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How to Recycle Old Computer Equipment

Recycling box with household recycling material

If you're wondering what to do with your old and beaten computer equipment, the kind of stuff that is essentially a useless pile of plastic and heavy metals, I stumbled across one option at my local Starbucks (which one, you ask, all of them, I think). Hewlett Packard (HP) offers a service where for a relatively small fee, they'll come by your house and pick up computer and computer-related hardware, and it doesn't even have to be HP equipment.

You can get all the details here. To get an idea of the cost, I used their estimator to price pickup on an inkjet printer, a PC with monitor, a PDA, and an old router. The total came to $98, which seems like a bargain for the environment. (Imagine if we added a small recycling fee to the upfront cost of computers and other electronic gear and then used the fee to fund a public or private recycling effort along these lines? Maybe even overcharge on the upfront fee and offer a small rebate for each item turned in? Probably smacks too much of socialism, but one can dream.)

Your local government may have a free service, funded out of taxes, so its worth checking there first. In addition, the National Safety Council maintains an Electronic Equipment Recyclers Contact List, with recycling information for each of the 51 states.