8th Day of Giving: Donate Your Electronics

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2007/12/computer%20monkeys-thumb.jpgDid 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.)

6 Replies to “8th Day of Giving: Donate Your Electronics”

  1. How funny you raise that as an option. I’ve donated several machines over the years to the preschool my kids went to. They went along with games like Curious George’s Early Learning adventures to name just one. Programs are something else you can donate.

    Personally I’ve liked the Norton disk eraser as it erases overwrites to military standards – nothing survives. Don’t ask how I got a copy, let’s just say I have connections. ;)

  2. Thanks 5000! It’s fixed. My bad.

    And Fraz, I just hate throwing things away when someone might be able to use them. It offends my bottom feeder sensibilities.

  3. Travis…read my comment I support the idea and have done it for years. My favorite way to recycle those tech goodies is just what you proposed…donate it. Where did I say anything about throwing the stuff away?

  4. Oh no Fraz I didn’t mean that you were in favor of throwing stuff away. Not at all. I was just agreeing with you that it’s so much better to donate things.

  5. Definitely try to give it away. If you take it to hazardous waste, the people there won’t let others pick at the old computers. I asked what they do with them – the person said they “melt them down to make better products.” Sure. As if these computers are made of iron!

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