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What do you do with your old / unused hardware? Cables, Hard drives, motherboards, and others peripherals you have around? Stuff that is broken or just too obsolete to use.


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13 Answers 13

There are a lot of people out there with far more time to tinker with "worthless" parts than I have - It doesn't head to a landfill AND you don't have to take it any farther than the curb. Win-win.

Strange, I'd forgotten all about Freecycle. Thanks for jogging my memory. +1 – John Gardeniers Jul 17 '09 at 12:27

We have a company locally that recycles old computers for schools and people who otherwise couldn't afford a computer, so a lot of stuff goes there. Old parts that can be assembled into computers, I've used for

  • mail servers
  • router/firewalls for friends, with m0n0wall
  • network storage with FreeNAS

Give it to me!


Just kidding :)


I hate throwing out hardware that still works, I feel that it could always come in useful later, when something breaks and there's a crisis. So it usually ends up in a big box of bits. I'll try to organize it but eventually it gets overrun and I have to throw some out or find a new home for it.

Often working parts will get re-purposed for a home project or used in a friends old PC that needs repairs.


Broken, bin it (only individual components however - Never bin an entire computer). Hard drives and cables always come in use, as do PSU's. Really old motherboards bin, keep the others as spares.

Edit: When I say bin it, I mean dispose of it correctly. For example hard drives should be securely destroyed/wiped.


In my area, electronics recycling is now required by law. An eco-fee is charged at point of purchase to cover this, and our bottle depots accept electronic devices.

I probably keep more than I should; I still have a huge box of parallel cables. Hard drives I always take apart before getting rid of them. Partly because I want to wipe the data, and partly because I want the magnets. Wipe one of the magnets across the surface of the disc and/or smash it with a hammer. Use the magnets to hold papers against metal storage cabinets. (I also used some magnets to make a coat hook in my cubicle.)


I recycle what I can, in a number of different ways. Just today I was handed an old laptop, still in working order. What do you do with a 400MHz Celeron laptop? Give it to one of the other staff members to give to his pre-school age grandchildren to play with. Things like cables can become a problem. There are only just so many any of us can find a use for and they accumulate faster than wire coathangers.


Go green and recycle by giving cat a bed.

taken from Here

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+1 Since the demise of flat topped, warm, cuddly powered-on CRT's in our homes, cats need a place like this! – kmarsh Sep 21 '09 at 2:10

Hm, we trade in our old hardware even the broken one. But I'm not in the purchasing department. Although this question was asked before, iirc.


Our county has a recycling center that accepts old computer components. I just make sure to remove the hard drives first.


Sell it on EBay or the like (or donate it, if someone wants it). There are people who cannot afford new equipment, or who like to tinker with old stuff, or need spare parts to keep an important system running. This even holds for computers that no longer work: they can still serve as part sources.

I once got 70 Euro for a broken laptop (wouldn't switch on), as the screen was still OK.

If you can't sell it that way, you dispose of it without feeling bad :-). Most municipalities have recycling centers for this, as computer trash should not be put into the normal trash.

Ah, and give any harddrives a good treatment with DBAN or the like, lest your private data end up in someone else's hands :-). This of course means that broken harddrives must be destroyed, as you cannot wipe them.


You have some nice tips in you answers. Basically if it is trash, bin it. If it has value, keep it, sell it, give it away. The hard part is determining if it has value :)

Recycling is a good thing, if it is broken but you are creative and can find an alternative use for it, go for it :)


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