3 Ways to Recycle Your Laptop Ethically

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Some of us may not like what we see when we look at the world today. How many problems like pollution and destruction of natural resources could have been prevented if people simply considered the consequences of their choices? But how often do each of us consider the small decisions that may have a big impact. This is just one reason to think twice before discarding your IT equipment.

If it’s a laptop that’s currently cluttering your home, don’t simply add it to the week’s garbage. Instead use a free e-waste pickup and recycling vendor to declutter office and home devices. If more people decide to sell or recycle old laptops and computer parts ethically, it could limit the amount of unnecessary waste that’s out there in landfills. For ethical and environmental reasons, use the following guidelines from now on.

Before You Recycle: Read This

Recycling laptops ethically does require some planning. This is to protect both you and others.

Always Consider Privacy and Data Protection

Never simply pass your laptop on without first considering the existing data and software. To protect your privacy, properly format the device first. You also don’t want the next user accessing someone else’s information that’s perhaps stored on your computer.

Communicate Your Policy to Relevant Parties

If you’re recycling a company laptop it’s smart to share your plans publicly. Your clients may want to know how you go about disposing of devices that at some point contained their details. They may also appreciate your concern for the environment, so a notification on your website will do well for your reputation.

3 Practical Ways of Recycling IT Equipment

Find an Alternative Purpose for it

A laptop you no longer need may be exactly what someone else requires for personal or business application. Ask your family and friends if anyone needs it. You may change someone’s life, even if it’s an older model.

Or why not turn it into a tech device instead of buying a new gadget? A laptop can become a server at home, so you have practical storage space. This gives everyone a safe place to store their data and you won’t have to clutter your new laptop with all that information. Or, make the laptop a hotspot to improve everyone’s Wi-Fi access in your home or office.

3 Ways to Recycle Your Laptop Ethically

Donate to a Good Cause

Even old laptops whose software you can no longer update could have value for someone. One option is to hear whether your local library can have it refurbished to help with their activities like learning programs. They could use it to teach underprivileged individuals new skills.

You’ll also find charity organizations that collect old IT equipment. They use it to help millions of people in the developing world gain access to technology and so improve lives. This can be to create digital schools in remote places and empower students—something that became especially important because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Your laptop can also help businesses and other charity organizations in these countries get the tech resources they need to operate.

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An advantage here is that some of these organizations will help you with data-wiping, giving you peace of mind that it’s done correctly.

Laptops Stay Valuable

These days there’s an easy solution for many of life’s challenges, if you just know where to look. There are people offering their services to perform tedious tasks on your behalf, so you don’t have to go to much effort yourself. This is the case with laptop reuse services. These entities will buy your laptop from you, so there’s no need for you to waste time trying to find buyers. The laptop won’t end up in a dumpster and you have the bonus of earning some money.

Companies offering to buy your laptop will format and repair them, ensuring they’ll have some use for the next owner. They can then resell them to third parties who don’t want to buy new.

This is an excellent way for businesses to become more environmentally friendly. You’ll lose no time trying to find buyers for old equipment, but you can earn a welcome sum by selling those laptops in bulk the moment they’re too outdated to benefit your brand.

Be an Ethical Consumer: What Will You Buy Next?

It’s a great first step to ensure your IT equipment will be reused or recycled ethically but don’t stop there. Also take a moment to think about your next purchase—buying a device to replace your old laptop. Some brands are on a mission to do less harm so they have revised manufacturing processes, their supply chains and the impact the device itself will have. Look for products from manufacturers that promise the following:

  • No toxic components
  • Doing away with excessive product packaging
  • Devices that draw less power from the grid
  • Using recycled products in new devices
  • You can use it for longer before any hardware upgrade will be necessary


It takes a little effort, but the rewards are great when you find a more ethical way to recycle your laptop. You can do the same with mobile devices and even your old camera. Let’s all be part of the solution, so we can start seeing fewer problems around us.

Guest Author: Felix Jean
When not writing blog posts, Felix Jean plays the guitar and go bungee jumping with friends. His writing is focused on technology, design and online ecommerce. He’s a graphic designer too; likes to dabble with Adobe Illustrator to create designs for friends and colleagues.

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