Dear Lifehacker, After reading your article titled What happened when I truly disconnected” I have felt inspired to de-technologise myself. At home I have six laptops and tablets, all in working order despite 12+ years of wear ‘n’ tear. I want to get this number down to one.
I’ve sold two, but the rest will probably end up going to recycling. Problem is that where I live, my options are the local tip (which does no IT recycling at all) or to pay $45 each to have them collected from home by a “professional recycling firm”. Do you have any suggestions? I am keen to make sure they go to good use or are adequately recycled! Thanks for your help, Disconnecting
[credit provider=”Getty Images” url=”http://www.gettyimages.com.au/detail/news-photo/worker-holds-a-discarded-hard-drive-from-an-old-computer-news-photo/108037884#”]
$45 per laptop is pretty excessive — it would cost less money to drive to another council area and recycle them yourself. That said, you should be able to claim any expenses you incur at tax time. (Some e-waste removal services will even provide you with a green certificate for this very purpose.)
Another option is to contact the laptops’ manufacturers, most of whom have their own dedicated green programs in Australia. Toshiba, for example, allows customers to drop off old equipment in designated recycling bins, free of charge. It will also pick up your equipment from your house for $13 per item (plus a $10 courier fee). Pay a visit to the Australian website of each vendor and see if they provide a similar service.
Alternatively, you could try turning your unwanted laptops and tablets into cash. Retailers and hardware manufactures regularly hold cashback promotions for old technology. Last month, Harvey Norman was offering $300 off its Intel Core i7 ultrabook range when you traded in a used laptop up to five years old.
If you’re not interested in buying a new laptop, you could also give one of the various tech-for-cash websites a try. Examples include Boomerang Buyback, Cash-a-Phone (which also buys laptops) and Notebooks Galore. Naturally, you could also try flogging them on eBay. Whichever option you go for, make sure that any sensitive information has been thoroughly wiped from the hard drives first!
If readers have any alternative websites or services they’d like to flag, let Disconnecting know in the comments section below.
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