What You Need To Know About Donating Laptop and Desktop Computers for Recycling

When it’s time for your organization to upgrade office computers, what do you do with the old ones? What should happen to all the retired computers stacked in the storage room?

Computers that are no longer needed in your firm can be useful elsewhere. They can be recycled and refurbished, and that’s what PCs for People does. Using us as your e-recycling provider is the best way to get rid of outdated or unwanted technology from your organization.

As a recycling center, we want to familiarize you with how donating and recycling computers works. Read on to learn about how PCs for People can help you safely dispose of used computers and help bridge the digital divide.

Why Donate Your Computer for Recycling?

PCs for People accepts all types of e-waste, including computers, phones, printers, cords, and more.
PCs for People accepts all types of e-waste, including computers, phones, printers, cords, and more.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), personal computers should be disposed of only as a last option if donation or recycling is impossible.

Computers and other e-waste are highly toxic to the environment if disposed of in landfills. Donating them for recycling reduces health risks from toxic waste for humans and wildlife.

People who cannot afford new tech can benefit from the old computers you’re about to throw away, but they’re not there to take them directly from you. We act as the bridge between donors and low-income individuals, families, or nonprofit organizations struggling to afford computers.

Your donation will support our efforts to provide universal computer access and further close the digital divide.

What We Do With Donated Computers

We accept anything from an old computer monitor to a used laptop.
We accept anything from an old computer monitor to a used laptop.

If you’re about to donate PCs for the first time, you may wonder where they’ll go. Actually, it’s important for you to know! You can be sure that the computer you donate will end up in the hands of a person who really needs it. Here is what we do with donated computers:


PCs for People is a trusted e-waste recycler with over three thousand clients across the United States, from large corporations to local governments and schools. We reuse, recycle, and repurpose old computer equipment in an environmentally friendly manner.

We focus on recycling computers and their components while adhering to the Zero Waste to Landfill philosophy.

First, we isolate computers that are damaged beyond repair and those that are too old to run recent operating systems. Then, any functioning components are removed for use in other computers. The remaining non-functional computer components are recycled and diverted from landfill with the help of our independently audited recycling partners.

With more than 95% of waste recycled to its original form, our recycling process reduces the environmental impact of heavy metals originating from e-waste.


For donated computers that are still working or repairable, we refurbish them to ensure they’re working perfectly before selling them to eligible customers at affordable prices. Those that cannot be refurbished are dismantled to obtain usable parts, such as memory, processors, and graphics cards, which help refurbish other computers.

PCs for People is a Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher. We run a Third Party Refurbishers (TPR) program that allows small and medium-sized refurbishers to purchase Microsoft software licenses at discounted prices. As a third-party refurbisher, you can register for this program which will enable you to pre-install genuine Microsoft software for your customers.

Selling to Low-Income Individuals and Families

PCs for People is determined to make digital equity a reality. Our mission is to provide affordable computers or laptops to low-income individuals and families.

We recycle computers and refurbish them to a usable state, after which we identify individuals and families in need and sell them cheaply. We then provide a one year warranty, technical support (in-person, phone, email), and offer training to all skill levels. This helps us empower low-income individuals and families through equitable access to technology and support.

Offering Low-Cost Technology to Non-Profit Organizations

We also distribute computers to non-profit organizations at lower costs to ensure they are able to fulfill their own missions in our communities.

How We Ensure the Safety of Your Data

We take care of your sensitive information before laptop recycling.
We take care of your sensitive information before laptop recycling.

PCs for People is a NAID AAA Certified organization ready to take care of your IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) and data destruction needs.

One of our core responsibilities is to help organizations safely dispose of their unwanted IT equipment at no cost. This means we need to secure all your sensitive data by closing any loopholes for potential data breaches.

You can erase data on your devices before donating computers to us. But whether you erase it beforehand or not, we’ll still follow the NAID AAA process to ensure all data is wiped from your drives with no chance of recovery.

PCs for People is one of the few companies already certified by NAID to conduct data sanitization of hard drives and SSDs. We use DoD, HIPAA, and NIST 800-88 compliant software to conduct data sanitization on every device we receive.

Drives that cannot be completely sanitized are physically destroyed. The physical destruction is conducted by placing the drive in a drive shredder. The shredder rips apart the drive which renders any data remaining on the drive unrecoverable. Once this is done, the drive is responsibly recycled.

What We Accept for Recycling

While we focus on recycling e-waste related to computers, we accept all sorts of used technology, including functional and obsolete IT-related electronics regardless of brand or age. However, our electronics recycling facilities do not accept home appliances, televisions, and light bulbs.

If you’re unsure whether your old electronics will be accepted, please check our comprehensive list of accepted electronic waste. And no need to sort them; we will organize, pack them up, and take it all!

Who Are the Beneficiaries?

Your retired technology will directly benefit low-income individuals, families, and nonprofits by providing affordable computers. But PCs for People does more than just support the underprivileged.

We help businesses responsibly dispose of unwanted or old laptops, desktops, and other IT equipment. Through this, we help to save the planet from the impact of e-waste.

PCs for People Will Pick Up Your Donations for Free

Provided your e-waste meets our minimum requirement of 15 usable computers, we will come to pick them up without charging you a coin.

We can conveniently pick up your donations from the following states, and their neighboring regions:

  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • Colorado
  • Ohio
  • Illinois
  • Missouri
  • Georgia

All you need to do is schedule a pickup by filling out the pickup request form. Once you’re done, sit back and wait for our representative to get back to you. If you regularly dispose of e-waste, we can gladly schedule recurring pickups.

Where to Drop Off your Donations

You can also leave your computer or laptop donations at our designated drop-off locations. Remember, you may need an appointment to access some of our certified data destruction warehouses.