As newer and better technologies hit the market monthly, millions of computers are rapidly becoming obsolete. Electronics, especially computers, are a very problematic waste stream.
Computers pose an environmental threat because many of their components are hazardous. A typical monitor contains four to five pounds of lead.
Computers also contain mercury, cadmium, chromium, and a slew of other hazardous materials. Thus, these materials must be recovered and recycled or disposed of in safe manner. Some computers can be salvaged, refurbished and reused, either as whole or for parts.

To learn more…

  • Before computers with a Tufts ID tag number can be picked up by Facilities for recycling, a “change of status” needs to be reported to the Tufts Finance Division. Please report this change of status by emailing the tag numbers to The email subject line should read “Change of Status”. Most computers at Tufts no longer have tags on them. In this case, you do not need to report a change of status.
    It is recommended that Tufts information is cleaned from hardware before recycling or reuse. Please contact your Frontline Service Provider for more information. Another resource is Active@ Kill Disk Hard Driver Eraser.
    Most Tufts computers are recycled for free. However, charges may be applied to large scale clean-outs. To schedule a recycling pick up, please fill in a "no fee" service request on the Facilities website:
    Tufts old computers are either reused internally or recycled domestically by Allied Computer Brokers. No computer equipment from Tufts is sent overseas.
  • Unfortunately, Tufts Facilities Services can only recycle equipment owned by the university. Luckily, there are many computer end-of-life options for students and community members.
    • Medford Residents need to pay a $20 fee for a curbside removal collection sticker (same procedure for televisions). You can obtain stickers at the DPW office in City Hall, 85 George P. Hassett Drive, Room 304. Hours are M, TU,TH 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM, Wed 8:30 AM – 7:30 PM and Fri 8:30 – 12:30 PM. Residents are also welcome to mail a check and the sticker will mailed to them.
      • Somerville Residents can recycle computers and televisions for free. Notify the city by calling 3-1-1 or (617) 666-3311 the day before your trash day to schedule pick up. Be sure to observe city trash and recycling rules.

    For additional information, please visit our Electronics Recycling page.

    • eBay: Sell computers, cellular phones, cameras and audio equipment
    • Facebook users can now sell things via the Facebook Marketplace.
  • Before donating your computer, check out Tech Soup’s tips for donation.
    The following foundations are currently accepting computers:
    • TecsChange is a volunteer-led nonprofit organization. Call 617.442-4456 before dropping your computer off to be sure they will accept your model. Location: 83 Highland Street, Roxbury MA
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