Educational CyberPlayGround ®

Computers for learning,
donate, get, or recycle computers

Each one of the following links will provide you with information
on how to donate or ask for and get a free or almost free computer.

Grants: Book

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Unwanted Electronics


The worst thing you can do is to simply throw it in the trash. Electronic equipment is often filled with heavy metals and hazardous chemicals, posing serious environmental and health hazards.

11/24/18 Project Reboot is part of the Capital PC User Group, Inc. an IRS 501(c)(3) charitable organization registered to do business and accept donations in the State of Maryland.

12/5/14 Old laptop batteries could power slums, IBM says
Old laptop batteries still have enough life in them to power homes in slums, researchers have said. IBM study analysed a sample of discarded batteries and found 70% had enough power to keep an LED light on more than four hours a day for a year. Researchers said using discarded batteries is cheaper than existing power options, and also helps deal with the mounting e-waste problem. The concept was trialled in the Indian city of Bangalore this year. E-waste is a major problem, particularly in the developing world, where the majority of the West's unwanted technology ends up. IBM's research said 142,000 computers are thrown away in the US daily - around 50 million a year. India's predicament is particularly urgent. Not only does the country receive a lot of e-waste from other countries, but with a booming IT market it is also generating huge amounts of its own - around 32 tonnes a day, according to one estimate.


25 states have passed laws governing the disposal of E-waste - E-trash.

Our collective high-tech trash aka Etrash.
This year, the world will discard between 20 million and 50 million tons of computers, cellphones, televisions and other electronics. Worldwide, about 4,000 tons of e-waste as this trash has come to be called are discarded every hour, about the weight of 1,800 Ford Explorers. Dell and Apple may be suffering from exploding laptops, but the world is suffering from an explosion of high-tech trash. SEE WHERE IT GOES

Will they recycle the electronics responsibly?

What Happens to Electronic Waste after you've given it to the recycle place?

Jim Puckett is the executive director of the Basal Action Network, which monitors electronic waste around the globe. Unrecyclable computer waste goes to Guiya, China, from the US and other countries. Throw out your old equipment, old TVs, computers and Cell phones end up in landfills, the toxic metals and flame retardants they contain can cause environmental problems. Lead, cadmium, antimony, PCBs and chlorinated dioxins, cancerous plastics in the land, water, and air. Yet even recycling your e-waste, as it's called, does not always mean you're doing the right thing. "It's a massive trade and what has happened is, we've passed laws to make recycling become the password. And unfortunately, it's the password to a lot of very sad results," he says. Reputable recyclers will use mechanical shredding and a high-tech separation device to take out the usable metals, which can then be sent to a smelter. "There are about half a dozen smelters on the planet who are good environmental smelters," he says.

Find who will be responsible through e-Stewards, which sets high standards for electronics recyclers and certifies those that meet those standards.

Where Can I Donate or Recycle My Old Computer and Other Electronic Products?

One of the easiest ways to recycle your electronics is also the closest to you -- in your local community. Typically, the recycling programs are run by your town or city's Department of Public Works or similar department.


