Unless you’ve been living on some sort of desert island for the last 30 years or so, you surely can’t have failed to notice that we’ve become increasingly dependent on computer technology to help us get through our daily lives. Even the humble desktop PC was relatively rare as recently as 20 years ago. However, more recently, the proliferation of computer technology has been extraordinary. Now we have laptops, tablets, smartphones and more besides. These devices have helped us save time and effort – but the fact that there are so many of them has left us with another problem to solve.
How to get rid?
There are so many computer devices that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to work out how to get rid of them. Of course, many people simply opt to send old computers, tablets, mobile phones and so on to the nearest landfill site. However, from an environmental perspective, this is a very damaging route to go down. Computers contain a range of chemicals and materials – such as mercury and nickel – which can be damaging to the environment if not disposed of properly. Simply chucking old computers in a landfill, then, can cause long-lasting damage. This is why it’s so important to find a better way of disposing of old computer equipment.
Of course, there is the broader question of the throw-away society we’ve created over the years. We’ve become so accustomed to simply throwing things away when we’re done with them that we often don’t give much thought to what happens to those objects once they’ve been carted off by the bin men. It’s also worth remembering that many items effectively have obsolescence built in. They’re not intended to be used for more than a few years, so that consumers then feel the need to go out and buy a replacement once their old item has outlived its usefulness. This might be good for profits, but it certainly doesn’t seem to be good for the environment.
The increasing public awareness of environmental issues has made people generally more aware of waste disposal. That’s why the popularity of computer recycling has rocketed over the last few years. Consumers, rather than simply chucking old computer technology away and forgetting about it altogether, are instead opting to recruit specialist firms to dispose of unwanted technology properly. Local authorities, for their part, have encouraged people to recycle old computers instead of just sending them off to the local rubbish tip.
Before sending your computer off for recycling, however, you should make sure that you’ve copied all the data you need to an external hard drive. Once you’ve done that, you can then erase your computer’s internal hard drive so that none of your personal information can be obtained from it in future. This is a simple precaution and one that’s well worth taking. Once you’ve done that, you can then hand your computer over to your chosen specialist recycling firm and leave them to do the hard work. As we become increasingly dependent on computer technology, the chances are we’ll need to recycle more and more – so it’s a good idea to get into the habit now.
Guest post contributed by Simon Hardman, a techy who is aware of his own impact on the environment and uses CDL computer recycling when it comes to changing computer or getting rid of parts he no longer needs.