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Recycle Computers

How to properly dispose of a used computer in Memphis, TN


You couldn’t pass up that special at Costco or Best Buy for the latest and greatest Quad Core computing behemoth. You have gotten it home, hooked it all up and copied all your pertinent data from your old pc. Now you are faced with one last obstacle. What to do with your old pc!

If it’s relatively new (3-4 years old) you may want to keep it around as a file or print server, off loading those tasks from your new computer. Or, it may be handed down to the next in line. But, if you just want to get rid of it, there are some things you should consider before setting it on the side of the road. Digital data on a hard drive does not go away just because the computer does. It is stored for the better part of forever, unless you take steps to delete it. You will want to be sure to remove both the operating system and the sticker with the Product Code from the case, you paid good money for that copy of Microsoft Windows XP Home or Pro, why give it away? You can never have enough legitimate Windows Product Keys around, I promise. If you do decide to allow it to go with the operating system, you will need to provide the original disks if possible to insure that the ownership transfer is legitimate and per the end user license agreement.

Important: You should always remember that even though you manually delete computer files, an identity thief might still be able to recover them, possibly putting you or your family at risk.

Files you should remove before you donate or sell your computer:

E-mail contacts
E-mail messages
All documents
All files in the operating system recycle bin or trash folder
Internet files
All non-transferable software (most software is transferable if you have the original disks and product key)

Options for removing files from your computer:

1. Remove the files yourself at home using disk-cleaning software. On Windows Vista you can clean up files with Disk Cleanup. If you have any sensitive files on your computer, you can also use a third-party application. To find software that works with your version of Windows, visit Windows Live Seach and search for “file shredder” or “secure file deletion.”
2. Call the computer manufacturer’s technical services department and ask how to delete personal files (your computer might need to be under warranty for this service).
3. Contact the Memphis PC Guy and request a Secure File Deletion service call.

Once you’ve cleaned the personal data from your old computer (and you don’t plan to or are unable to sell it), what should you do with it? Consider donating or recycling.


If your unwanted computer still works, donating it is probably the best way to go, and doing so will help keep toxins such as lead, mercury and other electronic byproducts out of the environment.

Each computer dumped in a landfill is a missed opportunity to provide a computer for others to use through a nonprofit or school-based refurbisher.

In addition, depending on the current market value of your donated computer, you might be able to deduct its value from your taxes (refer to current federal and local tax laws for more information).

Memphis Goodwill Industries Retail Stores
Location – 2605 Chelsea Avenue Memphis, Tennessee Zip code 38108
Phone. 901 323 6221

Salvation Army Thrift Store
Location – 130 North Danny Thomas Boulevard Memphis, TN Zip code 38103
Phone. 901 576 2286

Southeast Recycling Technologies, Inc.
Location – 3111 Norbrook Dr Memphis, TN Zip code 38116
Phone. 800 592 3970


If your computer is an older model (five years is typically the maximum for donating), doesn’t work, or donating isn’t otherwise an option, you can dispose of it responsibly with the help of a qualified recycler near you;

Shelby County Household Hazardous Waste facility
6305 Haley Rd
Memphis, TN


OPEN: TUESDAYS and SATURDAYS (except Holidays)
HOURS: 8:30 a.m. till 1:00 p.m.

Each household is only allowed to drop off one electronic device (such as computers, monitors, keyboards, and printers) to the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility per month.

About the Author

Memphis PC GuyMemphis PC Guy was created to help people and businesses with the overwhelming prospect of maintaining and protecting their computers, while enhancing everyday productivityView all posts by Memphis PC Guy


  1. bonnie hunter
    bonnie hunter11-11-2012

    Who buys old computers & monitors? Please help!!

    • Memphis PC Guy
      Memphis PC Guy11-23-2012

      You may try some of the locally owned brick & mortar stores such as KC Computers and Patton. Craigslist and Ebay are alternatives. Dog Micro use to specialize in the buying and selling of previously owned computers but I believe they are out of business.

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