Got an old computer hanging around? Here are the steps to recycling your computer the right way:
1. Back up your files
Back up to an external drive, use boxed software such as ShadowProtect Desktop or or a free utility such as FolderShare.
2. Wipe your hard drive clean
It’s a good idea to wipe the hard drive completely, including the operating system. You can use a number of utilities, including WipeInfo on Norton System Works, Disk-Deleter Pro or a free online utility. If you’re really paranoid, remove the hard drive, open it up, and smash the platter with a hammer. (Before you do that, read Step 3).
3. Salvage what you can
Save anything you may be able to use down the road. Hard drives, RAM modules, IDE cables, cooling fan, and optical drives are good examples of components that are easy to remove and less likely to become obsolete.
4. Locate a reputable salvage location
Check with your town’s sanitation department; some communities offer free take-back programs during the year. The EPA posts a useful list which links to company take-back programs, big-box store recyclers and local programs (www.epa.gov/epaoswer/hazwaste/recycle/ecycling/donate.htm).
5. Spread the word
Get the word out to your family, friends, co-workers and pass along useful links. See if your company will participate in a corporate take-back program.
Every little bit helps! Stay tuned for more tips on “going green” MO