Friday, April 3, 2009


How do you know when it is time to upgrade your computer? In my case, it was when my son complained that our old version of Powerpoint didn't support the cool audio features in the book report presentation he had created at school. Okay, I agreed, we needed the latest and greatest software. Little did I know that it would bring our computer to its knees. Sure, it could run the new software - if you didn't mind waiting a few minutes every time you clicked on an icon waiting for the computer to rise from its coma. So, out with the old, in with the new, but what to do about the old hardware?

The good news is that the computer industry, the desire to recycle, and government regulations have all come a long way in the past few years to make this process easier. My home state of Washington launched a new e-cycling program this year that provides many locations that accept a variety of components including printers, computers, mice, cables, and keyboards. I took everything in the picture below (I discovered a few extra monitors in the garage) and the only charge was for the keyboard which was $1. The e-cycler will now break everything down to its components - plastic, metal, etc. and sends it out to for recycling.

For nationwide e-cycling referrals, check out the EPA website. For advice on cleaning your personal data off the computer before recycling, check out Do the PC Thing.

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