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Recycling and/or Disposing Of Old Computer Equipment

Article ID = 67
Article Title = Recycling and/or Disposing Of Old Computer Equipment
Article Author(s) = Graham Needham (BH)
Article Created On = 12th January 2012
Article Last Updated = 30th October 2017
Article URL = http://www.macstrategy.com/article.php?67

Article Brief Description:
A guide to recycling and/or disposing of your old computer equipment including Apple Macs, iPhones, iPods, iPads

Recycling and/or Disposing Of Old Computer Equipment

Types of IT product that you can recycle in the United Kingdom:

Paper

Pretty much all paper and cardboard is now collected at the doorstep in the UK or at local/community recycling centres. Check exactly what can be recycled. You might want to consider shredding (sensitive) documents before recycling them.
Find your nearest recycling location in the UK

Optical discs

There is only one primary company in the UK (Polymer Recycling Ltd) that will recycle optical discs. They are happy to accept postal/courier deliveries of unwanted CDs (CDRs), DVDs (DVDRs), whole or cut/shredded, from organisations and members of the public for recycling, provided that postage/delivery is paid by the sender. The address to send them to is:

Polymer Recycling Ltd
Peninsula Business Park
Reeds Lane
Moreton
Wirral
CH46 1DW

Opening hours: Monday - Thursday, 7.00am - 5.00pm.

Computer equipment/portable devices

Electrical goods for recycling are known as WEEE and there are strict rules for the recycling of WEEE in the European Union (EU) and United Kingdom (UK). Below are some ways of disposing of computer equipment.
NOTE: In all cases you should prepare the equipment before disposing of it:
  • Backup and/or archive your data.
  • Computers should have software and/or services de-authorised/deactivated.
  • Computers should also have any internal storage devices/hard disks securely erased.
  • iPhones, iPads and iPod touches can be easily factory reset using the Erase All Content and Settings option on the device itself.
  • NOTE: If your iOS device is running iOS 7 or later it will have an "Activation Lock" - you should deactivate the activation lock before erasing the device and disposing of it!
  • iPods can be easily factory reset using iTunes.
  • Apple Airport Express/Base Stations/Time Capsules can be (factory) reset.
  • Other computing equipment like routers and printers can usually be (factory) reset - check the manual for the device for more information.
Authorised/Activated Software and/or Services
NOTE: If you know of any other Macintosh software that requires activation please contact us.

Mac computers

  1. First backup some/all of your data or clone your startup disk as required.
  2. If you use iCloud archive your cloud data.
  3. If you use them, turn off "Find My Mac" and sign out of "iCloud".
    1. Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > iCloud
    2. Untick "Find My Mac"
    3. Click "Sign Out" on the left hand side (data is automatically removed from your Mac)
  4. Sign out of iTunes (Store), Mac App Store and iMessage.
  5. De-authorise/deactivate any software/services on the computer.
  6. Securely erase the hard disk.
  7. If you have a MacBook Pro with Touch Bar you might want to take the additional step of clearing all the information from the Secure Enclave in the Touch Bar (see step 6 in the linked Apple article).
  8. Install the macOS / OS X / Mac OS X version of choice.
More information from Apple about what to do before you sell or give away your Mac.

iPhone/iPad (mini)/iPod touch models

  1. First backup some/all of the data on the device either to iTunes or iCloud.
  2. Factory reset the device using the Erase All Content and Settings option.
More information from Apple about what to do before you sell or give away your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
Pass it on to another family member or friend
Just remember to follow the guidelines above.
Reuse and repurpose
You may be able to reuse/repurpose an old Mac computer as a
Donate it
Charities and local educational institutions may be able to make use of your equipment.
IT For Charities - resource guide for UK charities and not-for-profit organisations
IT Schools For Africa
Recycle it
Dispose of it properly and using some schemes like Apple's "Reuse and Recycle" you may even get some money for it!
Apple's Recycling Programmes
Find your nearest recycling location in the UK

Batteries

All types of batteries can usually be recycled and where possible you should always recycle batteries rather than throw them in the bin as they all contain highly toxic chemicals! However, different types of batteries may require different recycling so always check where you are recycling them.
You can recycle Apple laptop batteries at any official Apple retail store.
Find your nearest recycling location in the UK

Mobile devices including Apple iPhones/iPads/iPods, mobile phones and tablets

All mobile phones can easily be recycled and some will even get you money back or money off a future purchase. If you are using an Apple iPhone/iPad/iPod with iOS 7 or later you will need to de-activate/unlock it before selling/recycling it. iPhones can be easily factory reset using the Erase All Content and Settings option on the device itself.
Useful mobile device recycling/trade-in links

Useful Web Sites for Recycling in the United Kingdom

Recycle Now
Recycle More
Find your nearest recycling location
Freecycle
Apple's Recycling Programmes

Article Keywords: recycle recycling sell selling sale give giving away old what to do before how to where united kingdom uk dispose disposal disposing Mac Macintosh iPod touch iPhone iPadAir Air iPadmini mini iPadPro Pro

This article is © MacStrategy » a trading name of Burning Helix. Apple, the Apple logo, and Mac are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.


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All proceeds go directly to MacStrategy / Burning Helix Limited to help fund this web site.

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