Laptop Recycling Improves Peoples’ Lives – One Computer at a Time
When it comes time to upgrade your laptop, consider your plans for the older equipment that it will replace. You have a responsibility to both yourself, and Mother Earth, to ensure that your retired IT assets are disposed of in a secure, and environmentally ethical fashion. Throwing your tired old laptop into the garbage may seem like a quick solution, but to do so puts both the environment, and your personal data security at risk. For those with scruples (as we should all have), there is a smarter solution that is both convenient, and remarkably simple.
Laptop Recycling is Better for the Environment
Laptop recycling is a profoundly effective way to help stem the flow of e-waste to Canadian landfills. According to the Brussels-based Bureau of International Recycling, Canada generated 638,300 tonnes of “e-scrap” — electronic and electrical equipment — in 2017, and that amount is expected to climb. The BIR estimates that, by 2025, Canada and the U.S. generate a cumulative total of 9.25 million metric tons of e-scrap in that year alone. The impact that these volumes of e-waste will have on our environment is both staggering, and frightening.
Laptop Recycling Helps Your Community
The sensible alternative suggests laptop recycling, instead of throwing them out. One obvious benefit to diverting a retired laptop from landfill, is that you reduce its impact on the environment. More than that though, laptop recycling can actually affect social-change! How, you say? Your retired laptop may be refurbished and redeployed, finding new life in the hands of someone in need within your community. One such option is reBOOT Canada, a charity that converts laptop recycling into a viable means for helping vulnerable Canadians bridge the digital divide. Through the benefit of donated computers, reBOOT Canada refurbishes equipment to provide Canadians with access to affordable computer technology and support. Specific initiatives include reSTART, a program supporting qualified barriered individuals, and reSOURCE, a program supporting non-profit organizations. reBOOT Canada also offers a range of refurbished computers for retail sale, providing the general public with access to a range of affordable options.
Don’t Forget About Your Personal Data
When laptop recycling, remember too that their hard drive(s) contain a trove of personal data that you don’t want falling into the wrong hands, either. In 2012, 17, 094 Canadians were victims of identity theft. In 2014, that rose to 20,611 Canadians; representing a jump of almost 20% in only two years! Identity theft can be a crime of opportunity, with ramifications which reach far-and-wide. Ensure all hard drives are properly sanitized before recycling your laptop, or find an organization (such as reBOOT Canada) that can do the wiping for you.
Laptop Recycling with reBOOT Canada
- Back up your files to the cloud, or on an external hard drive or flash drive. With laptop recycling, once you hand your laptop over, your files will be irretrievable (hard drives will be wiped, pending redeployment). Be sure to save any pictures, documents, music, videos, or anything else you think you may be important. If you think you might need it later, it needs to stay in your possession.
- Wipe the hard drive. You’ve probably been told that “formatting” your hard drive doesn’t really erase the information. That is true, indeed. It merely hides the data in order to create more space for new data. Same thing when you “delete” files; they just get refiled. Specialized software downloads are available online which will allow you to wipe your drive clean. If you are unsure, reBOOT Canada can do the wiping for you.
- Bring your laptop to a reBOOT Canada location, and donate it to charity. Complete an online donation form before your visit to receive a tax receipt representing the fair-market value of your laptop, for your troubles!
- Pat yourself on the back. That old laptop wasn’t doing anybody any good sitting in a closet, but now that you have given it to reBOOT Canada, the magic begins! If viable, your laptop will be refurbished, and redeployed into your community. If not, it will be recycled responsibly, while drawing commodities such as aluminum, copper, and gold from its components.
Laptop recycling is a more responsible way to mitigate environmental damage, manage your personal data security, and provides the resources needed to help your community – one computer at a time.
About reBOOT Canada
Since 1995, reBOOT Canada has been refurbishing donated computer equipment to provide non-profits, and the public, with access to subsidized technology, free public Wi-Fi, and skills development training. reBOOT Canada is a registered Microsoft Refurbisher with retail stores in Toronto (Brick Works) and Peterborough, and a warehouse located in Mississauga.