Trend Micro User Newsletter | Security Tips, Tricks, and Updates April 2008      

Don't Throw Out
Your Old Computer
—Recycle It!

Earth Day is April 22, and that means it's time to think again about what you can do to help the environment. People are talking more and more about e-waste—old or broken electronic equipment—and the hazards it can pose to our great outdoors. We all rely on cell phones, computers, monitors, and other gadgets in our daily lives, and at some point they all break, wear out, or need to be upgraded. When that happens, you shouldn't just toss old equipment in the trash. Many electronics contain toxic and non-biodegradable materials that shouldn't go in the landfill. Fortunately, you've got several earth-friendly options for getting rid of your old computer. Although some PC recyclers offer assurances that your hard drive will be wiped clean of old data before it's passed along or dismantled, it's a good idea to take your own precautions first. Before you give away or recycle your computer, remove all the data from your hard drive and any removable media such as disks, PC cards, flash drives and CD-ROMs.

If your computer is less than five years old, you can probably donate it to a school or local charity. That results in even less waste than recycling! But if you decide to go this route, it's generally best to contact a local refurbisher who works with charitable organizations. They can make sure your computer is usable and running up-to-date, legal copies of software. And they're trained in proper disposal of e-waste. Ultimately, you'll save your favorite charity a lot of time and headache by working with a refurbisher.

If your computer is more than five years old or if it doesn't work, many computer manufacturers and independent companies run recycling or trade-in programs. Apple, Dell, Gateway, Hewlett Packard, and IBM/Lenovo all have their own recycling programs. In addition, several major recycling companies can take your old or broken computer and make sure it's disposed of properly.

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