It’s time to take action and responsibly dispose of your old electronic devices. Recycling or donating your old laptop is a great way to reduce e-waste and extract valuable materials for other applications. Donating a laptop with some life left in it can also significantly impact someone’s life who may not have access to technology. Don’t let your old laptop collect dust or harm the environment – recycle or donate it today.

Here’s how to prepare your laptop for recycling or donation and where you can recycle or donate your laptop. 

Don’t forget to save your files! Check your old laptop for forgotten files. Cloud storage like Google Drive, OneDrive, or Dropbox is convenient, but you can also consider an external hard drive if you need a lot of storage space. Just plug it in and drag your files to a new folder on your Desktop to keep them safe and sound.

Complete a factory reset: While PCs for People is certified to handle and wipe your data securely, you can also perform a factory reset to clean your storage drive. Back up any important files before proceeding. Find the reset option in your operating system and hit the hard reset button to get started.

To reset your Windows 10 or 11 computer: 

  1. Type “reset” into the Taskbar search field. 
  2. Click Reset this PC > Get Started > Remove everything > Local Reinstall or Cloud download. Note that these methods erase everything and reset the OS. Select “Change settings” to prevent data recovery and toggle the Clean data switch to “Yes.” It takes longer but is more secure as it fully reformats the storage drive.

To reset your Mac M1/M2 devices running macOS Ventura or Monterey: 

  1. Click on the Apple menu icon > System Preferences > Erase All Content and Settings. 
  2. Back up files using Time Machine if needed. 

To reset your Intel-based Macs and/or Macs running macOS Catalina or earlier: 

  • Back up files and deauthorize/sign out of Apple programs.
  • Reset the NVRAM by turning off your Mac and holding the Option, Command (⌘), P, and R keys for 20 seconds. 
  • Unpair Bluetooth devices. 
  • Access Disk Utility by turning off your Mac, turning it on again and holding the Command (⌘) and R keys. 
  • Click on Disk Utility > Erase > Macintosh HD > Erase. 
  • Type in Name: Macintosh HD, and Format: APFS or Mac OS Extended (Journaled). 
  • Click Erase or Erase Volume Group. 
  • To reinstall macOS, click Reinstall > Continue and follow the onscreen instructions.

To reset your Chromebook

    1. Log out of your Chromebook. 
    2. Press and hold Ctrl, Alt, Shift, and R. 
    3. Select Restart > Powerwash > Continue. 
    4. Your Chromebook will perform a factory reset. 

Laptop Recycling

Do you have an old laptop that’s been gathering dust? It might be time to recycle it. Luckily, plenty of e-waste recycling options are available to help you dispose of your laptop responsibly. If you’re unsure where to recycle your laptop, check for a PCs for People location near you or use resources like Earth911 to locate a recycling center.

If there are no PCs for People location near you, Best Buy is another option with a robust recycling program that accepts old laptops. Major laptop manufacturers like Apple, Dell, Lenovo, and HP have also implemented recycling programs and may even recycle your laptop for free. They often accept a variety of electronics as well. Take the necessary steps to recycle your laptop and do your part to protect the environment.

Donate Your Laptop

Have you considered donating your laptop? If your laptop is in great condition, you can consider donating it. Several organizations available locally, nationally, and internationally provide working laptops to students and families. You could explore the options at PCs for People to donate your laptop by dropping it off at one of our locations

Why Donate or Recycle?

So much e-waste is improperly disposed of, which can lead to environmental pollution and further health hazards. Many people worldwide are exposed to toxic electronic waste while processing it. The risks associated with this work are particularly concerning for pregnant women, children, and adolescents. Additionally, proper disposal of e-waste can prevent the release of carbon dioxide, which could help address climate change. We need to work together to find safe and sustainable solutions to the e-waste problem while prioritizing the well-being of those most vulnerable to its harmful effects.

Help cut down on electronic waste by recycling or donating your old laptop.