  • Philadelphia: Nonprofit Technology Resources (NTR) serves low-income people in Philadelphia by recycling used computers, providing hands-on work experience, and assisting community-based service organizations to use computers in their work. We are the oldest computer service organization in the area devoted exclusively to nonprofit organizations and the people they serve. Our computer refurbishing "factory" serves as a training ground for people to grow their computer skills. Our Computer Thrift Store serves the whole community with affordable, dependable computers.Computer & Laptop Donations Accepted. Stan <>
  • NYC The 4th Bin
    is a small start up in NYC that aims to provide ewaste rescue and ethical recycling working only with estewards certified downstreamers (so that electronics never goes abroad for processing). We provide a simple and inexpensive means of rescue and disposal. Our door-to-door solution is convenient, simple and inexpensive. We pick it up directly from residents and businesses in all 5 boroughs of New York.
  • Maryland/Northern Virginia/ Washington D.C.
  • recycles electronics & trade-ins
    Recycle: Desktop and notebook PCs, monitors, MP3 players, digital cameras, printers, fax machines, game systems, and video camcorders.
  • Apple will recycle computers and displays from any manufacturer, not just from Apple. Call 877-712-2405 to get a free prepaid shipping label.
  • Dell's no-excuse recycling program features free home pickup of any Dell computer or peripheral. They'll pick it up, no new purchase required the no charge pick up program. Dell Reconnect, which lets you take your electronics -- any kind, not just Dell's -- to certain local Goodwill stores to be either refurbished and sold, or else recycled. You can also recycle any Dell product for free and have it picked up where you live or work.
  • Keep Up with the Battery Recalls
  • Where to recycle all those old rechargeable batteries! Type in your zip code and drop 'em off.
  • Recycle batteries and Cell phones, call2recycle Head to its search page to find local places that recycle, such as electronics retailers, wireless stores, departments of public works and hardware stores.
  • Staples recycles monitors - you do have to pay a $10 fee.
  • CD RECYCLING INFORMATION If you use, sell, promote, distribute, or manufacture compact discs, it is important to know how and where to recycle them. Compact Discs, when recycled properly, will stop unnecessary pollution, conserve natural resources, and help slow global warming.
  • Philadelphia - Elementals if you have something too old or too defective for giving away. They recycle the nasty stuff responsibly. They will drill your hard drive for $2 if you didn't or can't wipe it. They do charge $7 to get rid of a monitor, though, but the other things are no charge. They can do large quantities for companies, too.
  • Philadelphia Nonprofit Technology Resources (NTR)
    1524 Brandywine Street Philadelphia PA 19130
    Stanley R. Pokras, Executive Director, Regional Coord 215-564-6686 [w]
    267-968-0407 (cell) 215-564-6642(fax)
    Community Technology Centers' Network
  • PC Surplus Recycling Pennsylvania's first & only e-scrap and technology recycler. Proudly operating in Dauphin county, and serving the entire Commonwealth of PA, strives to maintain a "Zero Landfill" policy, which means that your e-scrap is processed to the point that only less that 1% of the total recycled materials is discarded.
  • Newtech Recycling Offers "A Fully Licensed Environmentally Sound Solution" for your obsolete, non-working electronics and computer equipment.



SECURITY Cleaning up cell phones, smartphones and tablets

ERASE your contacts, emails, records of incoming and outgoing phone numbers, social media information. How you do this varies from operating system to operating system, and sometimes even device to device.

and protect yourself from identity theft.
Information can be found on a PC's hard disk, which is easy to access if the drive is not wiped before sending. Users should use a program to wipe their hard drive before they sell or give away their PC, a process which over-writes what is already contained on the drive. Alternatively, people should remove their hard drives before they give away their computers.


  • PHILADELPHIA Stan Pokras at [NTR] Nonprofit Technology Resources
    1524 Brandywine Street
    Philadelphia PA 19130
    Nonprofit Philadelphia agency which is looking for used computers and computer parts. NTR accepts the donation of used computers, 17" SVGA monitors, small dot-matrix printers, ink-jet and laser printers, and other computer accessories at our center city location from 9 am till 3 pm Monday through Thursday. NTR can pickup your donation of 100 or more Pentium "III" computers anywhere from New York City to Washington DC.
  • The FUNDING FACTORY'S program, the nations largest free recycling fundraising program, offers FREE technology, sports & recreation equipment, playground systems and even cash in exchange for empty inkjet & laser cartridges and used cell phones.
    All that is required is trading in your old cell phones and printer cartridges to earn points. Solicit area businesses to donate their used cell phones and printer cartridges in your school's name and watch your points accumulate! This is an easy, environmentally-healthy way to raise funds for your school! All necessary mailing supplies are provided and there is no cost associated with the mailing.
    Click on your area. Find your closest city, click on it and off you go! Instead of taking stuff to the dump, or trying to sell stuff that's difficult to sell. or storing junk in your garage for years why not give it away?If a charity doesn't want your monitor, try
  • The World Computer Exchange, accepts working computers, monitors, hard drives, cell phones, printers, network equipment and more.
  • Recycle All Computer Hardware
  • Electronics Recycling Programs Around the Country
  • Search Google - for more information
  • Microsoft's Refurbish Program


Find a virtual school where you live.
K-12 Students may get free computers from theirs School District especially if they enroll in a Virtual School.

