This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Don't Toss Your PC in the Trash

Recycling a PC means knowing where it goes after it leaves your hands.

Personal computers might be largely safe for everyday use -- aside from the danger of overheated batteries in some models -- but they're poison when it comes to throwing them away.

The EPA estimates that 15% of discarded computers wind up in landfills every year, where they leak toxins like lead, mercury and even arsenic into the soil and potentially the groundwater. Dumping PCs (and other electronic goods like cell phones) also prevents valuable materials like copper, gold and aluminum from being recovered and recycled. (Blogger Ecogeek has more information on recycling cell phones.)

So when I recently brought home a sleek new Apple (AAPL - Get Report) iMac, the home-office equivalent of a Ferrari convertible, I began a search for the best route to take with the old jalopy it replaced.

A host of options are available these days for recycling and reusing computers and other electronics -- some even give you a small financial benefit. Green Citizen explores some of them in its electronics blog. That means there's little excuse for letting out-of-date machines clutter up the basement anymore, and there's absolutely no excuse for kicking them to the curb.

I didn't want to dump my old reliable in the trash, of course, and I certainly didn't want it joining the 75% of PCs that the EPA estimates are out there gathering dust in garages, basements and storerooms. That left me to choose between selling, recycling or donating.

Ideally, I wanted a solution that would be both environmentally responsible and convenient. All the better if it sent a little money my way.

I'd squeezed a good seven years out of my previous blue iMac by goosing the memory, adding a wireless modem and upgrading the operating system and software. But, still, at best I had a 2004 computer in a 2000 shell and a quick cruise around eBay (EBAY) indicated that if I sold it at all it might fetch a paltry $50.

Since I'm not a regular seller and couldn't be bothered with the Web posting and shipping, I'd probably let the nearest iSoldIt store do it for me, which means I might recoup half of what it sold for, and I would have to get it to the store without breaking it. It might be worthwhile for a newer machine, but for mine the solution offered too much hassle and too little financial gain.

Plus, I'd have no idea what happened to the computer when it left my sight.

Apple recycles its computers and iPods at no charge, and even gives a 10% discount on your next iPod if you bring an old one to an Apple Store for disposal. That's super easy and the discount is a nice bonus if you know you're in the market for a new MP3 player anyway.

1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,672.60 -141.38 -0.79%
S&P 500 2,051.82 -11.33 -0.55%
NASDAQ 4,757.8790 +7.4820 0.16%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs