disposing of old computers in the US
February 11, 2005 8:35 AM   Subscribe

Are there any (US) places where I can freely dispose of very old/dead computer equipment in an environmentally correct manner? (more inside)

I'm in a situation where money is extremely tight and paying $20-$30 per item to do so has been unenthusiastically received.

I know Office Depot and HP collaborated to accept one piece a day, but I think that was a limited-time only arrangement that has expired -- too bad, as it would have been perfect.

Bonus points for answers convenient to Metro Detroit, MI.
posted by pmurray63 to Technology (8 answers total)
My local university lets students and staff drop off used equipment to the recycling processing facility once a year at no charge. (And purchase old equipment for $1!)
posted by about_time at 8:39 AM on February 11, 2005

Does your county solid waste program not have a central facility downtown that accepts monitor/computers, TVs, etc.? Usually they'll do so for free for residential customers (who are presumably county tax payers, although ours never ask). However, the satellite collection centers won't take them (or paint or other hazardous waste - you've got to take it to the central center).
posted by Pressed Rat at 8:47 AM on February 11, 2005

You could take a shot at offering to give away the stuff on Detroit's Craigslist. I've had people come pick up stuff advertised as not working (of course, the Bay Area has a concentration of geeks...)
posted by Zed_Lopez at 10:08 AM on February 11, 2005

Also consider freecycle. Honestly describe it as non-working but available for parts, and you may find someone who will take it off your hands.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:03 AM on February 11, 2005

ScrapComputer.com has a warehouse in Ann Arbor and services all of SE Michigan. Reportedly, they pick up, and don't charge at all... for big pickups they actually pay you by the pound.

Also, if that doesn't work, they take computers, monitors, and peripherals at Recycle Ann Arbor's Drop Off Station on Ellsworth, and if I recall correctly, it's $5 for a tower or desktop and $5 for a monitor.
posted by ulotrichous at 5:22 PM on February 11, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks for the good feedback, all.

I haven't checked them out yet, but it looks like ulotrichous has the best local-specific answers for my situation. However, I'm leaning against marking it as such because I realize that 99.9% of AskMe readers don't live here and the other answers may be more helpful to others. I'm sure that one of these methods will work; thanks for helping me do my part for the environment.

The craigslist suggestion may have also solved a completely unrelated problem for me, too.
posted by pmurray63 at 8:35 AM on February 12, 2005

pmurray, I live in SE Oakland Co., and SOCCRA (the local recycling agency) will take that kind of stuff, from a resident with an appointment. They are pretty laid back (my partner, a Detroit resident, used her work address for years, and they never noticed, despite it being in a strip mall). Or, you can e-mail me (in profile), and we'll work something out. I'm already taking recycle from several Detroit residents, since you don't get that nifty curb-side recycling.
posted by QIbHom at 10:44 AM on February 12, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks, QIbHom. I may take you up on that offer, depending on how the other ideas pan out. I'll start investigating next week...
posted by pmurray63 at 1:28 PM on February 12, 2005

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