  • The Cristina Foundation provides an easy way to do that. The foundation helps connect people who want to donate technology with non-profits, schools or public agency organizations that can use it. Head to its non-profit locator, type in your ZIP code, and you'll get a list of non-profits near you. Included are the equipment they accept, along with details about the non-profit itself. Choose a group, and you'll be able to start the donation process online.
  • Need a Computer? APPLY HERE
  • About Computers for Learning
    was launched in October 1997. It contained an online registration feature that could be used by schools wanting to register to receive unneeded Federal computer equipment.
  • Computers for Youth
  • School2Home
  • FreeCycle It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills.
  • Ask at your local school district
  • You can find PCs for dirt cheap at yard sales and flea markets.
  • Craigslist can be close to free.
    Computers for Learning 1997

Computers for Learning Program
The program transfers excess Federal computer equipment to schools and educational nonprofit organizations, giving special consideration to those with the greatest need. The CFL website connects the registered needs of schools and educational nonprofit organizations with available Government computer equipment. Find '386 and '486 computers!
Warning - The first batch of 22 computers were vintage 1984 models and that was in 1995 when they were 11 years old. We had one teacher with experience on these machines attmpt to use them to teach old programming but even that failed and we had to get rid of all of them. The next batch circa 1996-97 were 386-486's which at the time did not sound too bad. After we went and kindly picked them up we found that RAM and other parts had been stripped off of most of them.The combined value at the time of these machines would have certainly been well under $2,000. The paperwork we had to sign to get them claimed the government was donating $13,000 worth of computers to our school district.

Register to request donated Federal computers. Learn how to create an overall plan for addressing computer needs and how to assess the suitability of different types of computer equipment. Contact a member of the Computers for Learning Partnership for free shipping. Find assistance if computers require upgrading. Find National Tech Corps volunteers in your State who have technical computer knowledge. View other registrants' registration information. Schools and educational nonprofits that are unable to register through the website should call the Computers for Learning Administrator at (202) 501-3846 . Also the private sector checks this site for schools and non profits needing computers. So register; especially if this is for an Empowerment Zone in the United States

HISTORY Subject: "Computers For Learning" Program Date: Sun, 2 Nov 1997
THE WHITE HOUSE Office of the Vice President For Immediate Release October 24, 1997
WASHINGTON -- Vice President Al Gore today (10/24) kicked off the "Computers for Learning" program at a ceremony near the Washington Monument. This program is designed to donate surplus federal computer equipment to schools and educational nonprofits, giving special consideration to those with the greatest need. "Many times, when the government buys a new computer, the old one goes on a shelf for months or years -- taking up space and costing us money," the Vice President said. "We want it to go right off of the shelf and right into our classrooms -- opening up cyberspace, and helping our students learn. That's what this program will do."
The "Computers for Learning" program is a unique partnership between federal agencies, schools and non-profits across the country to move more than 70,000 computers this year into our neediest classrooms. A number of transportation systems and movers have formed a partnership with the Department of Defense to transport donated computers free of charge from federal agencies to classrooms.
Schools and educational non-profits can sign up for the program via a new website at "".
All U.S. schools and educational non-profits serving pre-kindergarten through grade 12 students are eligible to receive equipment through the "Computers for Learning" program. Federal agencies will give highest preference to schools and educational non-profits with the greatest need. Special consideration will be given to schools and educational non-profits located in federal empowerment zones and enterprise communities.
"This program is good for our schools, good for our businesses, good for our government, and good for our children's future." the Vice President said. "It proves that we can truly reinvent our government -- to make it work better and cost less -- while investing in the world-class education our children deserve."
President Clinton defined the mission of "Computers for Learning" in Executive Order 12999, which states his goal -- "to ensure that American children have the skills they need to succeed in the information intensive 21st Century." The "Computers for Learning" program also contributes to President Clinton's Educational Technology Initiative, which promotes putting modern computer technology in every classroom, connecting classrooms to the Internet, training teachers to use these new technologies effectively, and creating innovative educational software.


