How to recycle your old computer


How to recycle your old computer

by Callum Tennent

When you're done with your old laptop, Mac or PC, don't just throw it in the rubbish. Make sure you recycle it properly with the help of our guide.

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Your old computer

The Waste electrical and electronic equipment (Weee) directive has been a strictly enforced law for almost a decade now. It means that computer retailers and manufacturers have to contribute towards having your computer recycled.

Need to replace your old computer or laptop? Take a look at our latest laptop reviews.

Recycling schemes

Some third-party companies offer a service where you can return your old computer for nothing – ask before you buy. If not, your council may run a scheme (but might charge for collection). For more details, go to the Environment Agency Website or contact your council.

You can also enter your postcode at the Recycle Now website to see whether there’s a recycling scheme near you. Alternatively, the Freecycle Network will help you give away your old machine, and Computer Aid International sends computers to developing countries.


If you recycle your old computer, don’t forget to delete your personal data. Pressing delete isn't enough, software such as VCOM SecurErase or Active@Killdisk will erase it and make sure that the data isn't recoverable.