What do you do when that shiny new computer you bought five years ago isn’t so shiny and new anymore? When your technological needs have outpaced the abilities of your current desktop or laptop, obviously the answer is to get a new one. But what do you do with the old one? Your first instinct might be to use Newtech Recycling’s computer disposal service and call it a day.

As much as we love helping clients get rid of their unwanted electronics in a way that both protects their personal data and reduces e-waste environmental pollution, as a hardware recycling company, we know that the best way to reuse old tech isn’t always to break it down for raw materials. Rather, it’s to donate that equipment to other people who can still use it just the way it is. Computers are expensive, after all, and not everyone can afford the latest model. Not everyone needs the latest model, either.

If you’ve ever wondered what to do with old computer monitors, hard drives, routers, printers, or other IT equipment, here are ten tips that will make the process of donating your outdated electronics a whole lot easier.

1. Make Sure It’s Still Functional

When deciding what to do with your old computer and related accessories, the first step is to see what kind of condition it’s in. Are you getting rid of the machine simply because you’ve outgrown it or because it’s not working correctly? If it does have issues, are they hardware or software issues? If the latter, they can probably be fixed with a factory reset and clean reinstall. If not, a broken desktop computer that’s too damaged to function is no use to anyone.

2. Erase All Your Personal Data

Whether you plan to give away or throw away your computer, one of the most important things you should do first is erase any and all personal data stored on the hard drive. This includes passwords, browsing history, cookies, document files, online banking information, and more. If you really want to ensure your data is secure, remove the hard disk completely and let Newtech Recycling’s hard drive destruction service remove every last trace.

3. Recycle What Can’t Be Reused

Not all tech can be reused. When donation isn’t an option, that’s where a computer disposal service such as Newtech Recycling comes in. Because of the toxic materials they contain, discarded electronics are responsible for 70% of landfill soil pollution, and many states have laws requiring a more eco-friendly approach. Newtech Recycling is committed to preserving the environment for future generations. That’s why our on-site equipment carefully breaks down old hardware into raw materials that can be reused in the manufacture of new technology.

4. Gather Software and Accessories

Whenever you donate a piece of electronics hardware, it’s a good idea to try to donate it in as complete a state as possible. That means including any software, accessories, cords, and instruction manuals that came with it. If you’re missing anything essential, make sure to let the recipient know ahead of time.

5. Try Donating Locally First

Often, it doesn’t take much searching to find someone who could make use of the exact same tech you’re looking to unload. Give back to your home community by trying to donate locally first. Chances are that there’s a school, senior center, or recreation facility in your area that would be happy to take your used office computers or personal electronic devices.

6. Nonprofits Always Need Donations

If you’re having trouble finding local groups that need the things that you have, consider donating to a charity or nonprofit instead. If they can’t use your equipment themselves, then they probably know someone else who could. Charity and nonprofit organizations know best how to get the things people need to those who need them most.

7. National Programs Can Help

Still having trouble finding a new home for your old computers? Don’t give up just yet. If local groups and charities can’t or won’t take your equipment, there are a number of national and even international programs that know exactly what to do with old hardware to keep it from simply being thrown away as harmful e-waste. These include the World Computer Exchange, Techsoup, and Computers with Causes, to name just a few.

8. Contact the Recipient Beforehand

Donations are always appreciated, but even the people who need them the most aren’t always in the best position to make use of them. Whether because of poor timing, being short-staffed, or not having enough room, an organization may be ill-equipped to make use of your devices. Instead of foisting upon them equipment they can’t use, make a point of contacting potential recipients beforehand to make sure they not only have a need for the items you’re donating but also the resources to utilize them.

9. Keep a Record of Your Donations

As with all of your property, it’s a good idea to keep a thorough record of any electronics equipment you own, have given away, or recycled. Not only is this helpful at tax time (see below), it’s a good way to keep organized. It can also save you quite the headache a year from now when you’re tearing apart the whole house looking for that used CRT monitor you forgot you already donated to the local high school.

10. Most Donations Are Tax Deductible

There are many benefits of donating your unwanted computer equipment to those who need it. Chief among them is the satisfaction of knowing you’ve made a positive contribution to the life of another person. If you’re looking for something a bit more quantifiable, though, it’s worth noting that most technology donations are tax deductible. Keep that in mind when it comes time to file.

Donate or Recycle Your Old Electronics Today

Newtech Recycling is proud to be there for our clients who need to donate or dispose of their old computers and other electronic devices. Before donating equipment that others might still be able to use, it’s important to keep your own personal data out of the wrong hands. Newtech Recycling’s on site hard drive shredding service will do just that. For less salvageable devices, Newtech Recycling has the answer once again with computer electronics recycling services that are second to none.

Whether you’re donating or destroying, if you need help with your e-waste recycling in NJ, NY, CT, or PA, Newtech Recycling has the equipment and the experience you’re looking for. Contact us today and let us put our skills to work for you.