Today, as part of Vice President Gore's ceremony, three Federal agencies are donating 140 excess or surplus computers to schools and educational nonprofits in the DC metropolitan area. The Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Energy (DoE), and the Department of Justice (DoJ) have made the first installment of over 70,000 Federal computers to be donated by Federal agencies over the next year through the "Computers for Learning" program. Children, ranging from kindergarten to special ed, in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia will benefit from these first donations. All of the 140 computers are 386's or better and, therefore, capable of connecting to the Internet.
The following schools and educational nonprofits are the recipients of today's donation. While these schools and educational nonprofits represent a children diverse ethnicities and across grades, all the recipients are all in need of additional computer equipment.
Federal Children's Center of Northern Virginia, Herndon, VA. DoD's donation of 15 computers will be used in the kindergarten program and as a teacher resource. These donated computers will add to the Center's 10 computers previously donated by the US Geological Survey.
Hybla Valley Elementary School, Alexandria, VA. DoE's donation of 10 computers will assist in lowering the school's computer to student ratio. The donated computers will be integrated into the language arts and reading programs and also assist student development of technical skills.
Shaw Junior High School, Washington, DC. DoD's donation of 10 computers will replace 10 of the 286 computers in Shaw's second lab. Shaw -- a District of Columbia public school -- currently has two computer labs. The first, a Title One lab, is used for skill development. The second lab is utilized by students and staff for computer assisted instruction.
Glen Burnie High School, Glen Burnie, MD. DoD's donation of 21 computers will replace older computers so that computer science classes can run more advanced software, for instruction in special education classes and by the Guidance Department to run career awareness packages for students.
Springarn High School, Washington, DC. Today the students of Springarn will receive 20 computers from DoJ.
Woodson High School, Washington, DC. Woodson is the recipient of 65 computers donated by DoJ and, as with all the other computers, delivered by the Computers for Learning Partnership.



(1) Computers for Learning will place hundreds of thousands of federal surplus computers in our Nation's classrooms and prepare our children to contribute and compete in the 21st century. Note: By the year 2000, an estimated 60 percent of new jobs in America will require advanced technological skills and computer know-how.

(2) The Computers for Learning website (
If you have questions, contact CFL Staff by email
Phone (866) 333-7472

ENABLES SCHOOLS AND NONPROFITS TO: Register to request surplus Federal computer equipment. One form for all Federal agencies means reduced hassle. Access a technology tutorial to create an overall plan for addressing computer needs, etc. Find assistance for computer upgrading (the website offers a state-by-state list of recyclers).

Contact volunteers with technical computer knowledge (i.e, TechCorps).

ENABLES FEDERAL AGENCIES TO: Donate computers based upon need, including: whether a school or educational nonprofit is located within an empowerment zone or enterprise community, its computer-to-student ratio, etc. Reduce paperwork: the website provides agencies with a virtually paper-free system for donating computers. Automatically track donations. Save the Federal government tens of millions of dollars each year by reducing paper work and minimizing surplus computer inventory.

(3) Shipping Van Lines and DOD Offer Free Shipping!!

A number of transportation systems and companies have formed the Computers for Learning Partnership to ship donated Federal computers free of charge from Federal agencies to classrooms. The Partnership includes:

-- Allied Van Lines -- North American Van Lines

-- Atlas Van Lines -- United Van Lines

-- Bekins Van Lines -- Wheaton World Wide Moving

-- Global Van Lines -- Several small companies

-- Mayflower Transit Incorporated -- U.S. Department of DefensE


Eligible schools and educational nonprofits can receive surplus Federal computer equipment by following four simple steps:

1. Register: Register your school or educational nonprofit on the Computers for Learning website located at If you do not have access to the Internet, you may designate an individual who does to register on your behalf and act as your official point of contact. This person could be a teacher who has Internet access at home, a member of your PTA, a board member, or any other individual you select. If you cannot find a person to register your school or educational nonprofit on the website, you can register by calling the toll-free hotline at (866) 333-7472

2. Receive Notification: When a Federal agency selects your school or educational nonprofit to receive a computer donation, that agency will notify your official point of contact by e-mail or letter. Because selection is based on need, notification times may vary.

3. Accept the Donation: Accept the donation by signing and dating the bottom of the notification and returning it with a letter of acceptance written on your school or organization letterhead and signed by your Principal or Director. If you would like to inspect the donated property before accepting it, you can make arrangements to do so by contacting the Federal employee who sent you the notification.

4. Pick up or Ship the Computers: You can pick up the computers from the donating agency yourself, or contact a member of the Computers for Learning Partnership to make arrangements for shipping.

The Computers for Learning program was established by Vice President Al Gore. It is funded by the Department of Energy. The agencies that supported the Office of the Vice President in developing the program include: the Office of Management and Budget, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Government Services Administration.

The following agencies contributed to the website design: the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Justice, the Department of Treasury, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Participation in the Computers for Learning program is open to all Federal agencies.

That is amazing what you do!!
Thank you so much for the info
and your help!!
~ Sylvia McConnell
President of the Board of Directors
Okala Foundation