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Ultimate Guide to Laptop Recycling

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Is your laptop getting old, slow, or maybe it got recently damaged? If you are in the process of buying a new laptop, that means it is time to recycle the old one. In this ultimate guide to laptop recycling, we will cover why laptop recycling is vital for our environment and how you should go about recycling yours.

Why Should I Recycle My Laptop?

Electronic products like laptops are made of precious materials that are costly to produce and require extensive natural resources to acquire. By recycling your laptop, rather than just tossing it in the trash, you preserve those resources and give them a second chance at life. For example, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that recycling one million laptops saves the energy equivalent of an entire year of electricity for more than 3,500 homes!

Ultimate Guide to Laptop Recycling

Before Recycling

Before recycling your laptop, we recommend taking the following actions.
  1. Can it be saved?
  2. Before you firmly decide that it is time to get a new laptop, we recommend seeing if your current laptop can be updated or repaired to meet the standards that you need. If possible and affordable, you could keep your computer for another couple of years. If not, proceed to the next steps.
  3. Back up your data
  4. You certainly don’t want to lose all the precious data you have accumulated on this laptop just because you are getting a new one. Therefore, take the hour or so it takes to back up your computer to a cloud service and an external hard drive.
  5. Deauthorize products
  6. If you have any applications or products on your computer, we recommend deactivating them and transferring the software (if possible) to your new computer. Some programs will allow you to cross-install on new computers, while others will make you buy it all over again. Either way, there is no reason to have the program on your old laptop, just waiting to cause problems. Therefore, go ahead and deactivate or deauthorize it.
  7. Wipe it clean
  8. Once everything has been preserved (take the time to double-check), go ahead and do a full wipe of your computer. This generally means completing a factory reset. The process to do this is different between Mac and Windows, so please review their procedures to ensure that you complete the sweep successfully.
  9. Remove the battery
  10. Lastly, if your laptop has a removable battery, go ahead and take that out. If you are mailing in your laptop for recycling, you will need to pack your battery separately. Please review the postal service requirements for mailing batteries before you send them off. However, if you take it to be recycled, you can ask a recycling employee what to do.

Laptop Recycling

Now that your computer is wiped clean, it is time to be recycled. We recommend searching for electronic recycling companies in your community. If you do not have one nearby, there are various companies (like us) that offer mail-in options.

Green Century Laptop Recycling

Green Century Recycling is dedicated to providing businesses and residents the ability to utilize safe, efficient, and eco-friendly electronic recycling. If you are located in our service area, we offer pick-up services for businesses, schools, non-profits, and residential. For more information, please review our website. Got questions? Contact us to learn how we can help you safely and efficiently recycle your laptops and other electronics.
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