When your old laptop has had its time and you want to upgrade it to the latest model, it can be difficult to know what to do with the old one. You have three options: donate it, sell it or recycle it.
We’ll go through the options so you can decide which option is best for you.
Donate your old laptop
If you’re not sure you’ll get much money for your laptop, you could donate it to charity. Many smaller charity shops won’t take electrical items, so check before you leave anything with them.
If you can’t find a charity shop that takes laptops, you could list it on a website such as Freecycle. You might find someone willing to swap it for something much more interesting.
If your old laptop is in working order and isn’t too outdated, you may be able to sell it for a good price. Even if it’s not working entirely, someone might buy it for parts. Try listing it on websites such as eBay, but remember you have to pay listing and final sales fees.
If you know how much you want for your laptop, you could see if your local area has a Facebook group for people to buy and sell their things. That way you won’t have to worry about delivery either, as people will usually collect.
IT equipment was taking up a lot of landfill before 2007, when the WEEE Regulations were introduced. The regulations state that you can take back any electrical item to the shop you bought it from to be recycled. But this isn’t always possible with the rise in online shopping, so the easiest thing for most people to do is to take the old machine to your local recycling centre. Then you’ll know it has been disposed of responsibly. Just search on your council’s website to find the nearest one to you.
The battery is the part of a laptop that can cause issues, so the operatives at the recycling centre will have a separate receptacle where this will go.
GOLDEN RULE: Protect your personal data
Before your laptop goes anywhere, check that all your personal data is wiped from the machine. Over the years there could be thousands of passwords on your laptop, along with bank account and credit card details.
Instead of deleting information manually and leaving it in the recycle bin, use a secure erase programme that will delete everything permanently.
Once you know that there are options available, disposing of a laptop doesn’t have to be difficult. Try the seller first, but if they’re an online company or you can’t get to them, you’ll have to recycle it yourself or find someone who will buy it or take it off your hands.
For more information, we found this cool infographic that shows you why it’s important to recycle your old laptop rather than just throwing it away.