Why You Shouldn’t Throw Your Old Laptops Away

Why You Shouldn’t Throw Your Old Laptops Away

When your laptop’s life cycle comes to an end, whether it’s the result of a damaged hard drive or expensive repair, you might be tempted to toss it into the trash and get a new one. Since there are always laptops on sale, it’s not necessarily a big expense and you might just get a new laptop and not think twice about what happens to your old computer. 

However, there are several good reasons not to junk your old laptop, even when it’s broken.

Broken laptops have valuable parts

Regardless of which part broke, there are still plenty of other usable parts left. For example, if your motherboard breaks, you’ve still got a screen, power supply, keyboard, fan, hard drive, memory, and more. All of these parts are valuable to others who need them for repairs or custom builds

If you don’t work on computers for a living, you won’t know what’s still useful, but if you post your laptop for sale, someone will want to buy it for parts.

Your laptop might not actually be completely broken

Despite appearances, it’s possible that your laptop isn’t doomed for the dump. If it won’t turn on, doesn’t fully boot, or you can’t use it outside of safe mode, that doesn’t mean it’s time to retire it. A variety of common issues can be easily fixed with a simple repair.

For example, say you decide your laptop is junk because it won’t turn on, but unbeknownst to you, it’s just the power supply. Most of the time, power supplies are cheap and easy to replace, and it can be done on the spot in some repair shops. If you don’t take it into the shop, you’ll never know it’s a quick fix to get your laptop working again.

Another simple fix is a dead hard drive. As long as no other components are affected, if your hard drive stopped working, you can just get it replaced. You’ll have to install a fresh operating system and download all of your applications, but it’s usually not a big deal and the repair person can probably install the OS for you if you ask. Hopefully, in this case, you’ll have a backup of your files, but if not, you’ll have to start fresh.

You might need a backup computer someday

Continuing on the point that your laptop might not actually be at the end of its lifecycle, another good reason to save your old laptop(s) is that you might need a backup computer in the future. Instead of throwing it away, get it checked out by a computer repair shop and at least get a diagnosis so you know what’s wrong. If it’s a simple fix, it doesn’t hurt to get it taken care of even if you plan on buying a new computer.

With a backup laptop, you’ll have something to fall back on in case your new device stops working or gives you trouble. For example, if your laptop stops working and you need it for work, it’s easier to just grab your spare laptop than scramble at the last minute to buy a new one. You can do that, but buying a laptop under pressure is never a good idea. You’re more likely to buy one that either won’t serve all of your needs or will be a little less durable than you’d prefer.

Buying a new laptop is something that takes time, research, and planning. You don’t want to buy the first device you see for the cheapest price. Laptops on sale can range from being too barebones to exactly what you need. In addition to the sale price, it’s crucial to focus on the specs.

Laptops don’t belong in landfills

Last but not least, if you care about the environment and the safety of sanitation workers, don’t put your laptop in the trash because it will end up in a landfill. There are several problems with this scenario.

The first issue is that lithium-ion batteries pose a fire risk when transported or crushed, and that makes every laptop a fire hazard in the trash. In fact, one landfill in Oregon sees lithium battery fires multiple times per week.

The other issue is that lithium is in high demand, and millions of tons of lithium end up in landfills every year from various devices. It’s a waste of resources to throw away a laptop. It’s better to recycle your battery and/or sell the laptop for parts.

If you can’t sell it, there are companies that will take it and put it through a special recycling program.