It comes to them all in the end y’know. The signs were likely there - slow boot times, spending more time looking at that wee egg timer than normal.
But it’s still a shock when the blue screen of death abruptly announces the end of your laptop. Here’s some things you can do when that happens.
If your computers and computer equipment are not in good working order to pass on for reuse then it is classed as WEEE - waste electrical and electronic equipment. This includes computers, monitors, laptops, games consoles, IT and copying equipment.
Household recycling collection
Computers and computer equipment are not accepted via household recycling collections and should be recycled at your local recycling centre or at a WEEE bring site.
They should not be disposed of in general waste as
- Electrical items contain batteries that when thrown in a bin, dangerously end up in landfills. As they decompose, hazardous elements from the metals are released into the environment contributing to water and air pollution
- If electrical products are disposed of in landfill with batteries still inside, they can potentially cause battery fires
- There is no opportunity for refurbishment or repair so that an item can be reused
- There is no opportunity to recycle the items and recover valuable materials and resources
Household waste recycling centre (HWRC)
Yes, local recycling centres collect computers and computer equipment. Look out for the WEEE signage.
Lithium-ion batteries, the sort you find in laptops, tablets and other gadgets should be removed from your unwanted device if possible and deposited alongside WEEE items.
How are computers recycled?
WEEE items contain a complex mix of materials like metals, glass, plastics, ceramics and precious metals, as well as hazardous substances. Some treatment facilities use large-scale shredding technologies. Others use a disassembly process. This can be manual, automated or a combination of both.
Removing your personal data
Don't recycle, trade-in, sell, or donate your device without wiping it clean.
It’s up to you to make sure your personal data has been removed from your electronic devices. And we’re not just talking about mobile phones, tablets and laptops. Lots of electrical items store information about us, from smart TVs to sat navs. Take care of your personal data and reduce the risk of it being used by someone else.
What can you do?
A simple repair could give an item a new lease of life and save you money too - especially on those more expensive electrical items
Think about leasing a computer rather than buying
Recycling is constantly evolving and changing so check back for updates or try our recycling locator to find out what you can recycle at home and where you can recycle or pass on unwanted items in your local area.