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This FAQ text is copyright dslreports.com
Reproduction of all or part only with our permission..
This FAQ is edited by: KeysCapt See Profile
It was last modified on 2011-09-09 09:14:13

1.0 What is this all about?

What to do with that old PC

It's fairly well-known that there are substantial amounts of lead and other non-environmentally friendly products in computers and monitors. How do you safely dispose of old computers and other related equipment? Sure, the dump will take it, but that isn't exactly a real good idea. (Massachusetts recently made it illegal to get rid of computer monitors and televisions sets in landfills or incinerators.)

According to a 1999 report published by the National Safety Councils Environmental Health Center, by the year 2004, there will be 315 million obsolete computers in this country. That means someone is going to have to find a way to deal with the 1.2 billion pounds of lead (your monitor contains somewhere between 4 and 8 pounds of lead), 2 million pounds of cadmium, and 400,000 of mercury, not to mention the more than 1 billion pounds of plastic that are contained in more than 300 million computers.

These days there are two ways to get rid of that old PC you can donate it or recycle it.

How big a problem is this, really?

Lead can cause brain damage in children and can damage our kidneys and central nervous system. Lead can enter our drinking water by leaching from landfills, contaminating the clothes of workers at improperly regulated recycling plants, or reach our homes from crushing CRTs in landfill. Significant amounts of lead ions are dissolved from broken lead containing glass, such as the cone glass of cathode ray tubes, when mixed with acid waters that commonly occur in landfills.

About 70% of the heavy metals (including mercury and cadmium) found in landfills come from electronic equipment discards. These heavy metals and other hazardous substances found in electronics can contaminate groundwater and pose other environmental and public health risks.

What's really in my PC?

This image speaks for itself:


3.0 How can I help?

Can I recycle?

Public awareness of the health and environmental threat posed by E-waste generally and CRTs specifically is virtually non-existent. Awareness of and access to recycling opportunities for this type of waste are extremely limited.

While the manufacturers and retailers of computers and televisions that utilize CRTs have been aware of the public health and environmental threat posed by their products for some time, they have been slow to accept responsibility or to offer meaningful solutions to address the problem.

Two states, California and Massachusetts, now ban computers in landfills. And some creative businesses have jumped in with alternatives some of them very profitable.

Some computer companies including Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Gateway will take back used computers for a fee. Working equipment is donated to charitable organizations. The rest are cannibalized for parts or recyclable material.

In Framingham, Mass., Conigliaro Industries takes about 8 million pounds of plastic computer cases each year and grinds it up to make a highway patching material and building blocks made of a material like concrete, which they call Plascrete.

If it is not practical for you to find a certified recycler for your old computer or computer monitor, you can contact the local Goodwill, Salvation Army, AmVets, or other organization where you can donate the computer for resale or refurbishing. You might also contact school districts near you to see if they can use your computer. The following sites also have information about donating used computers:

Share the Technology
The Used Computer Mall

Companies that recycle Computer Parts

E-Tech Recycling (http://www.etechrecycling.com/)

Phone:(503) 693-8939 or (703) 378-5500
Fax:
(503) 693-8939 or (703) 421-4340
Address:
620 SW Wood St.
Hillsboro, OR 97123

4116-G Walney Road
Chantilly, VA 20151
Note:
Company capable of recycling computers, monitors, telephones and related equipment, and various other electronic items. Items we accept

Genesis Recycling (http://genesisrecycling.ca/)

Phone: (604) 607-1117
Fax: (604) 607-1174
Address:


300-26825 56th Avenue
Langley BC V4W 3Z9
Note: 'Wholesale' recycler not set up to accept retail recycling from individuals

IBM PC Recycling Service (http://www.ibm.com/ibm/recycle/us/)

Note: Apparently only recycling for those states with requirements. See link for info.

