Entries tagged with “green”.

Washington State now has a FREE, convenient and environmentally responsible recycling program for computers, monitors, laptops and televisions.

Households, small businesses, schools & school districts, small governments, special purpose districts, and nonprofits & charities can recycle electronic products free of charge in this program.

Call 1-800-RECYCLE or visit 1800recycle.wa.gov to locate electronic product recycling services in your area.

You can recycle :

  • televisions
  • computers
  • computer monitors
  • portable or laptop computers

If your computer or TV is working and in good condition see if someone else may be able to use it.

  • Contact charities or non-profits in your area to see if they would be able to use or resell your computer or TV.
  • Call your local solid waste or public works office to find out what options are available in your community for donating or reuse.
  • Sell your item through local classifieds or use an online website.
  • Ask if a participating E-Cycle Washington collector will donate or resell your item.

Source: State of Washington, Department of Ecology at http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/swfa/eproductrecycle/

It’s important to make sure you destroy all of your personal data stored on the hard drive before unplugging an old computer for the last time.  Even though you manually delete computer files by putting them into the trash or recycle bin, an identity thief may be able to recover it, putting your personal information at risk.

Before you donate or sell you old computer, be sure that you’ve removed:

  • e-mail contacts and messages
  • documents
  • files in the recycle bin or trash
  • internet files
  • all software that you have the original disks and product key that you’re planning to continue to use

After backing up your data to an external location, simply reformat the hard drive. This will effectively overwrite and destroy most of the data on that drive. Run it through the format cycle a few times – the more times the disk is overwritten and formatted the more secure the disk wipe is. A truly motivated person with data recovery tools could still possibly recover some of the data – it would be similar to someone going through your shredded papers and recreating documents. Realistically, what are the chances?

Of course, if you’re really paranoid, you can permanently destroy the disk by removing it and bashing it to bits. Take a drill and make holes through the casing and through all the layers, take a very large hammer to it (remember to wear gloves and eye protection), or have it run through an industrial shredder. But again, there are a lot of people who can’t afford a new computer and you’d be destroying something they could use. So…

If you’re pretty sure your computer will be safely recycled, you should be okay with the reformat/reinstall option. As an additional precaution, you can also remove your files using a commercial disk-wiping software (like Eraser or Darik’s Boot and Nuke) or take your hard drive to a local reputable computer supplier and have them safely overwrite your files for you.

Essentially, take some time to remove your data from your computer before parting with it.