It seems like over the years we have to buy new computers to keep up with the changing technology in our world.  It’s actually quite nice to always have a new machine; the problem with getting a new computer is that you have to figure out what to do with the old one.  If you are like me, then you end up with old computers in your basement just taking up space.

Should you just throw it away?  No! There are actually a few general laws that state that you shouldn’t just throw out your old electronics because they can be harmful to the environment.  In honor of “Earth Day,” which is this Thursday, I have compiled a few Eco-friendly options to disposing of your old computers properly:

1.  Reuse for parts–if you are computer savvy, it often pays to just keep the computer and reuse some of the parts to upgrade or fix other computers.

2.  Resell–if your old computer is in working condition, you would be surprised at how many people will want to buy it from you.  You can post the ad in your local classifieds.

3.  Recycle your computer–in order to help our environment, the best way to dispose of a computer is to take it to a recycle center.  They will dispose of it correctly so that it will not damage our earth.  If not recycled, your computer could end up at a landfill and the toxic material could potentially seep into our ground water.  The best place to find a recycling center near you is to navigate to http://1800recycling.com.  This website will allow you to search for a nearby center.  Most centers will take your computer for free.

One last important note concerning your computer before you dispose of it: Your computer still contains your personal information on the hard drive.  It is the only part of the computer that has security issues you need to be concerned about–this is a potential identity theft concern.  It is recommended that you destroy the hard drive or have a professional destroy the data that is deeply embedded on it.  You can destroy the drive by either exposing it to a large magnet or using a hammer to smash it.  This will protect you against possible identity theft. If you feel like you have been a victim of identity theft, contact INVISUS to lock down your computer.

Happy Earth Day!

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