11 Cool Things to Do With Old IT Equipment

old IT equipmentWhat is one creative way I can get rid of old (but still functioning) computer/IT equipment when I upgrade our office’s machines?

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

1. Donate Your Old Equipment to Charity

Diana GoodwinWhat better way to put your still functioning computer or IT equipment to good use than to donate them to a local charity! At AquaMobile, we donate our old computers to our local Goodwill store, which has a great partnership with Dell to ensure that any brand of computer gets refurbished or recycled responsibly. All participating locations are listed here.

– Diana GoodwinAquaMobile Swim School

2. Give Both Talent and Treasure

Suzanne SmithDonating seems like the logical solution, but consider stretching your influence by donating your treasure and your time. Pair up with a local job training program focused on IT (my favorite is Per Scholas) and give the equipment as a charitable donation. But also offer to do one-on-one coaching/mentoring or conduct skills-based training seminars. Nonprofits need your talent more than anything else.

– Suzanne SmithSocial Impact Architects

3. Donate Them to Your Employees

Blair ThomasThe popular recommendation is to donate your old equipment to charity; while we do encourage this method, we’re also big fans of donating to our own team. Do you employ a mom whose child needs a computer for school, or a fresh college grad living on a budget? Incentivize your team and show them that you care about their needs. It’s a small but important gesture, and one that pays dividends.

– Blair ThomasEMerchantBroker

4. Give Them to a Local School

Piyush JainI donated my old system to my local school where it is used by low-income children. Also, in some cases they give equipment to kids so they can open and understand the assembly of computers and printers. It works as a donation and also a creative tool for kids to learn about machines. I learned about computers when I played with my brother’s old system. Look at Computersforlearning.gov or Computers for pcrr.com.

– Piyush JainSIMpalm

5. Donate Old Equiptment to Younger Startups

Ryan McGannDonating old equipment to younger startups is a huge help for the startup ecosystem. At my first company, we were hiring new employees but couldn’t afford enough laptops. Luckily, a friend of mine had a startup that was a few clicks ahead of ours and already hitting break-even revenues. He had some old laptops collecting dust in the corner of his office, and he happily donated them to us.

– Ryan McGannInLoop Inc

6. Offer Them to Hackerspaces

Lane CampbellI recommend finding a local hackerspace and seeing if they will accept the old equipment.  We have Pumping Station One in Chicago, but they are very selective about what they take so it can’t be too old.

– Lane CampbellJune

7. Reach Out to Local Nonprofits

G. Krista MorganAsk your team which local nonprofits they support and have them reach out to see if the organizations are in need of any of the equipment. Have the employee offer time to deliver the equipment and train the organization’s staff on how to use the equipment if necessary (and if the employee has the time and desire). Let that start a relationship between a worthy nonprofit and your company.

– G. Krista MorganP2Binvestor

8. Have an Upcycled Computer Art Day

dave-nevogtArtists have been making really cool objects out of old computer parts — lamps, benches, desk clocks, you name it. I’ve seen mailboxes and coffee machines made out of old computer towers. Invite artists to use your old parts and even have a company computer art day. You’ll create some cools stuff for the office, but more importantly, you’ll also inspire your team to upcycle more.

– Dave NevogtHubstaff.com

9. Repurpose It

Manick BhanEven if your equipment is getting too old for its intended use, there are still plenty of ways to squeeze functionality out of old hardware. One way is to use old machines to power the dashboards and dummy terminals your team uses to monitor its key metrics. You can also give old computers to your team’s QA department and let them use them for browser testing.

– Manick BhanRukkus

10. Put Them on eBay or Craigslist

Obinna EkezieNew computers and IT equipment are not cheap, and cash is tight, especially if you’re a startup. That’s why I highly recommend that you post your old stuff on eBay or Craigslist. That way, you’ll be able to subsidize a portion of your new purchases. In fact, you might also be able to justify an upgrade to your monitor size or memory — two things that we often avoid because of the added cost.

– Obinna EkezieWakanow.com

11. Find a Charity or Recycle Them Properly

Dan AdikaLet one of your team members contact a charity and facilitate the donation. Then communicate this donation internally to encourage other team members to do the same. We have cases in which equipment has been donated to a school that a child of one of the employees attends. If we can’t find a charity to donate it to, we make sure that we send it to a place that recycles electronic parts.

– Dan Adika, WalkMe

avatar

About Young Entrepreneur Council

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.