Well, I’ve had a little break from my blog, but I’ve still been thinking about more ways to go green 😉 This week it’s the turn of what to do with my old laptop.
Unfortunately, after a few years my laptop really isn’t suitable for use any more – it freezes a lot, is incredibly slow and isn’t reliable enough for me to use as I need to be able to save work and access things that I’ve already done. So I decided it was time for a new one (this alone caused a little bit of green heart-wrenching!)
But what can I do with my old laptop? I judge it not really usable for another person, so I can’t donate it or sell it. But then I also can’t just throw it away. Electronic products can be made out of hazardous materials and as such you don’t want them in landfill where they could easily react with other substances! Also, it’s such a waste to throw something away, even if it isn’t usable as it is.
Waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE) that shouldn’t be thrown away normally is labelled with a crossed-out wheelie bin symbol – the photo below is of this symbol on the bottom of my laptop. The Hg in the circle next to it means that the laptop contains mercury (this is a hazardous metal), and you can see that it also says “Lamp(s) contain Mercury. Dispose Properly”. This highlights that you can’t just put this item in with your normal household waste because it could be dangerous.
A great suggestion one of my friends has given me is to remove the RAM (Random Access Memory) from my laptop, which is the valuable bit and the bit that someone else could use and sell it. You can look on eBay for the price you might be able to sell your RAM for. Then the rest of the laptop can be taken to a local recycling site where it will hopefully be broken down into bits which can be used again.
Because I have literally only just learnt how to remove the RAM, I’d like to direct you to this youtube video (below), which shows you how to do it very simply and easily. He first removes the battery from the laptop, and then takes out the RAM – it’s quite distinctive looking so you’ll know when you’ve found it! Remember to wipe your laptop of all your data first, though.
What do you do when one of your electronic or electric devices reaches the end of its life?