I used to collect computer components. While doing computer consulting in my spare time, I accumulated a room full of hard drives, computer cases, video cards, and monitors. At first it made me feel wealthy to look at all the computer parts I had. It didn’t take long for me to realize that this junk was precisely that: junk.

Eventually I recycled all of this stuff, but I had to pay to do it. I took a van-load of equipment to Free Geek, a Portland-area non-profit, and gave them $210 to take all of my components.

Donating the stuff to charity was a fine option, but now there’s another one.

While browsing the FatWallet forums, I learned that Costco recently teamed with a company called GreenSight to start a trade-in program for consumer electronics. They’ll take computers, monitors, mp3 players, camcorders, and more. The trade-in values are rather low, but may be worthwhile in some cases. Payment is made in Costco Cash Cards.

GreenSight will recycle items for which they’re not able to offer trade-in credit. (For a limited time, there’s not even a shipping charge.) There’s some concern at FatWallet that GreenSight does not actually recycle these items, but according to the company’s policies:

Our recycling program employs a zero tolerance landfill policy meaning all of the material that is subject to recycling is disassembled by hand, carefully separated and eventually utilized as feedstock for various raw material extraction processes (including smelting and refining).

If you have old computer equipment in the garage that you’ve been meaning to get rid of, this may be a great opportunity to do so.

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