By. Michael Condra & Lo Terry
We’ve all been there. You’re cleaning out your closet and you see it: a couple of old computers that haven’t been touched in ages. But what should you do with old computers? Should you throw them away? Or should you recycle old computers?
Neither, actually! Recycling is no longer a sufficient method of disposing waste. In fact, given the scale of the climate crisis, reuse is now the prerequisite for protecting our planet. Don’t believe us? Well, below, we’re going to show you why donating old computers is the smartest, most sustainable choice.
It’s Better Than Recycling
Okay, get ready for this: recycling computers is really not that helpful when it comes to protecting the Earth from electronic waste. According to a 2016 article by Vice Media, nearly 40% of e-waste recyclers recycled zero pounds of e-waste over two years. No, that’s not a typo. They recycled absolutely nothing.
Instead of recycling the e-waste, the vendors instead overwhelmingly sent it to landfills in places like China, Pakistan, and Ghana. Once it arrives at a landfill, the e-waste mostly just… sits there and pollutes the environment.
And we don’t mean it just makes the area around the landfill where it resides smell bad or something. Although e-waste only constitutes 2% of the physical mass of landfills, its component materials produce 70% of landfills’ toxic pollution. These heavy metals and harmful chemicals leach into the ground where they contaminate the soil and groundwater for miles around.
So, what should you do with your old computer if you want to prevent it from contributing to this problem? Donate it, of course! Donating old computers can not only reduce landfill waste and protect the environment from harmful chemicals, but it can also support families in your community. Speaking of which…
It Helps Support Your Community
It should be no surprise that we view donating refurbished computers to people in-need as an incredibly potent form of social impact. When people receive a computer, they feel empowered to uncover new opportunities online and unlock their full potential. How this manifests differs person-to-person, but the results are nothing short of spectacular. People use their newly-donated devices to pursue education, find and train for new jobs, connect with friends and family, and more.
Take Charles Montegue, an Air Force veteran and resident of Detroit, for example. He came into contact with Human-I-T during a distribution we held with Southwest Solutions back in April 2021. For Charles, receiving a laptop from Human-I-T held deep personal meaning.
“This [laptop] will help me video chat with my doctor, and also with my sons in England and Japan,” Charles said. “It’ll also let me see my grandkids clowning around. Right now, I’m trying to do it all over the phone, and it’s just not the same. [It] is a big life changer.”
By repurposing assets like computers instead of throwing them out, we discover the true potential we have to enrich people’s lives.
You Wont Have to Worry About What Happens to Your Data
It’s natural to wonder: “What happens to my old data that I can’t remove from the device I want to donate?”. Or “How can I be sure my data has been safely erased from my hard drive?”.
Don’t worry, we’re one step ahead of you.
Our professionally-trained technicians keep data security top-of-mind at all times. Additionally, our data-destruction process is compliant with the regulations of HIPAA, GLBA, FACTA, FISMA, PIPEDA and SOX. Our compliance with these laws ensure all of your data is comprehensively wiped and prevented from being accessed by people with ill intent.
In the event not all data can be destroyed, we responsibly dispose of the physical assets through an R2-certified organization.
Going forward with this knowledge, we hope you remember we at Human-I-T are here to give you the peace of mind that your donated old computer will be handled properly.