Intercon Solutions (http://www.interconrecycling.com/)

Phone: (888) 452-5642 or (708) 756-9838

Fax: (708) 756-4094
Address:
1001-59 Washington
11th and Washington
Chicago Heights, IL 60411
Also: Concord NC, Dallas TX, Huntsville AL, Sacramento CA, St. Louis MO, Tampa FL, Toronto ON, Vancouver BC

Parts capable of recycling:
All types of electronic equipment and material, including computers (mainframes, monitors, terminals, CPU's), printers, fax machines, modems, bridges, hubs, copy machines, consumer electronics (radios, CD players, dvd players, clocks, calculators, telephones,
cellular phones), components and various other types of plastic and metal.

Back Thru the future microcomputers, Inc. (http://www.backthruthefuture.com)

Phone: (408) 453-4511
Fax: (408) 453-4511

Address:
Refer to web page (multiple locations)
Note: Back Thru The Future Microcomputers is one of the largest computer recyclers in the United States and are a women's owned business. The company recycles microcomputers for corporations, educational
institutions, government and individuals. With millions of microcomputers being displaced each year by
newer technology, Back Thru The Future has committed itself to finding uses for this older technology and
preventing it from becoming a high tech waste.
Parts capable of recycling: All computer equipment. For corporations, educational institutions, government and individuals.

Envirocycle Inc. (http://www.enviroinc.com)

Phone: (800) 711-6010
Fax: (570)879-2008
Address:
Envirocycle, Inc.
Rt. 81 Ext. 68
PO Box 899
Hallstead, PA 18822-0899
Note: Envirocycle, Inc., a company of The Matco (Environmental Group) offers responsible asset reclamation and  disposition services to the electronics industry. In 1995 alone, Envirocycle dismantled over 465,000 monitors and 2,000,000 pounds of electronic equipment.
Parts capable of recycling: All electrical components and Monitors.

Total Reclaimwww.totalreclaim.com/)

Phone: (206) 343-7443
Fax: (206) 343-7445
Address:
Total Reclaim Inc. Seattle
2200 6th Ave. South
Seattle, WA 98134

Note: Total Reclaim provides environmentally responsible asset reclamation and disposition services to the electronics industry. Total Reclaim is the Pacific Northwest's
largest electronics recycler, handling 9,000,000 lbs of monitors, televisions, and other electronics in 2004.

United Recycling Industries (http://www.unitedrecycling.com)

Phone: (800) 323-1574
Fax: (847) 455-3232
Fax: (630) 231-6565

Address:
3700 North Runge Avenue
Franklin Park, IL 60131
1600 Harvester Road
West Chicago, IL 60185
Note: United Recycling is the disassembly and de-manufacturing operation of United Recycling Industries total asset recovery concept for environmentally safe disposal and recycling of excess, obsolete, or end of life commercial, industrial, military, and consumer electronic material.

Parts capable of recycling:
Computers and peripherals, cell phones, office and telecommunication equipment, laboratory/medical equipment, and many other electronic materials.

Free Geek Chicago (http://www.FreeGeekChicago.org)

Address:
3411 W. Diversey
Chicago, IL 60647
Phone: (773) 451 - 7130
Hours -- Friday: 10am - 3pm & Sunday: 11am - 5pm
Parts Capable of Recycling -- We accept donated computers, which we refurbish and return to use in the community. We environmentally recycle any unusable parts. We require $10 donation to recycle monitors or printers.
Note: We are a 501-C-3 registered non-profit and give a tax-deductible receipt for donations.

Newport Computer Services, Inc. (http://www.newportcomputers.com)

Phone: 603-926-4300
Address:
20 Spaulding Ave.
Rochester, NH 03868
Note: Note: Specializing in IT assets & computer recovery & recycling with safe & secure disposal of used computers & other e-waste. Quality refurbished desktop computers, laptops & other used computer parts.

Monitor dismantle



E-Tech Recycling (http://www.etechrecycling.com/)

Phone:(503) 693-8939 or (703) 421-4340
Fax:
(503) 693-8939 or (703) 421-4340

Address:
1600 NE 25th Ave Suite E
Hillsboro, OR 97124

21580 Atlantic Blvd, Suite #120
Sterling, VA 20166

Note:
Company capable of recycling computers, monitors, telephones and related equipment, and various other electronic items.

