Whatever the computer accessory is, there is no question that it will stop working at some point, so you should know in advance how you plan to get rid of it. Don’t just get into a bad habit of throwing old computer parts into the kitchen trash can, just like the peels from that apple you just ate.
You should not throw away your computer mouse. The best way to dispose of a broken mouse is to use the electronic waste programs available at big electronic stores or at your local recycling center. Alternatively, you can resell or donate computer mice that are in working condition.
That is not a good idea on many different levels. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as much as 75 percent of the toxic waste present in some landfill space is old computer parts and accessories, Therefore, we all need to be more aware of the consequences of tossing everything in the trash.
The EPA worries about this for several reasons. Many computer parts are benign, and can’t cause environmental problems, but there are some that have toxic components, and they can sometimes leach into the drinking water system.
If I Don’t Want to Throw Out My Mouse, What Else Can I Do?
Well, the first suggestion I’ll make is to sell the mouse. You won’t get twice as much as you paid unless it’s a 20-year-old mouse and the buyer is feeling nostalgic, but selling your muse via eBay or through a classified ad on Craigslist can extend its life and its time away from the landfill.
If you don’t want to sell it to another computer user directly, you could also donate it to the local thrift shop, where someone who really wants one but can’t afford it might donate a couple dollars to a worthy charity to get it. Again, if you give it away, it extends the life of the mouse and keeps it out of the landfill.
Of course, there are other ways to get rid of an old computer muse that has outlived its usefulness.
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Can My Mouse Be Recycled?
There are many ways a computer mouse can be recycled. In a way, selling it to someone else or donating it to charity is a form of recycling. It can also be used for parts., which is another way to keep it out of the landfill. The key, of course, is to keep the mouse and/or its parts someplace you know, so you can cannibalize it when needed.
These days, most computer parts – especially those in good working condition – can be recycled or reused. That is the case with computer mice. Too often, a wired mouse stops working because a computer setting has been changed, not because the mouse isn’t working properly. Therefore, make sure the mouse is the problem and nothing else.
However, if you want to take it to a traditional recycling center, many of them will recycle your mouse and either get it working again or at least use the parts to make another mouse. Many office supply stores participate in collections of old computer parts, including your mouse, to be recycled.
In addition, a number of non-profits will collect your mouse to be recycled. Often, it’s free, although there is sometimes a small fee attached. Either way, however, it extends its life and keeps your mouse out of the landfill. In many cases, your mouse may be repurposed for use in schools and underserved homes, to do even more good.
Some of these broken-down old mice – especially the wireless types – have small amounts of hazardous waste in them, including lead, mercury, or cadmium, so recycling your mouse may actually save a life.
Is Recycling Your Mouse Better Than Repairing It?
Repairing computer parts, especially plug-and-play parts, like a keyboard or a mouse, is nearly impossible to rationalize because the cost of repair usually costs far more than buying a new one, let alone the cost of buying a used one.
Most experts suggest that the decommissioning of any type of computer accessory, including your mouse, should always safe and secure, as well as very cheap. That is why there is so much emphasis on reselling. It makes more sense than simply recycling a single mouse.
That’s one reason why many computer parts recyclers will describe their approach to the disposal of computer mice in tremendous detail. Some recyclers will work on a contract with a company’s IT department, to take back worn out parts, including mice and keyboards, and recycle them in a way that’s both environmentally friendly and cost-effective.
Keeping Things Cost-Effective for Your Company or You
“Cost-effective” is a difficult concept to understand when it comes to keeping a company’s computers running well and efficiently. The best recycling companies will put together a contract that keeps everything up and running, and which also sells computers and parts when necessary, like a new computer or OS rollouts.
Even if you don’t think about it much, recycling your old computer mice makes a lot more sense to your family and your company than repairing all of them. Consider how much you pay your IT people and consider how much you are paying them to take an hour to fix one mouse.
And if the only computer you use is the one you have at home, consider how much you get paid in your job and figure out how much it’s costing you to repair your own mouse.
Keep in mind, whatever it costs you to repair it yourself, it will still far less than the cost of an experienced technician. They will charge over which will likely be more than $100 per hour, with a one-hour minimum.
Whenever a computer or a computer part or accessory wears down – and they all will, at some point, it pays to consider whether your method for disposing of the old equipment is nothing but a waste. The key to everything is sustainability.
This is true, whether you are talking about a computer for your kids to use for their schoolwork, you are trying to establish a business and your computer is an essential tool for that business, or your business is already established and your IT department is trying to protect your revenues and/or profits.
From both an environmental and a financial perspective, it is always best to think of the phrase, “reduce, reuse, and recycle” is always the best idea. When you are buying a computer system, only buy accessories that you need, not just because everyone else has them.
Then, when there is an alternative to throwing out any of your computer equipment, including your mice, consider whether they need replacement and whether there is a way to extend their life, whether that’s by selling them cheap to someone else or donating them to a local school or community group.
At the very least, you should decide whether it’s cost-effective to recycle them. Whatever you choose, keeping them out of the local landfill is always a better choice than simply throwing all of your mice and keyboards in the trash, along with the used coffee pods.