Reusing your old computer is better than recycling

By Jeff Graber

We all know that it is preferable to reduce, reuse, and recycle when it comes to keeping trash out of landfills. However, you may not have known that it is much more preferable to repurpose or reuse your old materials as opposed to even recycling. This is especially true when it comes to electronics, like cell phones or old computers. In this article, we will compare reuse versus recycling. We will also look at how to reuse or repurpose your old computer.

Recycle versus reuse

Before you just decide to recycle your Mac, wait. To properly recycle your Mac, you will probably have to take it to a special recycling center. You may even be charged. Macs and other electronics are not like plastics or glass: they can’t just be easily recycled. Due to lots of mixed materials and parts, they have to be disposed of properly. Recycling also takes energy and time to process all the materials. Instead, consider reuse of your Mac. Reuse can be done for nearly free. Plus, it can be taken care of right in your home, if you would like.

How to repurpose your old Mac

So how can you repurpose your old Mac? There are many ways! With just an installation of new software, you can create a wireless booster that can kill all dead spots for wireless in your home. Or, you can set-up a server to store all your data. You may also be able to use your old computer like new again by installing a newer operating system. An old computer can become a media center to stream media throughout your home. Lastly, you can use a cheap camera hooked-up to your Mac to create a home video surveillance system.

Other ways to reuse

If the above repurposing ideas are not something you sound interested in, then you can let someone else reuse your old computer. Lots of nonprofits, schools, libraries, or other organizations will accept used electronics. They can then sell or use these electronics themselves. If you are looking to make some money on the deal, you could also resell your computer as-is for parts via a site like eBay. If you must recycle, know that you can always drop off your used or broken electronics at places such as The Mac Support Store for no fee.

(This article is courtesy of The Mac Support Store, Brooklyn’s first Apple repair shop.)