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Old 05-11-2020, 01:59 PM   #1
Boblobla
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Default Old Laptop and PC Recycling

So with the world ending I have been doing a clean-up of the basement as I am apparently a hoarder of old electronics.

What do I need to do with my old PCs and Laptops prior to recycling with them to ensure my data is secure? I know I am able to recycle old electronics and have found a few drop-off locations but I don't want to compromise anything.

Thanks.
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Old 05-11-2020, 02:19 PM   #2
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Rip out the hard drives and either magnetically wipe them or just completely disassemble them
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Old 05-11-2020, 02:21 PM   #3
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I always drill a few holes in old hard drives, as soon as the drill touches the platters they shatter. No one outside of the FBI is getting that data back. If you don't want to destroy the drives use a program called eraser https://eraser.heidi.ie/ you can do anything from a single pass random data wipe to the sort of multi write wipes the military uses.
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Old 05-11-2020, 04:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boblobla View Post
So with the world ending I have been doing a clean-up of the basement as I am apparently a hoarder of old electronics.

What do I need to do with my old PCs and Laptops prior to recycling with them to ensure my data is secure? I know I am able to recycle old electronics and have found a few drop-off locations but I don't want to compromise anything.

Thanks.
The moment you pull out the HDD, the remainder piece is essentially safe to dispose to wherever. This is relatively easy to do and gives most people the best sense of comfort.

You can then spend the time to blow up the drives on your own as others have already mentioned and dispose of the components wherever. I personally disassemble the drives, keep the magnets, muck up the plates, then throw the components into a blue bin. Some other people on the other hand will software wipe them first, before going gangbusters, others will just maintain a random shoe box of hard drives and never get around to it (then magically find lots of money worth of bitcoin on them).

Your call.
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Old 05-11-2020, 04:57 PM   #5
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Can you save me a DVD drive?
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Old 05-11-2020, 05:12 PM   #6
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The moment you pull out the HDD, the remainder piece is essentially safe to dispose to wherever. This is relatively easy to do and gives most people the best sense of comfort.

You can then spend the time to blow up the drives on your own as others have already mentioned and dispose of the components wherever. I personally disassemble the drives, keep the magnets, muck up the plates, then throw the components into a blue bin. Some other people on the other hand will software wipe them first, before going gangbusters, others will just maintain a random shoe box of hard drives and never get around to it (then magically find lots of money worth of bitcoin on them).

Your call.
I didn't think the blue bin accepted random scraps of metal. Aren't these trash at that point, unless you go to a metal recycler?
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Old 05-11-2020, 09:02 PM   #7
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Yeaaaaaah, you can't just throw electronics into a blue bin, nor are you supposed to toss them in the landfill.

Go find an electronics recycling depot and drop them off: https://www.calgary.ca/UEP/WRS/Pages...n-Calgary.aspx
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Old 05-11-2020, 09:55 PM   #8
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Sounds like the perfect excuse to buy a hard drive shredder.
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Old 05-11-2020, 10:26 PM   #9
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I didn't think the blue bin accepted random scraps of metal. Aren't these trash at that point, unless you go to a metal recycler?
I thought random scraps of metal and whatnot were allowed? Sorry, I should have clarified it's the broken bits and pieces of metal and plates that I thought were blue bin allowed. The tiny chips on the HDD I agree doesn't go in the blue bin.

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Yeaaaaaah, you can't just throw electronics into a blue bin, nor are you supposed to toss them in the landfill.

Go find an electronics recycling depot and drop them off: https://www.calgary.ca/UEP/WRS/Pages...n-Calgary.aspx
With the exception of a small chip on the HDD, the remainder is mainly all metals and whatnot, isn't it? I agree the chip you don't chuck in the blue bin, but I wasn't aware that the plates and casings of an HDD weren't allowed in there.
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Old 05-12-2020, 04:06 AM   #10
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Old 05-12-2020, 06:24 AM   #11
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I thought random scraps of metal and whatnot were allowed? Sorry, I should have clarified it's the broken bits and pieces of metal and plates that I thought were blue bin allowed. The tiny chips on the HDD I agree doesn't go in the blue bin.

