Live Green and Earn Points


Because You Asked

How Do I Recycle Computer Equipment?

By Recyclebank |

E-cycling your unwanted computer monitors and printers will make the most of them and keep them out of the trash.

Dear Recyclebank,

How do I recycle an old computer monitor, keyboard, printer, and copier?

- Barry S., Redondo Beach, CA

Dear Barry,

E-waste (electronic waste) is one of the fastest growing types of waste in the U.S., and there are several options for recycling different types. E-cycling (electronics recycling) can reclaim plastic, metal, glass, and other valuable components, as well as keeping hazardous materials such as lead out of the environment.

There are a number of drop-off electronics recycling programs offered by retailers and manufacturers. Best Buy, Office Depot, and Staples are major retailers that accept a wide variety of old gadgets for recycling, including monitors, keyboards, and desktop printer/copiers. Check with each retailer to see if e-waste is accepted for free or if there is a fee associated with some or all e-waste items. You may find that some even offer trade-in programs. You can also use the GreenerGadgets search function to find e-cyclers near you.

Even better, if your unwanted electronics still work, consider donating them as-is! Local schools may be grateful for the equipment, or you can check Charity Navigator for charities near you that may be seeking donations.



Have you had any experiences with drop-off or trade-in recycling for your old electronics? Tell us about it in the comments.

Share with Your Friends & Family
  • carol m. 1 month ago
    I know someone who recycles old computers
  • Susie C. 1 month ago
    I’ve taken most of my old electronic stuff to Best Buy. Just walk in and they take it off your hands.
  • pamela c. 2 months ago
    helpful information! I have an old computer at bottom of my closet
  • Barbara W. 2 months ago
    I am wondering how to delete everything off of an old computer before disposing of it? My first one I took off what I knew how but felt uncomfortable about it. Then the garbage collector put it in the back of his truck and Pushed the CRUSH button and we both watched. Was that enough???
    • John J. 2 months ago
      Links don't activate here but you get the idea, I just Googled part of your first sentence:
      Now the surefire way is too use hard drive software to replace all of the user data with zeros (sometimes computer stuff has a way of creating mysterious hidden backup files for emergencies).
      Some folks remove the hard drive and saving it just in case some old data ends up being needed down the road; they're not that big. My neighbor smashes his up with a hammer.
      Yeah it would be good to recycle the rest of the computer rather than trashing it.
    • Barbara W. 2 months ago
      Do you think many people hang on to theirs due to information left on there and don't know how to remove ( like me)? I heard others say, " its in the bottom of my closet".
    • John J. 2 months ago
      Yes, those who know but don't know the how to. Yet I suspect once they enter a 'standard' recycling path like a big waste mgt company, Best Buy, Staples, etc. there's a very slim chance of data mining.
    • Barbara W. 2 months ago
      Good to know!
      Unfortunately, our Staples went out of business several years ago.
  • Joseph B. 2 months ago
    Our state has mandatory free recycling of computers and related. Also, Staples will take off our hand, free of charge.
  • View More