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How to Throw Away a Computer

3 min read | Feb 15, 2021

Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, you might have cleaned your house and are wondering how to dispose of old computers. We recommend erasing the data on your device and finding a nearby recycling station before getting rid of your old PC. Read this blog to learn about the best ways to dispose of old computers around the Triangle area.

Is It Safe to Recycle Old Computers? 

Yes! You can safely recycle your old computer once you restore it to factory settings. Recycling old computers offers significant environmental benefits, including conserving resources, reducing potential pollution, and saving the energy used to produce the devices! Here are a few check steps to complete before you get rid of an old computer: 

1) Reset The Computer to Factory Settings

Before you toss your computer, be sure to remove all your personally identifiable data. Even if the computer is a few years old, check to see if you can still log in to the device. After you log in, follow these steps to restore to factory settings: 

Factory Reset iOS Computers

Before you start this process, you should sign out of all iCloud accounts. To factory reset your iOS Computer: 

  1. Search for the Disk Utility in the Launchpad
  2. Open the Disk Utility
  3. Select Macintosh HD
  4. Click Erase

Factory Reset PC Computers

  1. Restart your computer and hold F8 while the restart screen loads. 
  2. Once the Advanced Boot Options menu loads, press the down key. 
  3. Select your computer preferences. 
  4. Click the Factory Image Restore option. 
  5. Choose the Reformat Hard Drive option. 
  6. Click Next

Note: this procedure is based on Dell’s step-by-step guide. 

2) Consider Your Options to Resell or Trade-In

Depending on the computer’s age and condition, you could potentially sell it online via an online marketplace or local Triangle meetup group. Also, check your local electronic stores to see if they offer a buyback or trade-in option. Some stores, such as Best Buy, allow you to check the device’s trade-in value online. 

3) Recycle Instead of Throwing It Away

If you decide that disposing of your computer is your best option, be sure to recycle it instead of throwing it away. The EPA created a list of organizations that offer electronic recycling programs so that you can dispose of your old computers without harming the environment. Be sure to check the batteries in your computer to see if you need to recycle them differently. 

Where To Recycle Old Computers in the Greater Triangle Area? 

Looking for places to get rid of electronics in the Raleigh area? Try these types of locations: 

  • Office Supply Stores (e.g. Staples)
  • Electronics Stores (e.g. BestBuy)
  • Recycling Centers

Need top-tier IT support for your business? At Benton Tech, we provide optimal IT solutions for the Greater Triangle area, including sustainable electronic solutions and more. Contact us today to hear more about our technology consulting services!