The first law of the digital age is something we’re all familiar with: in with the new thing, out with the old. In the case of old computers, they often become obsolete within months after a new product is launched.

Buying a new PC with the latest software and cool apps is definitely exciting. But what do you do with the old one?

Dumping old computers in the trash is not going to help, as you’re wasting a piece of technology. More importantly, you’re contributing to the growing size of landfills.

Did you know that Americans trash around 130,000 old computers every day? What a waste of money!

To top it, trashing electronics pollutes the environment, as PCs contain more than a few hazardous materials such as mercury, cadmium, lead and PVC. Laptops and desktops are made of valuable resources such as metals and industrial plastic, all of which consume electricity and resources to make.

When you throw them away, you’re wasting these precious resources, and, in many ways, reinventing the wheel too. More materials, electricity and resources are needed for making new computers.

To preserve the environment and your bottom line—and to make the most of your old computers—you can reuse, donate or recycle them. Let’s see how.


There are more than a dozen ways to reuse your old computer. If you don’t mind hanging on to it, you can use it as an extra storage device, NAS or test box for new apps or office server.

At Surplus Service, an award-winning San Francisco Bay Area e-waste management company, we prefer upcycling. Upcycling, a reuse alternative to recycling destruction, ensures that there is less of a chance for e-waste to be sent overseas. It also means that no energy, resources, pollution, raw material or transportation are needed to recycle assets or manufacture replacements parts.

It should also be worth noting that it is possible to divert nearly 100% of your old electronics from the landfill with UpcyclIT, our trademarked system that ensures the proper disposal of electronic devices.


A good way to extend the life of your old computer is to donate it. Just because you find the configuration outdated, it doesn’t mean it’s not usable. Give it to a local school or charity organization that can use it to teach basic computer skills.


For old or unusable computers, recycling is not the most sustainable choice but it is a good choice as the parts will be broken down and used in the best way possible. Get in touch with a recycler to handle this process for you. An e-waste recycling company can erase all the data on your hard drive, and this ensures the privacy of your customers’ personal information.

So the next time you decide to buy a new PC for the office, ask yourself: “What disposal option is best for my organization?” Just keep in mind that all of those options don’t involve a landfill, and that will make everyone excited.

Surplus Service is a San Francisco, CA Bay Area-based award-winning e-waste management business that specializes in ITAD, medical recycling, electronic liquidation, reverse logistics and data eradication. As the No. 1 electronic reuse and recycling leader, our goal is to provide eco-friendly solutions that lead to the reuse of electronics rather than just having them recycled or end up in a landfill. To learn more about us, call one of our e-waste recycling specialists at (510) 226-0600 or email us at