Where Can I Recycle Computers and Laptops?

The E-Waste Problem 

“Electronic waste”, “e-waste”, “e-scrap” and “end-of-life electronics” are all words commonly used to describe used electronics that are nearing the end of their useful life and are then throw out, donated, or given to a recycler. “E-waste” is the most commonly used term for these items, and there is a growing problem of this type of waste around the world. Most e-waste is made up of personal devices such as laptops, computers, screens, smartphones, tablets and TVs. Only 17.4% of this e-waste will be recorded as being properly collected, treated and recycled. The rest of this e-waste is dealt with by being sent to landfill, burned or illegally traded and treated in a sub-standard manner. This results in the huge loss of valuable and critical raw materials from the supply chain. This causes serious health, environmental and societal issues through illegal shipments of waste to developing countries. 

In the US, approximately 416,000 cell phones each day are discarded according to the EPA. That means more than 151 million phones are thrown away every year. It’s estimated that up to 40 % of the heavy metals in U.S. landfills come from discarded electronics. Moreover, in certain states it’s even illegal to throw electronics in the trash 

However, replacing business laptops, computers, and other IT equipment is inevitable as your business works to remain competitive. It’s important therefore to find a safe, responsible method for disposing of electronics that is appropriate for you and for your business.  


IT Recycling 

Simply throwing away old electronics such as laptops and computers should be avoided at all costs. Ideally, used laptops and computers should be repaired or repurposed to the extent of their usable life. However, these can be recycled only when their components become unfunctional or unable to be upgraded to keep up with modern hardware.  

Electronic equipment contains heavy metals, so improper disposal of laptops and computers is risky as it will contribute to ground water pollution. Recycling can help reduce the amount of waste that the world produces and to prevent potentially poisonous materials from ending up in landfill or in our world's ecosystems. Currently, the best available recycling equipment can recover 90% of critical raw materials for reuse. 

Some US states offer a state-wide e-recycling program, the Electronics Takeback Coalition have produced a helpful resource. Many states such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania use the Producer Responsibility approach. This approach means that manufacturers must submit to the state information on their processes in place to recycle electronics and a name and location of all authorized drop-off sites and recyclers within your state. This is a good option for individuals or small businesses looking to discard of their personal laptop or computer. However, businesses with a larger quantity of laptops and computers will be better served by a professional ITAD provider. 


IT Asset Disposal 

A lot of end-of-life laptops and computers can be reused or refurbished, but it is still important to ensure that all data bearing devices are securely erased to avoid a data breach. Properly executed electronics recycling can resolve these dilemmas. IT Asset Disposal (ITAD) is an important supplemental service to electronics recycling that focuses on sustainability as well as data security.  

A record 53.6 million metric tonnes of e-waste were generated worldwide in 2019, which is an increase of 21% in the last 5 years. It’s clear that e-waste is a growing issue, and tackling this issue takes a range of solutions from across different sectors. Recycling your IT equipment means that your devices are destroyed way before their end of life, and is a waste of the resources originally used to produce the equipment. 

Businesses can rest assured that ITAD is a safe and secure way to dispose of data bearing devices such as laptops and computers. The Techbuyer team has over 15 years of experience in protecting company data. We process used laptops, desktops, servers, storage and networking equipment, and mobile phones from thousands of public and private sector organizations every year. 

The software that we use to remove data from devices such as laptops and desktops has been tested, approved and is the same CPA certified software used by the US Department of Defense and NASA. Moreover, our systems have been assessed for quality and a strong commitment to environmentally friendly processes giving us ISO9001, 45001, and 14001 certifications. 

We fully appreciate that for many organizations, data is their most important and best protected resource, and we pride ourselves in being able to safeguard this for them. Secure data erasure is one of the foundations of our business both as a global refurbishment specialist and as an ITAD service provider.