What to do with an unwanted cell phone, old TV, or computer? E-Cycle it!
Check out the Basel Action Network (http://ban.org/) for a list of responsible e-waste recyclers in multiple countries.
From what I understand from talking to one of the employees at Metech Recycling (one of their Certified E-Stewards) the processing is done on site -- rather than being shipped off to another (third world) country with little to no environmental protections or worker safeguards.
It sounds like a much cleaner and safer way of dealing with our e-waste. I'll be sending my phones off tomorrow a.m.!
Thanks, Maggie. Your link lead me to a local business, an e-steward, who collects this stuff and has it recycled within the state. Took an old laptop last week, and tomorrow we'll be collecting our ole computer odds and ends ("anything with a plug") that they'll also accept for recycling.
For anyone in the Bay Area: Green Citizen.
My DH took the hard drive out and broke into a gadzillion pieces; He also disassembled the entire laptop, which seemed a bit of overkill, but therapeutic. We put everything in a paper bag to bring in. If he hadn't been willing, this vender and many others will destroy the HD in front of you, "for a fee". Green Citizen would have charged $30. You can also either wipe the hard drive before destroying, or have someone else do it --in front of you.
CDs, DVDs: if you don't have a shredder, would be same story.
In the past, with tapes, we've actually used a large magnet to mess them up before discarding. I don't remember if older computers can be wiped that way...
If you want someone else to be able use the computer, then obviously you should somehow wipe the HD and return to factory settings. We would have had to take the computer to a different kind of vender.
This laptop was useless, though.