I have been thinking about putting together a “Computer Recycling Guide” for everyone – talking about the best ways to prepare your computer to either recycle it as e-waste (by taking it to the Shady Grove Transfer Station here in Montgomery County for instance) or finding someone to donate it to (like MacRecycleClinic or other recycling organization). But in a very brief moment of inspiration, I thought why not let you help me do this? Let’s give you the power to contribute to something we can all use. In fact, it’s something we could distribute here and through our MacRecycleClinic.org website.
You don’t need to answer all of the questions – even one is beneficial. It just needs to be based on your own experience no matter where you are. And the answers can be short too. Links are welcome of course. We’ll gather them all together, combine, edit and format – and repost it here on RecycleMac for all to enjoy. And although we are focused on Macs, if you have great tips for the PC side, we’ll be happy to have them as well. Just put your tips in the comments for this posting(which follows) and we’ll take it from there. Or if you’d rather, shoot them to me at dottalini at macrecycleclinic.org.
Here are the questions:
- How do you know it’s time to replace your old computer (see earlier post here but I want your thoughts);
- How should you prepare your Mac or PC for recycling or donation;
- Are their pieces of the older machine you can put to good use with the new one?
- What is the best software to use to get your information transferred from your old computer to your new one?
- At what point is it better to just recycle your computer vs. donating it individually to someone else or through a non-profit like MacRecycleClinic?
- Anything else you’d like to contribute?
This will be posted on our Twitter site too (we don’t have a Facebook account as of yet but I do and will post it there) but please pass this along.
Informed folks want to know! I’ve been talking a lot about what we do and how we do it but sometimes just having an actual mission statement can provide some focus for an organization. MRC is a SMALL organization mind you. We still have a number of folks who were part of the old Tuesday Night Crew as we called it at Washington Apple Pi (WAP). Over the time we were “in the wilderness” and without a home, we did lose a few friends.
We hope that as we reestablish ourselves in our new location at Marvin Memorial United Methodist Church in Silver Spring, others interested in helping will step forward. And of course we could use some customers too! We survive thanks to your donations. Come join us! Read more…
Time to get some feedback! Tell us what you think of RecycleMac and how we can improve. We’ll try the WordPress Poll function (which uses polldaddy) to make it easy.
We’ll leave this up for awhile. There’s space for you to contribute as well – so don’t be shy! And thank you.
I wanted to pass along this blog posting from Kevin Rose (from San Francisco) who recounts the experiences of a friend who is an Apple Store employee in Japan. He was working in the store when the 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit. It’s an amazing read.
We here at RecyleMac and MacRecycleClinic offer our best thoughts, wishes and prayers to the people of Japan as they work to recover from a disaster that seems to grow by the day. Please contribute if you can to the Red Cross or other relief agency. You can donate via the iTunes Store, Network for Good, the Red Cross and even via text message. Just search online and you’ll find plenty of links.
I just have to marvel at the ability of the Japanese to take these kinds of things in stride and keep focused on the matter at hand – finding and helping survivors, literally giving their lives to try to contain the nuclear power stations at Fukushima Daiich and working towards recovery.
Here’s a taste of what the blogger wrote on the Kevin Rose site:
You know how in disaster movies, people on the street gather around electronic shops that have TVs in the display windows so they can stay informed with what is going on? In this digital age, that’s what the Tokyo Apple stores became. Staff brought out surge protectors and extension cords with 10s of iOS device adapters so people could charge their phones & pads and contact their loved ones. Even after we finally had to close 10pm, crowds of people huddled in front of our stores to use the wifi into the night, as it was still the only way to get access to the outside world.
Huffington Post’s list of Organizations Working to Help Japan: http://huff.to/hjLvgB
RecycleMac has been getting some positive feedback so thanks to all of our readers out there. This is really a long-term project that tries to build a quality voice in a room filled with many folks who are passionate about the environment and recycling. We’ll keep working at it with your help!
So here are the questions:
- What’s different about recycling Macs than other computers?
A Mac is a PC – that is, it is a personal computer or a personal appliance or a personal electronic gadget. So essentially you would recycle it the same way you might any other computer. All the folks we’ve talked about – from Apple to Dell – will take your computer and many times other electronic equipment and recycle them.
Unfortunately, Apple has taken some heat in past years because its computers were not made of materials that were easy to recycle or were toxic. To its credit, Apple has made some major changes and is much greener these days. I won’t go into depth here but you can read all about it on their website. If you’re interested, you can also see what Greenpeace says these days – it has an entire website devoted to the issue.
Please know that the Macs that are donated to us are thoroughly checked and cleaned. Hard drives are securely wiped of all data and an appropriate version of the Mac OS is installed. If the machine can not be made to work (and we get some that just don’t want to work no matter what we do) we will take out any reusable parts – hard drives, memory, batteries, sometimes the power supplies and optical drives – and send the hulk to Montgomery County’s Processing Facility and Transfer Station in Derwood (Gaithersburg), Maryland – which is the closest county recycling center to us. Here’s a map:
Time and again, we see examples of individuals really making a difference. The 7 year old who raises money to help the families of our Wounded Warriors. The cancer victim who walks with many others each year to raise research funds. The church members who individually volunteer their time at everything from soup kitchens to homeless shelters. Americans like to look on themselves as individuals but the fact is we work pretty well together when there’s a need. Recycling computers and other electronics is important and something we can all be part of. Whether you donate your old PowerMac G4, G5, iMac, eMac or Intel machine to a group like MacRecycleClinic to refurbish for others, take it to your local Apple, Best Buy or other store for recycling or your county or state recycling center, you make a difference each time you or your neighbor makes the decision to recycle rather than throw away.
Many years ago, I was getting ready to leave for work when the neighbor next door came out with an old Apple /// and propped it next the the telephone pole. He was throwing it away because at that time, there were few options for folks to recycle their used electronics. Now any of you who have been around for awhile and know what an Apple /// is, you will also know it was a really heavy computer. Steve Jobs HATES fans – and tho he’s mellowed in his old age, there was a time he never even allowed a fan near any of his computers.
That’s why the /// didn’t have a fan – and in fact, was “anchored” literally by a heat sink manufactured in a Midwestern auto engine factory. It made a great boat anchor once its useful days were over.