How to Dispose Electronic Items
The best option is to recycle electronic equipment vs putting it in the trash as electronics contain precious metals and may contain hazardous materials.
The simplest approach is to have a electronics box, put all your old electronic items into this box and then take to a recycling depot when convenient. This way it takes less effort to "remember" to recycle, its just that box you put old wires and electronics into.
Data Privacy Upon Disposal
If you are looking to recycle a working computer but do not want anyone to retrieve files from the storage unit within the computer, a software tool is required to wipe the data from the computer securely.
Powering the computer on may not be a option, in this scenario you may opt to remove the computer storage unit and drill a whole through the storage unit directly.
Please avoid drilling holes in the actual computer itself as this makes the computer less salvageable and you avoid the potential fire risk by accidentally drilling holes into built-in batteries that may exist.
Additionally, drilling holes into a computer does not mean you actually drilled a hole through the storage unit itself and can has the risk that data can still be retrieved.
Services to Wipe Computer Data
You may choose to use a external service to wipe the data from the storage unit correctly at a cost, responsibility is on the current owner of the device to accept the task has been done.
If handling devices on behalf of a business or education entity this option may not be acceptable if the entity's policy states data must be wiped on-premise or by an approved vendor of their choosing.
You may have legal issues if data private data is leaked without permission of the author while devices are under your supervision, be sure storage devices are wiped securely.
Currently we depend on the open market to provide recycling services, we cannot make any recommendations on one recycle center over another but talk to your local computer person on the subject as they will spend more time on the topic than yourself.
It does cost money to run a recycling center so if they ask for a donation please pay where possible. Many recycle centers are non-profit organisations and re-coup operating costs by re-selling functional electronics and distributing materials gathered from non-working electronics.
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