How to dispose e-waste

Computers: Obsolete computers account for a majority of the overall e-waste currently found in landfills

There are some relatively safe options to dispose of old computers:

Option 1:  If your computers are in working condition, you can donate them to a school or an organization working in the field of education.

Before donating your computer or other electronics, make sure the equipment is reusable. Donation organizations have limited or in many cases no resources and employees to diagnose and repair hardware. A functional, working system - especially with monitor, wiring, and software licenses - is a lot more useful and requires less upgrading than a nonworking, incomplete computer. Check to see what the donation organization's minimum computer requirements are (e.g., Pentium processor, Windows 98).


• (or DYPC) is a service which acts as a bridge between people who want to donate their old PC/Peripherals for charity to NGOs/Schools.


•    Pratham,

•    United Way of Mumbai,

•    ChildLine India

Option 2:  If your computers are out of order, return them back to the manufacturer.

Recycling electronics helps reduce pollution that would be generated while manufacturing a new product and therefore the pressure on natural resources. It also reduces the energy used in new product manufacturing.

According to a Greenpeace report:

9 of the 20 brands have no takeback service in India: Apple, Microsoft, Panasonic, PCS, Philips, Sharp, Sony, Sony Ericsson,.and Toshiba

Samsung claims to have a takeback service but only one collection point for the whole of India - at their production plant. Moreover, Samsung only offers a takeback service for its mobile phones, nothing for all their other products.

Two brands stand out as having the best takeback practice in India: HCL and WIPRO. HCL falls down in providing customers with no physical collection points, only on-line registration. WIPRO could improve by providing better information to its customers.

Other brands that do relatively well are: Nokia, Acer, Motorola and LGE. Nokia has 354 collection points, takes back for free, but the service is only working in the big cities.

Acer only provides on-line registration, but the service is free.

Motorola has free takeback but just 10 collection points in 7 cities, and not all the service points are working.

LGE only provides a takeback service for its mobile phones at 9 collection points, not for the rest of its large product portfolio.

HP’s takeback service, although free, is quite poor in India, providing on-line registration for takeback services only for corporate and not for individual customers. But Greenpeace received no response to its on-line registration for takeback.

Dell, Lenovo and Zenith all claim to provide a takeback service in India but when tested, proved not to be working.

Of those brands that provide takeback services in India, many including Acer, Dell and LG Electronics do not have takeback information on their Indian websites making it difficult for Indian customers to access the information and avail themselves of the service.

Only two brands, Acer and HCL, have come out publicly in support for e-waste legislation in India. Positions on this from other brands are not clear.

No brand has invested much in education and awareness of general customers on e-waste management despite its tall claim.

Few brands have taken any initiative to train their frontline staffs on takeback and recycling service.

Option 3:  Send them to a recycling facility for proper disposal.

Which ones?

Here’s a list of units registered with MOEF/CPCB as recyclers/reprocessors having environmentally sound management facilities.

Some important documents and reports on e-waste management: