How to recycle your old computer

How to recycle your old computer

  • How and why you should recycle your PC
  • Why some companies let you return your old PC free
  • Computer recycling schemes explained
  • What you should do to secure your personal information before you recycle your computer

Your old computer

Don't consign your old machine to the landfill; here's how to recycle it. Find out how to do your bit for the environment.

In 2007, the Waste electrical and electronic equipment (or Weee) directive came into force.

A pile of old computers in the street

Some companies let you return your old PC for nothing

So computer retailers and manufacturers now have to contribute towards having your computer recycled.

Recycling schemes

Some 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. Software such as VCOM SecurErase (£24.99) or Active@Killdisk (basic version free from will erase it.