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How to dispose of a computer tower

Updated February 21, 2017

You can't throw your computer tower in the trash--computers contain hazardous materials like lead and mercury, notes PC World. To dispose of the old equipment safely and responsibly, you need to recycle it. Depending on where you live, you may have free local programs that offer computer tower recycling; if not, you may have to pay a fee for participating in a recycling program. Keep hazardous chemicals out of landfills and dispose of your computer tower the right way, by recycling it as electronic waste.

Ask your town's Department of Public Works what their policy is on electronic waste. Some towns offer electronic recycling or have periodic recycling drives that accept these items. Let them know you have a computer tower you want to dispose of or recycle, then follow their recommended procedures to do so safely and legally.

Check with your computer manufacturer to see whether it offers a recycling program. Return the computer tower to the manufacturer using their recycling program. Depending on their policy, you may have to pay shipping costs or a recycling fee.

Drop the computer tower off at a local office supply store that offers electronic recycling, such as a Best Buy or Office Depot. Some stores offer free recycling, while others assess fees based upon the item. As of 2010, Staples charges £6 for computer tower recycling and Best Buy recycles towers for free, but charges £6 for monitors in some cities.

Donate computer towers that are in good, working condition to local charities, such as the Salvation Army or Goodwill. These large stores accept items for drop-off donation.

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