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Computer Disposal 911- Recycling old computers and printer cartridges

Wondering what to do with the old computers you’ve replaced over the years? Does your basement look like a high tech salvage shop? Well, I hit the point of “no return” this summer when I was digging for something in our basement and tripped over some junk that was stored in the “hazardous waste” section of our basement. No exaggerating, I literally had seventeen (17) years of old computer equipment stacked on top of one another.

How did it get so bad? Easy, because I had no idea what to do with it! You see, I knew that the insides of the computers and their peripherals were considered hazardous and that I couldn’t simply dispose it as garbage, but I had no idea what I should do with it. I contacted a local merchant who refurbished used computer equipment only to discover that my old inventory was simply, well, too old! Then I sent emails to a couple non-profit organizations who refurbished old computers and donated them to households who couldn’t afford computers…only to get no return emails.

So the pile got bigger and the stack higher…until I ran across a quick blurb in a magazine that mentioned Staples was collecting old computer equipment…for a fee of just $10/item (which in my case was a small fortune). I immediately called my local Staples to verify if their location was participating in the program and was delighted to hear that they were. Within the hour my son and I loaded up the SUV and was happily on the way to dispose of what would be our first load of “junk.”

Do you have your own pile of high tech junk? If so, check out your local Staples and see if they’ll take it off your hands. According to their Website, the $10 fee is for the larger items. Small items like a mouse, keyboard, or speakers is accepted at no charge. But Staples is not the only one involved in computer recycling. Other merchants that offer disposal programs for your old computers and printer cartridges include -

  • Dell – offer you an opportunity to recycle your unwanted Dell-branded products for free. They have joined with Goodwill in a number of states to accept outdated Dell computers at Goodwill locations. Plus, if you buy a new Dell desktop or notebook and select the free recycling option at the time of purchase, theywill recycle your old PC and monitor at no cost to you (even if it isn’t a Dell-branded product.). Check Their Website for the latest information on recycling and disposal of outdated computers.
  • Apple – has a program similar to Dell where you purchase any qualifying Apple computer or monitor and receive free recycling of your old computer and monitor regardless of manufacturer. You can get the details by visiting the recycling section of their website.
  • Hewlett Packard– recycles empty inkjet cartridges and Laser Jet printer cartridges for free. They’ll recycle outdated HP computers for a fee of $13-$34, depending on the item. For details check out the recycling Section of their web.
  • Walgreens – is installing inkjet refill machines in their photo labs so that you can reuse old inkjet printer cartridges. Not only are you helping the environment by recycling your old cartridges, but you’re saving money, too. In many cases, you can expect to save up to 50% of what you’re paying for new printer cartridges now. Just check to see if your local Walgreens store offers refills at this time.

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