With the exception of a small chip on the HDD, the remainder is mainly all metals and whatnot, isn't it? I agree the chip you don't chuck in the blue bin, but I wasn't aware that the plates and casings of an HDD weren't allowed in there.
It doesn't fit into any of the categories:


https://www.calgary.ca/UEP/WRS/Pages...-Recycled.aspx


and here it says "no metal household goods":


https://www.calgary.ca/UEP/WRS/Pages...-Recycled.aspx


So I'd guess that no, it can't go in there. But once you remove the circuit board it can go in the garbage, though may be better to go to electronics recycling, as I imagine they save the metal parts, since there is money in that.
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Old 05-12-2020, 09:16 AM   #12
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They can go in the garbage in the same way batteries can go in the garbage; they absolutely shouldn't and there are proper ways to dispose of them, but that sadly doesn't stop people doing it.

This thread is a step in the right direction, though. I'm sure there are more than just a few people learning for the first time that there are places that will safely dispose of electronics among other things, and for free.
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Old 05-12-2020, 09:41 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Fuzz View Post
It doesn't fit into any of the categories:


https://www.calgary.ca/UEP/WRS/Pages...-Recycled.aspx


and here it says "no metal household goods":


https://www.calgary.ca/UEP/WRS/Pages...-Recycled.aspx


So I'd guess that no, it can't go in there. But once you remove the circuit board it can go in the garbage, though may be better to go to electronics recycling, as I imagine they save the metal parts, since there is money in that.
Whelp, that is my bad. Usually after disassembling an HDD, since some of the pieces get played with, only random chunks of metal (ie: the piece you pry off the rare earth magnet) get thrown in the blue bin. I didn't realize that the plates and the casing stuff didn't qualify. I just thought it was a piece of metal with no electronic components. I learned something new today.

So that essentially means after reading the link that any random scrap metal (curtain rods etc.) doesn't qualify for the blue bin and the blue bin requests only thin tin and jar lids. I haven't been disposing of that type of stuff in large quantities, but I'm definitely a sinner!
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Old 05-12-2020, 09:47 AM   #14
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Sinner! Burn him!


Any time I am unsure I just check the "what goes where" page.
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Old 05-12-2020, 11:32 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleF View Post
The moment you pull out the HDD, the remainder piece is essentially safe to dispose to wherever. This is relatively easy to do and gives most people the best sense of comfort.

You can then spend the time to blow up the drives on your own as others have already mentioned and dispose of the components wherever. I personally disassemble the drives, keep the magnets, muck up the plates, then throw the components into a blue bin. Some other people on the other hand will software wipe them first, before going gangbusters, others will just maintain a random shoe box of hard drives and never get around to it (then magically find lots of money worth of bitcoin on them).

Your call.
Looks like you need a special star shaped screw driver to open them up? Or is there an simpler way to do it with typical house hold tools?
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Old 05-12-2020, 11:50 AM   #16
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Looks like you need a special star shaped screw driver to open them up? Or is there an simpler way to do it with typical house hold tools?
A typical screw driver set with like 40-60 pieces will have the necessary bits for this disassembly. It's worth acquiring for random repairs around the house if you don't have one. I think it's like $15-25 for these screw driver sets or you could borrow one from someone who has such a set.

If the point is to just obliterate the thing into a bunch of pieces, I guess you could use a drill bit to drill out the screws or just use a hammer or shovel and beat the thing until the cover plate warps and you can get inside and rip out the platters or something?
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Old 05-12-2020, 12:13 PM   #17
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There is no easy way to access the interior without a screw driver. I've tried! But ya, just a set of small torx bits will do the trick.
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