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How to Dispose of Old Tech | Fraser Valley IT Consultants

Hardware, Security, Tech Tips | December 17, 2020

Recycling Devices – Disposing of Old Tech

It is the busiest shopping season of the year and millions are expected to be spent on shiny new tech and gadgets. In fact, tech retailers have already seen a rise in sales in 2020. OK… it should not be too surprising to learn that. After all, this was the year when we relied on our tech so much to stay connected! In business, though, we do not usually wait until Christmas to swap out our old tech. (Although, the sales you see at this time of the year, may make a good incentive to do so!) Tech shopping happens all year-round… breakages, upgrades needed, new staff, business expansion… the list of reasons goes on. A question that comes with buying new tech, though, is how do we go about Recycling Devices?

Out with the Old

As time goes by, you will accumulate old tech. We all do it! You get a new laptop, and you think you should keep the old one… just in case. Maybe you can use the parts for something else. Or maybe you just do not know what to do with it! However, keeping it is just taking up valuable storage space. It also becomes 1 more potential data breach source if it gets lost or stolen! Yes… you may not be able to get it to work anymore, but there are plenty of people who are still willing to try to (and possibly can) extract something from the memory.

So, what do you do with your old business tech?

There is a right way and a wrong way to go about disposing of and recycling devices. Let us point you in the right way…


First step is… yes… it is our favourite 2 words… back-up! Make sure you have taken all the info and files you need off that device. Then, unpair it from any Bluetooth devices (headphones, mouse etc). Also, double-check every port is empty (CDs, DVDs, Flash cards, SIM cards etc), disconnect from cloud storage accounts and deactivate any software subscriptions you have on the machine.

Factory reset

If you are sure you have absolutely everything you need, perform a factory reset before recycling devices. This is really important! No matter what you decide to do with the device (recycle, sell, donate), it is vital to remove all of your data first. Just deleting files will not cut it. A factory reset will wipe the hard drive and reinstall the OS, deleting all of your info.

If you are a Windows 10 user, go to the Start Menu. Click on Settings – Update & Security – Recovery. Then, under Reset this PC, click the Get Started button and follow the instructions. (Picking the erase data thoroughly option)

For Mac users, restart your computer and during the start-up, press Shift + Option + Command + R until you see the Apple logo. When the Utilities window appears, open the Disk Utility and erase the hard disk (selecting the disk and not the volume name underneath). Then select MacOS Extended (Journaled) format. When done, quit Disk Utility. Finally, go back to the Utilities window and choose Reinstall MacOS or OSX.

Recycling Devices

recycling logoWhat you do next depends on the state of the machine and what you want to do with it. You have 3 options:

  1. Sell it – if still in good enough condition.
  2. Donate it – again, if in good enough condition. There are several charities, schools and associations that would be grateful for the donation.
  3. Recycle it – the eco-friendly option for anything that does not work anymore! Thankfully, we have a number of recycling programs across Canada. They keep 100,000 metric tonnes of old electronics out of landfills each year! (That is roughly the equivalent of 20,000 elephants!) There are several options available in the Fraser Valley and you can find the best one for you at the Recycle My Electronics website.

What not to do!

Please, do not just throw it away… no matter what state your tech is in! Electronics are filled with toxic metals and carcinogenic chemicals. Don’t worry! They are absolutely safe when you are using them. However, when sitting in a landfill or incinerated, they pose a long-term threat to the environment…adding toxins like mercury, arsenic and lead to our earth, air and waterways.

Have some old business tech and want some help recycling devices? Well, you can contact us for help upgrading your machines and disposing of your old ones properly. Just give us a call on 604-210-9811 or email

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