Frequently Asked Questions About E-Waste Recycling

PCs for People is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and national leader in IT asset disposition (ITAD) offering certified data destruction and recycling services. We offer free white-glove pickup service for companies and organizations with more than 15 usable computers to recycle. 

General Questions

We are proud to offer FREE recycling for nearly all computer-related electronics, with a few exceptions.

  • CRT (tube) computer monitors and televisions cost 55 cents per pound to recycle.
  • Multifunction copiers cost 22 cents per pound.

We accept nearly anything computer-related. Click here for the comprehensive list.


No. PCs for People cannot accept home appliances and light bulbs. Click here for details.

Yes! We accept any computer, no matter its age, condition, or brand. The same goes for computer accessories.

We refurbish as many computers as possible. However, some are damaged beyond repair, or are too old to work with current operating systems. We follow a strict zero-landfill policy, so if a computer isn’t suitable for refurbishing, usable parts are removed and used for refurbishing other computers. Everything else is broken into its natural components and recycled with an independently audited recycling partner. Functioning computer monitors are distributed with desktop computers. Broken and obsolete monitors, cables, circuit boards, and other miscellaneous electronics. are recycled.

No, they are not needed. If you have the manuals and discs for your equipment, we will be happy to recycle them for you.

PCs for People is a national nonprofit working to get low-cost quality computers and internet into the homes of individuals, families, and nonprofits with low income. By recycling and then refurbishing computers, PCs for People provides a valuable service to businesses, families, and the planet by keeping computers out of landfills and repurposing them to advance digital inclusion.

Learn more here.

PCs for People is a trusted e-waste recycler for over two thousand large corporations, small businesses, manufacturers, high-tech firms, nonprofits, local and state governmental agencies, and K-12 schools, colleges and universities. We are happy to provide client references upon request.

Businesses qualify for free pick-up when recycling 15 or more computers. Request a pickup by clicking here. Alternatively, you may write an email that includes the location, quantity and type of equipment to .or  call us at 651-354-2552 extension 829.

Choose a convenient location to drop off your equipment here.

Individuals can make an monetary donation here.


Data Security & Sanitization

Yes. PCs for People guarantees all data on hard drives is destroyed. We follow Department of Defense and National Institute of Standards and Technology guidelines, so all data are deleted and unrecoverable.

All PCs for People Access Employees are thoroughly vetted. Each person has passed a criminal background check, drug screening, employment history verification, and I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification. In addition, Access Employees have signed a confidentiality agreement verifying they will protect the confidentiality of all information taken into custody by PCs for People.

You may wipe the hard drives prior to turning computers over to us, but we’ll still erase every hard drive using our AAA National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) process. All hard drives are wiped three times and loaded with Windows 10 or Linux Mint depending upon the age of the computer. Each hard drive serial number is tracked and a receipt will be sent to you cataloging the wiping process. Any drive that fails the wiping process is physically destroyed.

Yes. When we get computers without hard drives we’ll put drives in as part of the refurbishing process.

When all your equipment is safely loaded and locked in our truck, you’ll sign a transfer of ownership giving PCs for People possession of and responsibility for the E-waste. At the same time, our liability insurance assumes coverage of the electronics in the event of loss from theft, wind, tipping/spillage, or other atmospheric conditions until arrival at our secure wiping warehouse.

PCs for People uses a precise process to ensure protection of your data. Upon arrival at our warehouse, Access Employees unload all equipment from the truck and put it in a secure staging area. Next, the hard drives are removed from the computers and placed in a container specifically labeled for each customer. After all the hard drives have been removed, the container(s) are moved to the secure sanitization area.

Meanwhile, the computers (without hard drives) are checked, cleaned, and refurbished whenever possible. Unusable computers, cables, printers, and other peripheral devices are sorted and recycled.

All hard drives that enter the secure storage area are erased or physically destroyed by an Access Employee. Only PCs for People Access Employees are allowed to work in this area. The facility is monitored at all times by a video security system capable of recording over 90 consecutive days of video. The storage area is also protected by an alarm system and motion sensors when the building is unoccupied.

PCs for People Access Employees ensure drives are being fully sanitized by following a strict quality control process.

The serial number of each hard drive is scanned with a barcode reader and recorded in a spreadsheet. If a hard drive is successfully sanitized, it is labeled indicating:

  • All data has been wiped
  • The name of the technician sanitizing the data.

One drive per fifty is sampled for quality control, and at least one drive needs to be sampled for each customer lot number. When a drive is randomly selected for the quality control inspection, it is checked by a different technician than the one who performed the data wipe.

If data is recovered from the drive, all media from that customer’s lot is re-sanitized. After this sanitization process, two drives are sampled for every fifty devices in the customer’s lot. If the second sampling reveals another device with retrievable data, PCs for People will re-inspect all our hardware and software used in the data sanitization process. If all hardware and software is fully operational, the drives will be wiped and verified for a third time. Should data be recovered after the third verification, all drives are destroyed. You will receive a single PDF file that contains the signed transfer of ownership, certificate of destruction, and data sanitization log within ten business days of the pickup. The data sanitization log lists all the hard drive serial numbers and verifies the drives have been sanitized or destroyed.

Earlier this year, we were one of the first companies that were certified for SSD sanitization by the National Association of Information Destruction (NAID).  We have implemented this process and all of our locations utilize this approved method of information destruction.

If hard drives fail the sanitization process, or if you request hard drive destruction, they are labeled for physical destruction and crushed using a twelve-ton shop press with a metal-spiked ram. Once the media is destroyed, it is removed from the secure area and placed in the recycling. SSDs are destroyed in the same way.


Possibly. PCs for People will provide a receipt that contains our tax ID number and the IRS code for a tax deduction for property donated to a charitable organization under applicable rules and regulations and a.

The charitable deduction for contributions of technology equals the fair market value (retail used value in the current market place) of the donated property. By law, nonprofits including PCs for People cannot determine the value of your donation. One way to calculate a value of your electronics donation would be to find similar products for sale on the internet.