Checkout Best Buy's various programs for recycling old PCs.
best buy

2. E-stewards are companies certified as responsible recyclers. For more information and to find an E-steward near you, visit the E-stward website.

3. ANAB plays an important role in ensuring the quality and safety of goods and services and protecting the environment. For more information visit the ANAB website.


So you have decided to recycle your old PC. There are a few different ways to accomplish this. Many companies now have take-back programs. You simply ship your old PC back to the manufacturer and they will either refurbish the PC or recycle it. Even stores, such as Best Buy1 will take back old PCs and recycle them for customers. However, you should be aware of how each company handles old PCs. For example, Acer's take-back program has no provisions against exporting these old PCs to developing countries to be recycled. Recycling practices in developing countries are often dangerous and harmful to the environment. Various companies' take-back policies may also leave you responsible for charges in shipping the product to them.

PCs waiting to be recycled
Image courtesy of

Another option is finding an e-waste recycling center. Many major metropolitan regions have e-waste recycling centers or drop off facilities. As with the take-back programs, you have to be aware of the practices of the recycling organization. It is important to note that not all recycling companies are equal. Some recycling companies do not actually recycle; they take the collected e-waste and dump it in a landfill. Some companies sell their collected waste to transporters who ship the waste overseas to be dismantled in places like China, Ghana, India, and other developing countries (NatGeo). The dismantling process in these countries is often performed unsafely for both the environment and the workers.

CRTs waiting to be recycled
Image courtesy of Creative Recycling

You will also need to be sure whether the facility will accept everything. Some may not accept CRT monitors for example. Your CRT monitor (or TV) should be recycled, so find a recycling center that will accept them. Much of a monitor can be salvaged and resued in manufacturing processes.

One way to be sure your PC is recycled properly is to ensure the organization is certified by e-Stewards2 or the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB)3. This certification means that the recycler is considered a responsible recycler of e-waste.

Use the e-stewards link located in the right sidebar to locate a certifed recycler near you.

For information on the recycling process of PCs and CRT monitors or TVs, check out the downloads section for downloadable reports.