Did Santa bring you a speedy new computer this year? Wondering what to do with your old one? If it’s not too terribly old, chances are a number of nonprofits would love to put it to use. LA County has an online materials exchange site, LACoMAX, where you can list materials you have to donate or, if you are a nonprofit or school, materials you need. The categories range far beyond computers and electronics to cover building materials, durable goods and more. The database is searchable so you can look here for an organization that might need your old electronics (or other items). If you can’t find a donee there, try Techsoup’s search page which pulls up organizations by zip code. The page lists both nonprofit and school-based recyclers and commercial organizations which may be a better bet for older equipment. Note that most nonprofits, schools, etc. are looking for machines with at least a Pentium II or III processor that are fewer than five years old. Techsoup also has a good ten step guide to donating computer equipment, which includes links to a number of disk cleaning programs (several of which are freeware). Don’t forget to erase all those embarrassing manifestos and nude pictures.
If donating your old computer inspires you and you determine to lighten your load further, the Department of Public Works has a short list of helpful links.
(Photo by ChrisL_AK used through Creative Commons license.)