Genesis Recycling (http://genesisrecycling.ca/)

Phone: (604) 533-2537
Fax: (604) 533-2537

Address:

19632 40th  Avenue
Langley, B.C. V3A 6L7
Note: Company capable of recycling all types of computers, printers, monitors, phones, and numerous other electronic components.

IBM PC Recycling
Service
(http://www.ibm.com/ibm/environment/products)

Phone: (888)SHOP-IBM (Reference part number 06P7513)

Note: IBM can recycle any manufacturer's PCs, including system units, monitors, printers and optional attachments for $29.99 which includes shipping.
Parts capable of recycling: any manufacturer's PC, monitors, printers and optional attachments.

Intercon Solutions (http://www.interconrecycling.com/)

Phone: (888) 452-5642 or (708) 756-9838

Fax: (708) 756-4094
Address:
1001-59 Washington
11th and Washington

Chicago Heights, IL 60411
Parts capable of recycling:
All types of electronic equipment and material, including computers (mainframes, monitors, terminals, CPU's), printers, fax machines, modems, bridges, hubs, copy machines, consumer electronics (radios, CD players, dvd players, clocks, calculators, telephones, cellular phones), components and various other types of plastic and metal.

Total Reclaimwww.totalreclaim.com/)

Phone: (206) 343-7443
Fax: (206) 343-7445

Address:
Total Reclaim Inc. Seattle
2200 6th Ave. South
Seattle, WA 98134
Note: Total Reclaim provides environmentally responsible asset reclamation and disposition services to the electronics industry. Total Reclaim is the Pacific Northwest's largest electronics recycler, handling 9,000,000 lbs of monitors, televisions, and other electronics in 2004.

United Recycling Industries (http://www.unitedrecycling.com)

Phone: (800) 323-1574
Fax: (847) 455-3232
Fax: (630) 231-6565
Address:

3700 North Runge Avenue
Franklin Park, IL 60131
1600 Harvester Road
West Chicago, IL 60185
Note: United Recycling is the the disassembly and de-manufacturing operation of Untied Recycling Industries total asset recovery concept for environmentally safe disposal and recycling of excess, obsolete, or end of life commercial, industrial, military, and consumer electronic material.
Parts capable of recycling:

Computers and peripherals, cell phones, office and telecommunication equipment, laboratory/medical equipment, and many other electronic materials.


Recycling used printer ink cartridges



National Revitalization Services (http://www.natrs.com/)

Phone: (973) 275-1786

Address:
108 Baker Street
Suite 500
Maplewood, New Jersey 07040
Note: Company capable of recycling almost all non remanufactured laser and inkjet printer cartridges.

In addition to the above recommendations many printer manufacturers also have their own recycling program. Below is a list of some of the major printer companies and links to their recycling programs.

Epson recycling program

Hewlett Packard recycling program

Lexmark recycling program

Finally, some major electronic retail stores in the United States also accept used ink cartridges. Below is a listing of some of these companies.

Best Buy

Office Depot

•Office Max

Note: All info above taken from ComputerHope.com

Dell will take it back

Dell's New Recycling Program

Starting last month, (March 2003) Dell computers will make it easier for you to get rid of that old computer. Just surf over to the Online Dell Recycling Center to sign up, and Dell will arrange to have someone come to your home or office and pick up your old computer and monitor. The old computer will then be donated to charity or recycled, depending on its age and your choice. Participation in the program will cost the end user only $15 for any equipment under fifty pounds that is packed in one box.

Fifteen dollars is a small price to pay for a cleaner planet.

Find a place to donate used hardware

Here's a site where you can find nonprofit and school-based recyclers for donating working equipment less than five years old, and commercial recyclers appropriate for older or non-working equipment.

»www.techsoup.org/resources/index···products

A double-whammy disposal method

»www.keepitgreen.org/

They employ disadvantaged people to do the recycling, so you're helping out in two ways when you dispose of your outdated equipment here.

Whats Happens With Surplus That Can Actually still Be Of Value!

Understanding Surplus Computer Equipment and Their Buyers

In todays secondary grey market you will find resellers, grey marketers and wholesalers basically brokering, playing middleman, selling and buying corporate surplus technology equipment in bulk. Then there are the actual bulk liquidation buyers of large volume surplus computer and network equipment.

