The fun of technology is how quickly improved products are released. The downside is the same. So-called "E-Waste" is a huge problem. Before leaving that old Mac at the dump, consider these alternatives:
- Sell it. A couple of years ago, we wrote a very thorough how-to on selling an old Mac. You probably won't make a ton of money, but you will keep it out of the landfill.
- Apple's Recycling Program. Purchase a new computer from Apple and they'll accept your old computer, CRT or peripherals (from any manufacturer) into their recycling program. Simply pack up your old stuff (computers and monitors must be packed separately), bring it to a FedEx drop off point and away it goes. This offer applies to individuals and small businesses. Large corporations may participate in Apple Corporate Recycling.
- Freecycle. If you're unfamiliar with Freecycle, it's a way to give away items to those who need them (or, find something you'd like yourself). It reduces waste and the depletion of natural resources.
- Part it out. Even a "dead" computer has some good parts on it. Better yet, there are many people who just need that obscure part from your beige G3 All In One. Consider the Low End Mac Swap List when parting out a machine.
- Donate to a church or school. You might be sick of that Quadra, but kids will love it. Churches and other small organizations could use it for simple bulletins, etc. Heck, my daughter's preschool has an original Macintosh in the office that, according to the school secretary, still gets used.