all electronics over here, and that is used for disposal. ps, this post comes from a p166. merry xmas, potor

Goodwill Recycles (1)

ChuckCaves (713639) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807482)

Goodwill has a program where they use old machines/parts to train computer skills to teens. I'm not sure if it exists at all Goodwills... but I'm sure that they would take your old stuff and some of it could be eligible as a tax deduction for you.

In the UK (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7807483)

I'm in the UK and make up computers from salvaged parts. When I or other people upgrade, there's a food chain the machines move down.

Not many charitys take old machines over here (to sell) because they become liable for damage (i think).

It's always nice to see someones face light up because they've just been given a computer, even an old one, that they couldn't afford anyway

Austin Texas Info (1)

SethJohnson (112166) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807485)



In Austin, Texas, there are several solutions for disposing of these obsolete appliances. Here is a link to your
options [ecology-action.org].

I agree with the posters discouraging the donation of old computers to schools. They really aren't equipped to deal with them. If you want to see the hardware creatively 're-used' rather than recycled, perhaps you can donate it to a non-profit hacker organization like the Free Net groups in various cities.

Check with your state recycling program (3, Informative)

weave (48069) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807486)

Check with your state recycling program. For example, Delaware has a free electronics recycling drop off program. [dswa.com]

If your state doesn't have one, push your legislators to start one too. Point at Delaware as an example! It beats it ending up in a common landfill without proper handling.

Oh dear, what can the matter be? (-1, Redundant)

Doomrat (615771) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807488)

Oh dear! What can the matter be,
Three old maids got stuck in the lavatory,
They were there from Monday to Saturday,
And nobody knew they were there.

The first Old Maid was Elizabeth Bender,
She went in to fix her suspender,
It snapped back, hit her feminine gender,
And nobody knew they were there.

The second Old Maid was Old Ms. Potter,
She went in to get rid of superfluous water,
She claimed to be the Earl of Chesterfield's Daughter, And nobody knew they were there.

The third old maid was old Ms. Humpfrey,
She sat so long she couldn't get her bum free,
She said 'I don't care for I am quite comfy',
And nobody knew she was there.

Re:Oh dear, what can the matter be? (-1, Offtopic)

Doomrat (615771) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807503)

JOHNNY shant GO to THE FAYRE

Re:Oh dear, what can the matter be? (-1, Offtopic)

Doomrat (615771) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807512)

Take to the pillars, a three day party! I break the walls and kill us all with holy fingers.

You were into japanese fast food
and I dropped you off at your japanese lovers, and you went to the beach alllllll day.

You're so pretty when you're unfaithful to me!

Yo 're so p r e t t y when you're unFAITHFUL to m e ~!

This will really make you mad... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7807492)

But I ignore all the recycling stuff; I just got rid of a computer; I put it in a box, sealed it and put it out for the trashman. Boom. Its gone.

I do that for anything. I just got rid of a ton of old paint... put it in plastic trash bags. Boom. THey're gone.

That's how you get rid of stuff. I don't know about you guys, but my time is actually valuable. I guess when you're a kid with nothing to do, and you believe the crap they tell you in elementary school about "saving the environment", then you put up with nonsense like you're talking about. But for the rest of us, you just want to get rid of it as quickly as possible.

The postman may only ring once, but the trashman just does what you need him to do.

Recycling computers in Australia (1)

sbranden (471243) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807501)

Australia has an excellent network of hardware recyclers. Computerbank Australia Inc [computerbank.org.au] is a non-profit that receives donated computers and builds decent systems out of the peripherals and components, installs linux and gives the computers away to those who can not usually afford them.


I am involved with Computerbank in South Australia [linunix.com] and we are always looking for hardware. We pick it up in the metro area for free and wipe any drives using dban.

I too have been meaning to do this (2, Interesting)

aardwolf204 (630780) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807511)

I wonder how many other slashdotters have closets full of computer parts. Sometimes I think to myself that this is ridiculous. I've got 3 closets in my apartment and I refer to them as "monitors closet", "case closet" and "parts closet"... Even invested in drawers for the parts closet so I can find what I need (IDE cable, PSU, mobo) quickly.

Why, oh God why do I keep 512KB SIMMs!! Someone just steal this stuff from me!

Give it to someone who needs it (1)

mr_lithic (563105) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807530)

We have this problem as an organisation and have found a small co-operative in the East End of Glagow that takes them and refurbishes them for community groups.

When I have a computer that is looking a bit worn, I wipe the drive, reload the OS, adn give to a local group that needs it. So far, that has included a local lawn bowling club, a scout troop and a senior's home. These people don't need a fast machine. Just someone that can dial up to the internet and print newletters or raffle tickets. I get more room at home and they get the machine. Works a treat.

disposal worth more than cash (1)

psyki (653079) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807536)

Here in the Seattle area there are at least half a dozen places I know of that will either buy old crap from you or at least take it off your hands for free. If your hardware has any value at all (read: less than 3 years old) then usually you can make a few bucks or so.

Although I usually hold on to hardware well past the point of it being valuable anymore so I could care less about getting any money for old 15" CRTs or Pentiums.

I guess this did make you mad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7807540)

But I ignore all the recycling stuff; I just got rid of a computer; I put it in a box, sealed it and put it out for the trashman. Boom. Its gone.