Surplus computer equipment usually is a manufacturer excess, overstock, and slightly obsolete inventory in huge bulk quantities that is sitting idle losing value as each day goes by. What that means for a buyer of surplus equipment, is of course discounted pricing with every volume purchase! Basically the more you buy the less the cost to you the buyer.

There was a time where these great values were only available to large volume authorized buyers, dealers, and corporate IT, MIS purchasers and buyers. Now in the secondary market if youve got the green you can flip a deal and make a bang on your buck. The sellers of surplus discounted computer hardware offer tremendous savings to resellers of volume computer equipment.

If youre even of thinking of entering the liquidation business; as the old familiar saying goes, one man's trash is another man's treasure. Volume lots of tier one manufacturer brands i.e., IBM, DELL, Gateway, Toshiba and Sony surplus equipment, volume desktop PCs, laptops, notebooks, barebones, computer systems, accessories and parts can turn a quick dollar in the liquidation marketplace. Managers in corporate America cannot run away from the dread of customer returns; merchandise must be resold and liquidated rapidly.

Well-known industry liquidators:
A-Z Computer Liquidators
Auctionbidmart
Spin Trade Exchange
Golden Surplus

Corporate companies utilize these nationwide auctioneers, liquidators and asset recovery service providers when surplus equipment needs to be removed or resold quickly. These liquidators buy high-tech hardware equipment outright and pay cash to the seller. Sometimes these products are refurbished, evaluated, tested, working and repackaged for shipment and resale at awesome discounted prices. These discount computer equipment are sold and quoted as open box products with original manufacturer packaging.

The secondary grey B2B marketplace offers retailers and manufactures a venue to sell large lots equipment quickly. Sites like Spin Trade Exchange provide manufacturers and corporate America a place to both buy and sell to interested wholesale buyers. Wholesalers compete in a bidding war allowing the seller to get a high return on their original investment. The asset recovery liquidation marketplace is a place where buyers bid and negotiate on bulk lot technology equipment. Online liquidation marketplaces have the ability to reach qualified buyers globally.

Of course liquidators like A-Z Computers sell their surplus to large volume buyers and do not deal with the general public in selling onesie twosie items. The average individual trying to sell her or his laptop should stick to the more traditional methods of resale like »www.craigslist.org, »www.sell.com and www.ebay.com. If youre a buyer interested in high-end data networking hardware be weary of slashed prices of discounted surplus equipment. When you hear the term used in the secondary marketplace it's very important to qualify the seller and the equipment they are selling.

IT equipment is often sold new out-of-the-box at liquidation prices. If you are presented for instance with a Cisco router new out of box at a 50% discounted price, this should be a huge red flag. Protect your self from vaporware product thats overseas or across country that doesnt exist and product that is counterfeit. Qualify your seller! Companies like A-Z Computers and Applied Quality Test have been around for over a decade and have developed strong, easily verified relationships. If you are a MIS, IS, IT Manger with equipment that sits idle in storage room or warehouse, understand that your equipment, like a car, as the days go on, loses its market value. You can turn a profit from idle IT equipment no longer being used by selling it to a wholesaler, liquidator of IT surplus equipment.

5.0 Suggestions

Get involved

If you truly recognize the severity of this situation, and the impact it is having on our environment and health, you can help by bringing it to the attention of any government agency or individual you have contact with.

In these days of internet dependency, rare is the legislator who does not have email access, or even a website where constituents can leave their comments. Take advantage of this and let them know we are all concerned.

Do it for your children.

Link to the Congressional Email Directory

7.0 Problems

The toughest one

As of this writing, (April '03) the biggest problem facing those who heed the warnings about "e-waste" and want to do the right thing is, it's difficult to find a solution.

There is plenty of legislative discussion occurring on this subject, but precious little action.

It seems that the most often recommended answer is recycling, but it can be difficult to locate someone who actually does recycling, and there may be fees involved. Many states are moving to restrict electronic waste in landfills, but they are not providing an alternative to those who have e-waste to dispose of.