Has your desktop computer been crashing a lot lately? Is your laptop horribly out of date?


It sounds like you need a replacement!


Whether your current equipment is breaking down or you feel overdue for an upgrade, everyone needs to trade in their old computer for a new one sooner or later. But what do you do with such obsolete tech? There are multiple options, such as reselling, donating, trading, or disposing of it entirely.


Whatever you choose, there are some crucial steps that everyone should follow, from that lone college student with that beat-up MacBook to the big corporations with their sprawling IT departments. Below, we’ll explain how to prepare a computer for disposal, ensure your data doesn’t end up lost, and decode the importance of e-waste recycling.

Create a File Backup Plan

Anyone who’s ever had the power go out while editing a document knows how frustrating it can be when you forget to click that handy dandy little Save button. Imagine that feeling amplified a million times and applied to every Word document, sound file, picture, video, spreadsheet, and database on your hard drives.


Creating file backups for your data is always a good idea, but it becomes doubly important when starting the computer disposal process. Suppose your desktops or laptops are reaching the end of their life, and you’re looking to trade them in for some slick new models that won’t freeze up every time you launch Photoshop. In that case, your priority should be to make copies of all your files and either transfer them to a portable hard drive or upload them to cloud storage.


If you have a lot of files to move, try to figure out what’s most essential and focus on that stuff first. That way, if your creaky, old computer glitches or dies on you, you can rest assured that your precious data is safe.


A laptop is shown creating a strong light.


Erase Sensitive Information

What’s the only thing worse than losing all the sensitive information stored on your computer because you forgot to back it up? How about having that same information fall into someone else’s hands because you neglected to wipe the hard drive? Much data is stored on our computers, from Internet browsing history and personal emails to stored passwords and credit card information. 


Erasing all that data can be tricky. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Delete all files, clear all browsing history, and uninstall all programs. And when we say all, we mean A-L-L. Common programs like Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint often save personal information, such as your name, address, and email, without you realizing it.
  2. Use data shredding/scrubbing software and drive encryption to overwrite your deleted files. Just because your Recycle Bin is empty doesn’t mean your information is truly gone for good. Luckily, many free applications are available to hunt down and eliminate every last vestige.
  3. Wipe, then physically destroy your hard drive. Yes, we’re serious. Computer drives are like elephants; they never forget. A skilled hacker can reassemble enough data to do severe damage, even with all the above steps followed to the letter. Need help? Newtech Recycling offers heavy-duty hard drive destruction service so that you can enjoy proper privacy protection.

Recycle a Computer the Right Way at Newtech

An estimated 142,000 computers are improperly discarded every single day. That means, instead of being recycled, our old desktops and laptops are taking up space in landfills where they don’t belong. Why is proper computer disposal so important? First, many materials used to make modern electronic devices—chromium, cadmium, lead—are highly toxic to the environment. Second, just as many of these materials—gold, silver, platinum—are rare and expensive.


Electronic waste recycling “the right way” means transporting unwanted computers and other technology to a specialized sorting center, such as Newtech Recycling’s own New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection-approved facilities. Each device is carefully broken down into component parts, many of which can then be reused in manufacturing new devices.


Newtech Recycling is one of the computer disposal companies proud to offer stress-free pick-up and removal services. Whatever the size of your business, if you need to recycle a computer or get rid of e-waste in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, or Pennsylvania, let Newtech Recycling help you do it in the proper, legal, and ethical way.