Monday, March 12, 2018

Responsibly Recycle Your City’s Old Equipment

Does your city have old electronic equipment gathering dust that you’d like to responsibly recycle? Whether you’ve got computers, printers, keyboards, or cables lying around—consider dropping them off at one of the e-recycling events the League is hosting with PCs for People, an organization that will wipe data from used equipment and refurbish it for reuse.

Below the League’s Chief Information Officer Mel Reeder answers a few questions about these drop-off events:

  • Why are we offering this opportunity for Minnesota cities?
    We all know it’s difficult to dispose of electronics. On top of that, cities are challenged to ensure that government data on their old equipment is properly destroyed. Many cities do not have the resources to do this. Rather than risk a data breach, old electronics end up in storage. In addition, many cities in greater Minnesota do not have enough equipment to draw a low-cost recycler on their own. By coordinating regional drop-off events, the combined volume allows for free pickup.

  • What is important about properly recycling e-waste?
    In Minnesota, by law you must recycle computer monitors. They cannot go into the trash. The same goes for components that contain mercury or rechargeable batteries. Local government can lead the way by choosing a responsible recycler for all their electronics, therefore achieving a zero-landfill goal.

  • Why should cities consider dropping off their old equipment to PCs for People?
    It’s easy and free*! PCs for People will pick up city equipment from League-designated locations this spring. They are the only recyclers in the state with both AAA NAID and R2 certification for data destruction. These certifications ensure that data is properly destroyed, usable equipment is refurbished, and unwanted equipment is recycled to safeguard human health and the environment. They are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides affordable computers to low-income families across Minnesota. Read more about PCs for People.

  • Anything else you’d like to add?
    Whether or not you are attending a workshop, someone from your city can drop off your zero-value, city-owned equipment for free. The League of Minnesota Cities wants to lower your risk of a data breach. If you have any questions about this event or other concerns about protecting your government data, please contact me at or (651) 281-1221.

For more information on these drop-off events (including dates, locations, FAQs, and forms), visit this webpage.

*Older, CRT tube monitors are $35.