Hampton Roads Recycling:
FOR INFORMATION ON E-CYCLING OPPORTUNITIES, PLEASE VISIT:
LOCAL E-CYCLING RESOURCES
Dell Inc. –
Goodwill Services –
Hewlett Packard –
Home Depot –
M & W Computer Services –
Office Depot –
Parks & Rec Foundation –
Rapid Refill Ink –
Determine if your old computer can be reused. If you have a computer that is less than five years old, chances are that it can be put to good use by someone else. It works best for everyone involved if you can donate your equipment to a nonprofit or school-based refurbisher rather than directly to a charity or school, especially if you need to wipe your hard drive or are not sure of the condition of your equipment. Refurbishers will ensure that equipment passed on to nonprofits and schools is working well and runs legal copies of software. They also know how to properly dispose of non-usable parts, so-called "e-waste." Refurbishers work with newer equipment, usually Pentium-level computers or newer that can run current Internet programs. If your computer is more than five years old, it will be best to send it to a commercial recycler. For listings of refurbishers, please visit the TechSoup computer recycling listing for donors: www.techsoup.org
Recycle old and broken PC equipment. Any equipment that is not working or that is below Pentium- or Mac Power PC-level should be tagged for recycling. Recyclers are businesses or organizations that remove useful parts and then break down the rest of the materials, as we do with bottles and cans. They also safely remove hazardous materials. Note: Some of these organizations may charge a fee to accept old PC's and equipment for recycling—especially computer monitors.
Contact the refurbisher or recycler before donating. Call the organization or check for details on its Web site to ensure that it accepts the type of computer you plan to give away. Some refurbishing organizations, for example, do not accept anything older than a Pentium or Pentium II. While you may be inclined to donate equipment directly to a favorite local school or charity, refurbishers are generally better equipped to repair and upgrade computers. They then pass on ready-to-use equipment to nonprofits, schools and the low-income population at a low cost or for free.
Remember the accessories. If you can, include the keyboard, mouse, printer, modem, packaged software, or any other accessories. Schools and charitable organizations can almost always put them to good use. Most organizations only accept complete systems.
If possible, keep the operating system intact. If you are donating hardware with a pre-installed Microsoft operating system, keep in mind that the license is only valid when used on the original OEM machine on which it was first installed. Since charitable organizations usually cannot afford to purchase and license new operating systems, a legal transfer (keeping the machine and operating system together) can be very helpful. Linux and Mac operating systems have different requirements, but we urge that whenever possible, please pass on the operating system software with all donated computers.
Provide the original media and documentation. It's helpful to have the original disks, media, and documentation that came with the PC when it was purchased. Include the proof of license, which will help facilitate the legal transfer of the operating system.
If you clean your computer of personal information yourself, it's best to use some disk cleaning software to delete your Internet browser's cache, cookies, history, your e-mail contacts and messages, your documents, your recycle or trash folder, and non-transferable software. The best thing to do is to use a disk cleaning utility that overwrites data so that is unrecoverable.
Follow PC delivery instructions. Many recycling and refurbishing organizations have specific locations where a PC can be donated, while others have delivery instructions they expect donors to follow.
Keep a list of what you donated for your records. Remember that tax season will be coming up. You are very likely eligible for a tax donation if you donate to a nonprofit refurbisher. Most school or nonprofit refurbishers can provide a tax receipt upon request. Business donors can deduct the un-depreciated value of the computer, and individuals can deduct the current market value of a computer.
Plan for future donations. Save a box from the recycling bin and use it to store the documents that came with your new PC. When the time comes around to donate that PC, everything will be in one place.
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