Recycling Old Computer Stuff

by Carla Schroder

I live in a small town on the sparse side of Oregon. Sparse of people, anyway; there are lots of mountains, high desert, cows, deer, elk, foxes, ground squirrels, badgers, raptors of all kinds, and so on. But hardly any computer geeks, and no recycling of any kind, let alone finding a use for older computer gear.

But thanks to some cool folks at, I learned of two excellent resources for recycling or adopting out old stuff. Costco will give members a few bucks trade-in value on their old electronics, and if your stuff has no trade-in value they'll send it to a recycler at no cost to you. You don't even have to haul it farther than your door- they send you a shipping label. Visit the Costco Trade-in and Recycle Program for details. is a free community-based service for giving and getting free stuff. "It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills." If there isn't a Freecycle group in your town, it's easy to start one.

Hurrah for creative thinking and making it easier to reuse stuff!


2008-02-06 08:52:24
Outstanding Carla. I've passed on the freecycle link for our community to several friends.

Thank you and Linuxchix. This IS what open source is all about.

2008-02-06 13:50:59
If you were in Goshen, you could drop your end-of-life electronics off at our community recycling center :-)
Christopher Parker
2008-02-06 14:40:06
Let's not forget Free Geek!
2008-02-07 07:32:07
Another great resource is Earth911. It's a recycle site locator. Simply enter an item and your city and it will display locations that recycle that material in your area. It has a vast database. I've used it on many occasions.
W David
2008-02-10 10:58:07
In Canada, one can use Reboot Canada, which has chapters set up in various cities across Canada.

Reboot Canada

Caitlyn Martin
2008-02-11 18:09:24
Carla: Thanks for the links. Thanks also to those who added additional links in the comments. All very useful...
Carla Schroder
2008-02-12 15:30:08
Hi Caitlyn and everyone,

I'm going to bookmark this thread- that's a lot of good links. Thanks!

2008-02-12 21:30:35
I have had a lot of old desktop pcs. I gave up trying to sell them as a whole.

Now I sell the motherboards/CPU/Fan via eBay. Without the case they fit in boxes and are lightweight enough to keep shipping costs down (buyer pays shipping and handling) down. Memory can be sold as part of the package or individually.

What you think is junk is another persons much needed piece of electronics. On line selling isn't for everyone but it can be one way to recycle your stuff to productive use.

If you have hard drives you MUST use a program that overwrites all the data and the FREE SPACE. Just formatting a disk will NOT destroy all the data or secure what was previously deleted. When I recycle hard drives I take the screws out and sand paper the platters.

I have never found much use for the power supplies and no one seems to want them. They must sit for recycling someday/somewhere.

2008-02-14 16:56:16
The ePlace To Buy and Sell Almost Anything - LOCALLY!
sentongo Crissy
2008-04-10 06:11:48
Dear Sir/Madam,
Thank you for your work, in Uganda we have a community based organisation that is helping people with HIV/AIDS, we little funds and we need at least a computer to store and type our work. what can we do to have at least one from you? Thanks alot and God bless you

Ssentongo Crissy
Monitoring and evaluation officer

2008-06-05 17:37:08
Dell Computers Is Partnering With Goodwill to Offer Computer Recycling Services, in New Jersey, with a program they call Reconnect. The Reconnect Program is designed to help protect the environment by responsibly promoting computer recycling and reuse of computer equipment. At the same time the Reconnect program will work to connect lower income people with much needed technology products.