Donate used computers to charity
It's easy to forget that what's old to you is new to someone else. Moreover, putting your computer in someone else's hands keeps it out of the landfill. And ... you can take a nice tax write-off for it :)
How to donate your computer to charity
- Don't delay: The value and upgradability of the equipment decreases rapidly so don't procrastinate too much before donating.
- Find a refurbisher: They will take your "junk" fix it up and pass it on. TechSoup has a search engine that makes finding a service provider in your area a little easier.
- Wipe the hard drive: You never know where your private info might end up, so best to wipe it clean with harddrive cleaning software.
- Don't forget the peripherals:
- power cords
- connection cables
- software (and authenticity documentation)
Find it! Organizations that accept computer donations
Donating your computer helps you go green because…
- It reduces the amount of toxic substances that end up in landfills and enables the reuse of many resources found in the computers
- It extends the useful life of a computer well after you've declared it dead!
Electronic waste is the fastest growing portion of the US waste stream, growing at rates around eight percent per year. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), by 2005, 250 million computers in the US became obsolete. Refurbishing old equipment and donating it to charity extends the life of these devices that might otherwise end up in the landfill or incinerators where the components, including toxic heavy metals, can enter the water or air supply and cause harm to human and ecosystem health.
The toxic qualities of lead have been well documented and it is already banned from many uses. The toxicity of mercury is well known as well, and it is potent in acute quantities. Just 1/70th of a teaspoon of mercury can pollute and contaminate a 20 acre lake, rendering its fish unsuitable for consumption.
Donating used equipment to a nonprofit or school will likely qualify you for a deduction. Businesses are able to deduct the un-depreciated value of the donated computer, while individual donors are able to deduct the current market value of the donated computer. Computers for Schools provides a useful tool, the Used Computer Evaluator, to determine the market value of a used computer. Section 170 of the Federal Income Tax Code will give you more details about tax laws pertaining to computer donations.