On Monday 22nd June, National Recycling Week commences across the UK, aiming to get us all thinking about items we may not have previously considered recycling. In order to participate, we decided to take a look at how computers and laptops can be safely recycled or donated to charity, whether they are from home or from the workplace.

As always, it’s crucial to make sure that personal data is protected. There could be large amounts of sensitive or personal data stored on your computer’s hard drive, including bank account numbers, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses, as well as less obvious examples such as browsing histories, bookmarks, and photos. Worst case scenario, all this could render you vulnerable to identity theft – so it’s important to make sure these are removed properly before you recycle your device.

Our committee for charity and the environment  CREATE raises funds for Computer Aid, which uses ICT solutions to alleviate poverty in developing countries. A big part of what Computer Aid does is to collect IT equipment for distribution in hospitals, schools, universities and other not-for-profit organisations in under developed countries. These are data-wiped, tested and thoroughly refurbished before they go on to improve access to ICT amongst disadvantaged communities.

We believe that access to technology and the internet is empowering: digital platforms open up opportunities to collaborate and connect. Webinars and web conferencing is valuable for business, and even for education – for example, Bright Cloud Resources and the Schools in the Cloud Project use online resources to develop a pioneering approach to learning and teaching.

By recycling your device or by donating it to a trusted charity such as Computer Aid, you could make a big difference, as well as ensure that your data is safely removed.