What happens to your discarded old computer? | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

What happens to your discarded old computer?

Remember how good it felt the last time you hauled your clunky, old computer and monitor out to the curb and went back inside to turn on your shiny, new PC? Well as it turns out, that quick trip to the trash wasn't the best idea you ever had.

A growing number of advocacy groups are working to educate the public on what happens to their discarded, old computers and why they may want to take more precautions when disposing them. What many of us don't realize is that our electronics and other household electrical gadgets are potential Molotov cocktails, filled with unsavory heavy metals and toxic chemicals.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

My wife and I volunteer for a local organization called Hawaii's Computers For Kids.

We take donations of old computers and refurbish them for school, teachers, and other non-profits. Last year we put together an entire computer laboratory for the kids at a local Methodist church. I wanted to call it the "Meth Lab" for short but was over-ruled. But I digress.

As much as possible, we save parts from dead computers to upgrade/repair computers rather than let them get into landfills or wind up in these toxic disposal sites.

As the economy slows and school budgets tighten, fellow technoids might think about starting similar operations where they live, to keep computers alive and in the hands of people who need them rather than dumped into the environment.