#SolutionMonday: How to dispose of your old laptop in sustainable ways

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#SolutionMonday: How to dispose of your old laptop in sustainable ways

Hello readers.

Welcome to #SolutionMonday on CleanbuildVoices!

In this digital age, technology leaders continue to churn out exciting new innovations for their tech-savvy consumers. For instance, world-renowned major PC manufacturers such as Apple, Dell, and hp among other brands release new laptops three times a year.

Perhaps you’re a gadget lover thinking of buying a high-performance and ultra-efficient computer or your current laptop has quit on you and you just want a replacement. Whatever the case is, you would need to dispose of your out-of-commission, old laptop.

For this edition of #SolutionMonday, we will share tips on how you can ensure the proper disposal of old laptops. Unlike other recyclable materials, old laptops may not be accepted by just about any recycling program. Because they consist of things like glass, metal, batteries, and electronic parts,  they can only be processed through special e-waste recycling programs.

Rather than sell your old PC to schemers who deliberately undervalue it just to make you want to get rid of it, why not maximize the value you can get out of it. In other words, disposing of your old laptop can be profitable undertaking.

Here’s a fun fact: Laptops may contain valuable materials, including gold, silver, and platinum! So recycling your laptop will bring you value as many companies are in search of old laptops from which they can build something innovative.

Case in point- Quadloop, a Nigerian cleantech startup, collects old laptop lithium-ion batteries, recycles them, and produces solar energy products like lamps and chargers to rural communities where access to energy is poor.

If you’re thinking of how to dispose of your old laptop in a sustainable way, consider the following tips:

Find a recycler. Like the startup Quadloop, there are numerous companies that recycle materials from old laptops. Find the closest to you and engage their services.

Since your laptop likely stores sensitive personal information such as your bank account info and other details, make sure you wipe it before sending it to a recycler. This will help to prevent identity theft or scams.

Also, create a backup to save important data by plugging in an external hard drive on which you can save any file you wish to keep. On the alternative, you could save this on cloud storage or a flash drive or put it in cloud storage. If for some reason the laptop won’t come on for you to wipe it clean, simply remove the hard drive or destroy it.

Donate your old laptop: If your PC has not reached its end of life, you may donate it to families, schools, or communities where young learners might need it.

Repurpose it: One way you could repurpose your old laptop is to reuse the screen as an external monitor if it’s still in a fair shape. You could use the old monitor together with your new laptop to ensure efficiency.

Strip it down: Another option for your old laptop is to strip it down and reuse the parts. For example, you can save the hard drive to turn it into an external hard drive. or remove its CD or DVD drive to use externally for smaller devices that are not outfitted with one.

Watch this space as we’ll be back for another edition of #SolutionMonday next week.

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