We ran across this Dilbert cartoon, and of course, being in the computer recycling industry, saved a copy. It got us wondering about what people do with their broken electronics.
First I googled “Broken computers for sale” and found a whole slew of people looking to purchase/take broken computers, and lots of other people with suggestions on where to find them. There are businesses centered around selling “cheap broken laptops for sale”.
They are all over craigslist and freecycle, two sites that we love for their ability to foster computer re-use. We hope that anyone using those sites understands how to erase their hard drive, or remove it completely. That goes for computers, as well as scanners, printers, fax machines, and smart phones.
Why would someone want your broken computer equipment?
Maybe for parts. Or they will repair and donate it. Or they collect the metals and try to recoup some value when they have enough. Or, they want your information left on your hard drive.
It’s the same for businesses that use non-certified recyclers. They aren’t all unscrupulous, but IT managers of any size company are taking a big chance when they use someone who is willing to take it for free, no questions asked. And no paperwork or certifications.
Households should call their town and ask when the electronic collection days are, and ask if they use certified electronic recyclers. If they offer a hard drive shredding service, take it. When AnythingIT shreds hard drives, what’s left is not recognizable as a hard drive, let alone recoverable.