Keeping it green: Don’t trash that old computer

Do you have a Smithsonian-issued or personal PC, laptop, monitor, cell phone or other electronic equipment that you no longer need?  The following information will help ensure that your Smithsonian or personal equipment will be recycled responsibly and directed to an organization that would welcome your donation.

Recycling Smithsonian-issued equipment
The Smithsonian uses Dell Corporation’s Asset Recovery System  to dispose of surplus PCs, laptops, monitors, servers and tape drives.  Dell recycles devices that can’t be refurbished and reused in accordance with all local, state and federal environmental requirements and guidelines. For details on how to recycle Smithsonian-issued devices, see the OCIO Computer Hardware Recovery Program form on Prism.

Recycling personally owned equipment
Smithsonian staff should not surplus personally-owned hardware through the Smithsonian-managed Dell ARS program since that would confuse inventory reconciliation efforts. Instead, staff may contact several well-run private programs.

(Photo by Stephen Swintek/Stone Getty Images)

(Photo by Stephen Swintek/Stone Getty Images)

The EPA eCycling website helps individuals locate recycling programs in their area. For example, ReConnect is managed by Dell and Goodwill Industries and donates all proceeds from computer recycling to Goodwill Industries to support its mission of creating job opportunities for individuals with barriers to employment. Another program on the EPA list is AT&T Reuse and Recycle,  which recycles cell phones and batteries and supports “Cell Phones for Soldiers,” an initiative that uses funds from recycled cell phones to buy prepaid phone cards for active-duty military members to help them stay connected to  their families.

By participating in one of these programs, you ensure that your equipment is recycled safely and your donation benefits your community!

Posted: 9 February 2010
About the Author:

The Torch relies on contributions from the entire Smithsonian community.