Recycling Frequently Asked Questions

Read on to find answers to common questions about the PCs for People recycling process.

 If you have questions about receiving a computer, visit the Recipients FAQs page.

General FAQs

Data Wiping FAQs

Acceptable Items, Disposal & Recycling FAQs

Tax-Deductible FAQs

How does this all work?

Do you manage end-of-life-cycle corporate computers?

Yes, we provide a completely free service for businesses. Our services include pick-up, NAID certified data wiping, recycling, and reuse.

Will someone reuse my old computer?

Most can be reused. The majority of computers are distributed to low-income families after being wiped and refurbished. These families typically use computers for internet, email, word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, and finances. If your computer is less than 8 years old (Pentium 4 HT or higher) it can be reused as is for any of these tasks. If you don't know how old the computer is, check to see if the processor is equivalent to a Pentium Dual Core, Core2Duo, i3, i5, 17, AMD E, A-series, or Athlon X-II and higher. Computers of all ages are accepted, but if the processor is too old to refurbish, the computer will be recycled.

Is there anything I need to do to my computer before I recycle it?

We accept all computers as-is. However, if you have extra time, these are some optional things you can do to make the refurbishing process faster for us:

  • Clean off dust from the computer - especially near the fan.
  • Remove any disks – check the CD-ROM drive, floppy drive, and any storage built into the computer case itself. Remove flash drives and adapters for wireless mice. (Include the adapter for a wireless mouse if you would like us to reuse it.)
  • Bring along power cords. Include power supplies for monitors and laptops.

Where do I drop off computers? Could I qualify for a free pickup?

Businesses qualify for free pick-up when recycling 15 or more computers. Request a pickup here or call us at 651-354-2552. Individuals can learn more about where to drop off equipment here.

How do I request a pickup?

If you have 15 or more computers, complete the pickup request. Alternatively, you may write an email that includes the location and quantity of the equipment to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

What happens to my computer after I recycle it? Who will reuse it?

This video gives an overview of PCs for People's corporate services. It begins with the pickup of equipment from a business and ends with distribution of that equipment back to low-income families. We use a AAA NAID Certified data sanitization process to wipe drives. We are also registered as Microsoft refurbishers in order to get low-income families and individuals connected using the most popular and widely-used operating system.

Data Wiping FAQs

Do I need to wipe the hard drive first?

You are welcome to do so, but every corporate computer we receive is wiped with our AAA process, certified by the National Association for Information Destruction unless you choose to opt out. The drive is erased three times - first with zeros, then with ones, then with a random string of characters. Next, Linux Mint or Windows 10 is installed (depending upon the age of the computer). Any drive that does not pass the wiping test is physically destroyed. Each hard drive serial number is tracked and a receipt will be sent to you cataloging the wiping process.

Will you remove important documents and other sensitive data?

Yes, we follow Department of Defense and National Institute of Standards and Technology guidelines, so data is not only deleted, but unrecoverable. For corporate recyclers, we also employ our AAA process certified by the National Association for Information Destruction. This video illustrates the process we use to wipe computers before refurbishing them. Further information can also be found on our Data Sanitization page.

Will I receive NAID AAA certified data wiping if I am donating as an individual and not as part of a corporation?

No, but we will wipe the drive with our regular wiping process, which follows the Department of Defense and National Institute of Standards and Technology guidelines. Data is still deleted and unrecoverable, but we will not track individual serial numbers as in the NAID process. Click here for more information about recycling as an individual. 

Acceptable Items, Disposal & Recycling FAQs

What will you recycle?

For corporate recyclers, we accept computers of any age and any of their accessories. This includes desktops, laptops, tablets, printers, cords, monitors, speakers, network switches, servers, hard drives, motherboards, mice, keyboards, graphics cards, modems, flash drives, and other related equipment.

CRT monitors, tube TVs, and rear-projection TVs are accepted in limited quantities for $15 each, but they must be either accompanied by other usable items. 

For residential/individual customers, all items are accepted free of charge except for CRT monitors, tube TVs, and rear-projection TVs, which are not accepted. For more information about individual recycling, click here.

Do you accept scrap computers for recycling?

Yes! We can accept any computer no matter the age. Any computer accessories are accepted as well.

I have older CRT monitors. Will you recycle them?

For corporate recyclers, we will recycle a limited number for $15 if other usable items are included. 

For residential/individual customers, all items are accepted except for CRT monitors, tube TVs, and rear-projection TVs. For more information about individual recycling, click here.

What does PCs for People do with equipment it cannot use?

We follow a strict no landfill policy. 100% of usable parts are pulled and utilized in our refurbishing process. Any non-functional parts are broken into their natural components and recycled locally with an independently audited recycling partner. More than 95% of waste is recycled to its original form and over 4% is used for renewable energy.

Do you accept printers?

Yes, we will take any printer. Let us know if it is in working order and has ink or toner, as we may be able to give it out to a family in that case. We cannot repair printers, so any non-working printers will be recycled.

Do you accept Apple computers?

Yes, we will take any Apple computers, but currently do not refurbish Macs. The computer will be recycled unless it is ready to distribute or if you include the software needed to distribute it.

Do you accept batteries?

Yes, we accept laptop batteries, cell phone batteries, CMOS batteries, and other batteries used for small electronics.

Do you accept cell phones?

 Yes, we can recycle old cell phones. We can also recycle small electronics such as pagers, music players, and tablets. They are not refurbished at this time.

Should I include keyboards, mice, cables and other accessories?

Yes, all accessories are accepted.

Should I include computer manuals and disks?

Manuals and disks are not necessary, but you may bring them along if you like.

Tax-Deductible FAQs

Am I eligible for a tax break if I recycle my old electronics?

We provide an IRS code for a tax deduction for property donated to a charitable organization under applicable rules and regulations. The charitable deduction for contributions of technology equals the fair market value (retail used value in the current market place) of the donated property.

Can you tell me the fair market value of my recycled electronics?

No. However, one way to determine the value of your electronics would be to find a similar product for sale on the internet.

Do I get a tax receipt?

At the time of drop off or pickup you will receive a receipt that contains our tax ID number.