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Don’t Just Throw It Away!

March 6, 2011

MacRecycleClinicMany 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.

Luckily, I just happened to be a SaraSaur who collected, loved and repaired Apple ///s so I rescued that particular unit from the Montgomery County landfill. A little effort and it worked like a champ.

Today, Americans have some great options to deal with electronics – and especially computers – that they no longer want. One of the reasons I started this blog, in conjunction with the MacRecycleClinic nonprofit organization, was to highlight the options you might have when you are ready to move on. I focus on Macintosh and all Apple computers because I’ve been an Apple guy since the early ’80s – but many of the folks we will highlight over time will take your PC as well – or many times any of your electronics.

The key thing here is to NOT just throw your old computer away but recycle it. Work with MacRecycleClinic here in the DC area (or Project Reboot on the PC side) or contact your local Mac or PC user group for more information. Check your county recycling efforts too – Montgomery County, Maryland does a great job with recycling at its “Transfer Station” in Gaithersburg. But YOU have to take the initiative to take your equipment to them. MacRecycleClinic has a volunteer, for instance, who takes the “hulks” of computers we have stripped of parts and takes them to the Transfer Station a few times a month. (Please take your older machines directly to the Transfer Station – we are not able to do that for you.)

If you have a question about recycling your computer, the MacRecycleClinic can help – we’re working to make our website a central port to help you get information about recycling or refurbishing your Mac.


Where do you take your computer for recycling? Does your club refurbish Macs and return them to the community in some way? Let us know and we’ll mention them here on RecycleMac.

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