Ask LH: How Can I Give Away Old PC Parts?

Hey Lifehacker, Just wondering if there are any good Australian institutions that would take old PC parts as donations or for recycling? I'm not interested in DIY re-purposing hacks, I just want this junk out of my house! Thanks, Waste Not Want Not

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Dear WNWN,

There are plenty of recycling plants in Australia that will gladly take your PC components. Some charge a small fee while others provide their services free of charge. Usually you will be required to deliver the parts to a drop-off location, although some e-waste companies do provide a pick up service (these tend to be aimed at business clients and can be quite costly.)

In 2011, the Australian government introduced its own National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme which is funded by the industry. The scheme is run by a collective of e-waste organisations that operate nationwide, including TechCollect, Drop Zone, E-Cycle Solutions and EPSA. Naturally, you'll need to check each website's list of services to see if they accept the PC components you want to get rid of.

To find a government-approved recycling plant in your area, head to the "Recycling Near You" website and type in your state and suburb — you'll then be given a list of the nearest drop-off facilities. If there are no nearby services, contact your council instead: some city councils in Australia have introduced local recycling programs outside the national scheme. They may even arrange collection free of charge.

Many electronics manufacturers run their own recycling programs for existing customers. Check the brand names of your products and do a Google search to see if they accept old, unwanted goods. Some companies even provide incentives, such as loyalty discounts on new products.

On a final note, make sure your storage products are effectively wiped before you hand them over — especially if they used to contain sensitive information. This guide will talk you through the steps.

Cheers Lifehacker

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    If you're in the ACT, you can try Charity Computers, in Charnwood.

    Not sure about other cities but in Brisbane you can wait for your suburb's yearly kerbside collection and leave them out then. In most cases scavengers will grab them before the council comes through.

      Same for Perth. There's a map of most Perth kerb collection times here:

    Most dumps have an ewaste collection area. Yoiu drive in and drop all your electronics into a specified area (you see a lot of tube TVs). The fee will usually be the same as for any rubbish you would dump there, and sometimes your local council office can give you a discount or a freebie. I guess the ewaste gets sold on or is crunched up, picked apart and recycled for a meagre profit.

    Give it away..? I've got buckets of the stuff I'd like to sell..! :)

      Hi, if you are in Melbourne we can buy from you if you can bring the product to us in Thomastown. Call our office for rates: (03) 9357 3900. Kellie

    All the major cities I've checked have a couple of computer-recycling charities, who take second hand computers and refurbish them for the unfortunate. While it's a bit old this thread still links to a lot of them:, or else just google 'computer donations [yourcity]'

    They may not want your stuff if it's pretty old or in bad condition, but it's a good place to start. You can pretty much always find it a home if it's newer than a P4.

    Depending on the part, could also just list it on ebay or if there are any collectors around your area. Know a few people who collect ram sticks and hard drives. Like the saying goes, one mans junk is another mans treasure.

    Some stuff can't even be given away. CRT monitors spring to mind. Vinnie's won't even take them - people on the poverty line require flat screens.

      Actually the charities won't take any electrical equipment. Some rule about not being able to guarantee it's safe. (Source - Had a friend who worked for Goodwill)

    Hi everyone, SRS Recycling is a Scrap Metal and eWaste recycler in Thomastown, Victoria. We buy all types of computer parts from large and small businesses and the general public. In fact we actually accept just about anything with a power cord (some special instructions apply for fridge/freezer/air-con units). We work with various disability support organisations. Our staff manually dismantle all product and we save 98% from landfill. If you would like more information, a quote or our address please call our head office on (03) 9357 3900.

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