I do that for anything. I just got rid of a ton of old paint... put it in plastic trash bags. Boom. THey're gone.

That's how you get rid of stuff. I don't know about you guys, but my time is actually valuable. I guess when you're a kid with nothing to do, and you believe the crap they tell you in elementary school about "saving the environment", then you put up with nonsense like you're talking about. But for the rest of us, you just want to get rid of it as quickly as possible.

The postman may only ring once, but the trashman just does what you need him to do.

I can't beleive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7807552)

In this day and age, we have insensitive people like you. Today, on the holiest of days, when our lord and savior was born, that you are destroying the world he (Jesus) came here to save.

No wonder the pope is old and crippled up...people like you are killing him.

Speaking of the pope, don't you think the old bag should just retire? I mean, do you think god really wants an invalid to run the most powerful religious instituion on earth?

I mean, if they got a young guy in, maybe the catholic church could actually be *relevant*. I mean, "No Birth ControL"? Who is he trying to kid? You know what you call a girl who uses the rhythm method? Pregnant. I guess the point is to knock up catholic girl to make more catholics, but everybody in the first world uses birth control. How else can you actually have fun when you bag your girlfriend without birth control.

My girlfriend and I like the pill; once you go bare, you don't want to go back. Even my girlfriend rather feel skin against skin. We are momogamous, and with the pill, we get to fuck like bunnies. Man, its sweet. No worries about condoms or the like.

Really, just sweet.

dell... (1)

smash (1351) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807545)

... apparently have a pc-recycling program, at least here in Australia.

I just noticed in one of their recent corporate brochure mail-outs, that they actually offer you a rebate on new stuff if you send them your old hardware.

Maybe worth if if you're looking to upgrade...

smash.

A similar question (2)

Monkelectric (546685) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807551)

Does anyone know how to recycle lead acid batteries? I've got a whole pile of dead cells from UPS's.

Re:A similar question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7807558)

Put them out for the trash. I just got rid of 5 old UPS's that way.

Re:A similar question (1)

hazem (472289) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807582)

In the US, most city/county governments have an office that keeps track of local recycling companies. I'd look there to see if they can point you in the right direction.

Burbank Recycle Center (1)

phalse phace (454635) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807562)

Here in Burbank, California we have the Burbank Recycle Center [burbank.ca.us]. Bring in all your old stuff and drop it off. They'll take care of the rest.

Here are the E-Waste that they'll take:

  • Cell phones
  • Computers, monitors
  • Electronic toys
  • Microwave ovens
  • Network equipment
  • Printers
  • Stereos
  • Telephones
  • Televisions
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • VCRs
  • Video games

If you have numerous computers, monitors, printers, etc., the Recycle Center can put you in direct contact with the recyclers of these products.

Freegeek in Portland, OR (2, Informative)

hazem (472289) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807567)

In Portland, OR, there is Freegeek: www.freegeek.org [freegeek.org].

They take all kinds of computer equipment. They refurbish what they can and recycle the rest with "responsible vendors" - meaning places that don't just ship it off to China.

Drop-offs are free, except for monitors, which cost $10 because of the difficulty in handling all the metals and toxic materials in monitors.

People can also volunteer there in their different programs and get "free" computers for their work.

Help the Third World (2, Informative)

Hugh Mayfield (588499) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807569)

Depending on where you are, Computer Aid International [computeraid.org] may be able to help. If you're in the Bristol/Avon or Reading areas of the UK, a great little charity called Computers for African Schools [cfas.org.uk] might be interested if the machine is at least a P75, 32MB RAM, 1GB HDD. These guys do some excellent work, refurbishing these machines and shipping them out to Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zambia. I work with them on occasion, not so much because I want to help the third world (though of course that's important) but mainly because I hate to see good machines go to waste.

386 usage (3, Insightful)

Jacek Poplawski (223457) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807571)

on 386 you can still do interesting things:

  • programming in many languages (just without visual shit^H^H^H^Hide)
  • edit documents in text editor (then compile them with LaTeX!)
  • watch picture collection
  • play NetHack


All you need is good, new monitor, because old one can be bad for your eyes. Other parts of computer are perfect to use with completly new software.

Send them to the 'third world' (1)

billsf (34378) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807579)

Nobody has mentioned what is often done here. Collect old equipment, mix and match parts until you have say thirty or more working PCs and send them to Africa or any other place that can use them. There are NGOs that will see to it they end up where they are needed.

It's your conscience what OS you use, and while they often think they want Windows, this is probably more harmful than good. It is important for people to learn how the machines work so Linux or BSD are far better choices. (Compile on your fast machine and install on the slower machines.) The i386 is more or less obsolete and also many old workstations.

In considering the operating system remember that getting even a single Internet connection in a third world village can be problematic. In the mean time a LAN will do. Some, if not all, should therefore have server capabilities. All but the poorest areas can manage to get electricity and eventually an outside connection, often by radio.

Despite all the nice pictures you see on your TV, starvation is not the problem the people behind this propaganda would want you to believe. It is unrealistic to believe any more than a tiny fraction of charity money ever makes it out of your own country. On the other hand the old PCs do and therefore that is a better charity choice.

easy... (1)

DaneelGiskard (222145) | more than 10 years ago | (#7807584)

...build PC for parents, they will love it and you get a warm feeling out of it*

*only profitable if you live out of easy travel distance
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