This week I took Mom’s old “Dell” (actually a Compaq) home and erased the hard drive so that the computer could be junked. She didn’t want me to take it home because she knew it would just end up in my junk room with other obsolete stuff that I haven’t thrown away. I told her that every now and then there would be places set up where computers could be recycled. Unfortunately, they had just had one in Dekalb and I missed it. She called the next day and said she had heard on Clark Howard that you could turn in old computers at the Atlanta stadium today. I dug up my oldest Dell (bought in 1996), which was the one that Mom and Dad used for a few years. It had two hard drives in it. One was 1.6 GB and the other was 5.6 GB. As I had done with the Compaq, I took out the hard drive and connected it to my Dell so that I could format the drive, load it up with junk files (TV episodes) and then format it again. The 1.6 GB drive made a loud clicking when it spun up, so I could access it. Then I just put the hard drives back in the computers, but not connected.
Anyway, I drove down to the stadium at about noon. They were very organized with a lot of volunteers that directed me to a group of people who quickly removed everything I had and then I just drove off. It was almost like getting a pit stop. In no time they had hauled off three computers (my old Dell, the Compaq, and Susan’s old computer), two Dell CRT monitors (one 15″ and one 17″), and two old Powerbooks, the 520c and the 5300c. The 5300 was all dissembled and in a bag after my failed attempt to convert it to an electronic picture frame.
A lot of electronics like this are shipped overseas where the parts are separated as much as possible and the metal extracted (copper, steel, lead, tiny amounts of gold and other precious metals) or the glass melted down (from CRT monitors).
I still have my new laptop, my 3-year-old Dell desktop, and its precursor (from 2000) which I have set up as kind of a media center so that I can play iTunes through my stereo (though I don’t use it hardly ever).