What to do with old computers: Rejuvenate, Reuse, Refurbish, Recycle, or Replace?

I've noticed that we humans tend to develop a personal relationship with our machines. We give them names, we decorate them, and they become an important part of our daily routines. But eventually the day comes along that a machine is no longer serving its purpose and we need to move on. What can you do with that old machine? In a MaintainIT webinar on October 30th, Jean Montgomery and Jim Lynch shared some ideas, including: rejuvenate, reuse, refurbish, recycle, and replace. The webinar has been archived so you can check that out if you weren't able to attend.

We were lucky to have TechSoup's Jim Lynch on hand to share his expertise. He's a computer refurbishing and recycling guru and directed us to various resources that I did not even know existed. Here are links to the sites he mentioned:

Community Microsoft Authorized Refurbishers http://www.techsoup.org/mar/marList.aspx

Hardware recyclers http://www.techsoup.org/recycle/donate

End-of-life electronics recyclers http://www.mygreenelectronics.org/

101 uses for AOL disks http://www.earthplaza.com/aoldisks/

Electronics Takeback Campaign approved electronics recyclers http://www.computertakeback.com/the_solutions/recyclers_map.cfm

Software to wipe the hard drive, including:

DBAN: http://www.dban.org/.

Killdisk: http://www.killdisk.com/   .

Bart’s Nuke http://www.techsoup.org/learningcenter/downloads/techstructure/page8033.cfm

The webinar was based on content from the brand new MaintainIT Cookbook, Planning for Success

Thanks Jean and Jim for a great learning experience!

We have more webinars scheduled on topics from the new Cookbook. They are FREE! Register online and you will recieve a confirmation and a reminder email, too. 


hi there,

here's another resource to add to this impressive list: TechSoup's GreenTech intiative, where you'll find information on reducing paper, recycling computers, virtualization and much much more!

Be sure to visit the GreenTech Initiative in November to participate in and benefit from their reduce your paper use campaign. Look for tips, events, techniques, and shocking statistics on paper use next month.

I think its all about saving our resources and using things till they are workable.So thta rae future generations can also benefit from these natural resources and breathe fresh ail free of pollution.

Used computers are not some garbage, but they are really useable and affordable and affordable for every one.Sounds good.....

Ouch.. I have never read this post before this. If not, definitely I wouldn't have sold my P3 computer for $5. I'm have bought nearly 7 computers for last 13 years. Most of my old computers will be thrown away. Just on the last piece I sold it for $5. Now, I have better options on how to deal with old computers.

I think Computers should be made green and easy to recycle. Not all computers are easy to recycle. I still have 2 old computer (One Pentium 166) and another Pentium 3 which is still under running condition. Lack of upgrade problem for motherboard and RAM gives very limited usage for this computer. I still use it for typing and printing purpose. Now, I have better option on how to deal with my old computers instead stack them up.

I dont know what i do with my old computer, but this is sure i buy a new computer instead of solve this disgusting problem :)

Nice blog post! Yes, you can update your PC in accordance with the latest requirements of Window’s XP or Vista. Just login to Askdrtech.com, and register your requirements with their tech support team. They will remotely inspect your PC, and will assess all its requirements both hardware and software wise. Finally they will make a detailed list of all the updates that your old PC requires? The list will be sent for your approval and your system will undergo complete overhaul from ground ZERO. Within three days, you will get you old PC completed revamped to adhere with the latest Window's software’s like Vista and XP. http://www.askdrtech.com/

Maybe you could add the rubbish removal Calgary website to your list of resources there. I'm sure that they can provide proffesional help and advice when it comes to disposing of old computers. People just don't realize how much waste can electronics represent from the total of global waste.

Better to put them in museum for future reference to our grand grand children. :P

Just Kidding....We can reuse them by changing the devices, processors and mother boards. 

Thank you,


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