If a new computer was part of your Christmas, you may wonder what to do with your old one. But if your office has upgraded to shiny new Macs or PCs, this is a more pressing problem.

If a new computer was part of your Christmas, you may wonder what to do with your old one. But if your office has upgraded to shiny new Macs or PCs, this is a more pressing problem.

Beyond their bulk, computers, monitors and printers may also contain toxic elements that don’t belong in a landfill. Computer/electronic components are the fastest growing part of the waste stream. Do the right thing—most of the largest computer manufacturers will arrange for pick up and recycling of your old computer equipment. For individuals, pick-up and shipping can range from $15 to $30, and in some cases, manufacturers offer credit toward new purchases. Also, the the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Plug-in to eCycling” program has partnerships that allow donations of comparatively recent equipment to charitable organizations.

The following companies are EPA partners, and most offer on-line explanations of benefits and pricing: Apple, Best Buy, Brother, Cingular, Dell, Epson, Good Guys, HP, Intel, JVC, Lexmark, Office Depot, Panasonic, Pioneer, Philips, Sharp, Sony, Samsung and Staples. Also, there is information for non-profits and government agencies. See: www.epa.gov.