Alberta E-Future CBSC Alberta

E-Business Alberta | The Alberta E-Future Centre blog
E-Business Alberta | The Alberta E-Future Centre blog

 

Wondering what to do with your old computer?

According to Alberta Environment, in 2004, more than 90,000 desktop computers were discarded in Alberta. Computers contain materials such as lead, mercury, cadmium, beryllium and PVC plastics that can cause significant environmental and health risks if they end up in Alberta landfills.

When it comes to disposing of your computer, you have a few options to ponder. You could put it in the garbage and have it taken away to the landfill or, alternatively, you could have it recycled or even refurbished for donation. The Alberta E-Future Centre encourages you to consider the latter two options as environmentally friendly e-business best practices.

Alberta’s Electronics Recycling Program recycles old computers (and TVs) to keep our environment healthy and clean. You may drop-off your unwanted computer at no cost to one of the more than 120 collection sites set up across Alberta “so they can be recycled in an effective, secure and environmentally safe manner”.

E-waste roundups or collection events are held every Spring and Fall in many communities. Watch for an e-waste roundup event near you or find a collection site now with the Collection Site Finder.

The other option is to give your old computer to an organization that will have it refurbished and later donated, at no charge, to charities, non profit groups, and projects in developing countries.

The Electronic Recycling Association (ERA) is such an organization. This non-for profit organization works with the public and private sector helping companies and the public deal with unwanted electronic items which temporarily diverts the computers from the waste stream. Once these computers have outlived their extended lives, they can then be recycled.

Concerned about sensitive information on your hard drive? The ERA provides a data security service, where they come to you, and erase your computer’s data. In most high confidentiality cases, they insist that they destroy the hard drives in front of you, therefore eliminating any risk of your data getting into the wrong hands.

The ERA collects old computers for donation and recycling in Calgary, Edmonton, and other major cities. Read more about the ERA and its initiatives.

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