So you've gone through the motions of trying to properly dispose of your old [ancient] hardware but nobody will take it. You don't want to let it sit and not rot in a landfill somewhere. There isn't a place in the world that will take it off of your hands. What do you do with it?
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We allowed the IT folks to take out some frustrations "Office Space" style. It was a lot of fun and really raised morale.
I know you mean well, and sorry to pile on your bad day, but this is a serious problem. The proper term for your old equipment is e-waste.
Unfortunately even if you can find some gullible souls to take it of your hands it will eventually make it to the poorest in the world to be bashed into pieces with stone age tools for the valuable elements it contains and leave behind a toxic landfill.
To everyone saying give it to some non-profit place I'd just like to say I really hate it when people bring their old crap to us.
I do the IT for a non-profit, one that has been mentioned here already and while we don't need to compute pi to the 4 billionth number, please don't think we'll take any old crap. I know I don't speak for all of us, but I hate it when people drop off an old computer that turns out to be a PIII POS, oh it works great they say. Yeah ummmmm our current oldest computer is a P4 and its being replaced next week. If its too old for you to run your office applications on, then its likely too old for us as well. Its an office, we have work to do and we still need to do it effectively.
We have 30 computers and 3 servers, of those we have a 4 year life cycle plan on the work stations and 5 on the servers, and if needed we can drag that out a little if we can't quite replace them all when expected. This allows us to plan and budget for replacement. Because we've done it right the computer system has become a necessity and requirement, especially since we're 24/7 and the night shift uses email to maintain effective communications with the day shift & management. We'd rather have fewer good computers then more that just create problems.
Management used to think it was a good idea to take the used stuff, until it was shown to them how many hours were spent wasted with down equipment, slow equipment, lost work, etc buy using used/old equipment. When you can get a NEW low end workstation (and business class vostro not home) for $350 from Dell, thats less then $100 year per computer.
We don't even try and give ours away when we replace them, we just dispose of them. Luckly enough for us, the local city takes electronics (for proper recycling) for free from residental, so I slowly discard them over a period of 6 months. If it truly is a family that can use it, then sure, but otherwise disposing of it properly ensures that it was done right, rather then risking the next person just trashing it.
Sadly, no ingenuity here. We either donate it or recycle it. We did have an IT Bake Sale, so to speak, where I got rid of a ton of antique G3 Macs and old CRT monitors.
We usually donate to the local Goodwill or Salvation Army (etc). You never know if what you have is what they'll need!
If you're in the Portland, Oregon area, checkout Free Geek's computer recycling programs. They'll take your old hardware, add Linux and provide a computer to someone in need.
Also, if you're a Dell customer, they offer discounted rates on recycling programs that include secure disposal of hard drives.
If you compute with style, there is always the Mac Aquarium.
I find a post to the local university's NNTP server usually gets rid of even the junkiest junk in seconds :)
Door stops. Incredibly effective door stops.
You might throw out your back moving them into place, but the door may likely remain intact after a nuclear bomb drop (emergency recovery plans rarely account for the necessary destruction of indestructible hardware). I am convinced that sysadmins were a much larger and stronger sapien in the forgone era. Evolution befuddles me.
Offer it up to the IT departments of local non-profit organisations. If you're able to speak to the right people then often they can make use of stuff that would otherwise be outside their budget.
If there are no takers then put a lump of thermite through the top of it. Especially rewarding if the machine has a somewhat tainted history.
Stick it out next to the trash, but the night before pickup. Someone will come by and snatch it up before the garbage collectors come by the next day.
What do you mean get rid of it? I still have the CPU boards (yes, plural) from our company's old VAX 11/750. The company still has the "newer" MicroVAX3400's sitting in a corner somewhere, as well as an AlphaServer 1100 4/275 and an HP 9000 750 (I think, can't look at it right now). I thought everyone just accumulated that sort of stuff...
Build FrankenBots, of course!
Hardware mashup? A built-in coffee maker would almost redeem that old hardware...
In the EU, whe have the WEEE system to ensure that electronic waste is handled environmentally correct. So no electronic equipment should end up in a landfill in the EU.
I wait for the next eviromental drop off for the county where I live. I take all the stuff that no one wants and that is not worth giving to non-profit organizations. They take it all and I feel great that I took responsability for the enviroment.
Look up if there is an electronic tinkering club somewhere, my experience is they love to strip away the useful components (well the thing that is mentioned as e-waste). You'll be amazed how much you can still do with those old 7400 style chips :-)
I really like job corps. There are also other job training locations as well. If the equipment works they're usually very happy to receive it.