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Hank Green of EcoGeek.org shows you how to make a buck on your busted computer before sending it off to be recycled.
EcoGeek.org is about being environmentally conscious while being technologically savvy. Now, some people said that those are two things that don't go together very well, but I have no idea what they're talking about. I'm the chief editor Hank Green, and today I'd like to share with you some information about how reusing components of your computers before you recycle your computer can actually save you a lot of money and save the environment some hassle as well.

Right here we've got an old Dell laptop. This baby's got me through some tough times but it's not working so well anymore. In fact it doesn't even boot up. There's an awful lot in this computer that could go alright. Now Dell recycles all it's own computers for free so you don't have to do this. You could just send it to them and they'll send it to Indonesia or wherever, recycle all the parts, reuse a lot of the parts and that's absolutely an option and I encourage you to do that cause it's really fricking easy.

But at the end of this process we are going to do that anyway, so this is a little bit time consuming but you're gonna save a lot of money. You're also gonna save some carbon because it's not going to take as much shipping. So, really fricking easy to get some nice components out of an old laptop.

Tools you will need:
You might have to search around for a little while for this one folks, because they're not your everyday item. That's it. I like to have a little case for the screws, so they're not getting lost and my wife steps on them and says "argh no, what the f**k have you been doing in here? There's a f**king screw in my toe." Maybe I shouldn't curse.

Most useless part of an old laptop. There's a tab, and a pull, and you've got your lithium ion battery, which is likely completely useless. So... trash? Not trash! Don't throw it away!

Send this off to Indonesia when you get Dell and recycle the rest of the computer.

First thing you always want to remove from your laptop is your RAM. Cause it's the easiest thing to get out and you're gonna get a pretty good return on your time investment. It's just so freakin easy to take it out. And it's so easy to sell and it's so easy to ship that there's really no reason why you shouldn't take it out.

One screw... flip this guy out... pop those... (?) right out... and that's 256MB of RAM... $25 on EBay. And then this particular model has another (?) slot there. That's another $25 on EBay. There's no reason to let these guys get out of your house.

Absolutely every time your recycle a laptop, before you send it off, take out the hard drive. First, there's sensitive data on there. You know it, I know it, your passwords, your porn, it's all on there. It's also an extremely useful and somewhat expensive piece of equipment.

A 60GB piece of equipment. Easy beazy easy. On this Dell anyways. Most laptops have an easy way to get the hard drive out. So, you got two screws.

Voila. This is your hard drive case. This is in an enclosure. If you want to take it out of the enclosure, just take off the 4 screws that hold the hard drive in the enclosure.

You always want to be careful with hard drives, because they are susceptible to static shock. And I live in a dry climate, so that could be a real problem.

And this is the enclosure. This is just a flimsy piece of aluminum and plastic, don't need that. This is a 60GB hard drive. This is a useful little thing. You can go on EBay right now and buy, for $10, an enclosure that you'll slide this into and it becomes a 60GB external hard drive. Also really cool, these guys don't use very much power, because as we all know, laptops are designed to be extremely efficient because they have to run on battery power, whereas desktops are not designed to be efficient at all.

This is a GB 2.5" hard drive for repairs. You can get almost $60-100. So don't send that do Dell. This is why Dell offers free recycling.

The most valuable part of your old laptop is almost invariably the screen. You call up Dell and say, "I need a new LCD screen for this laptop," and they'll tell you $500. Now you're not going to get $500 for this thing but you will get about $150 on EBay.

So you gotta wonder how this happens. You don't see any screws. where are the screws? Well there are screws. They're just hiding under this little blue thing. Right off.

Keep in mind that by the time you've decided to do this, you're going to recycle the computer anyways. So if you break some plastic here and there, it's not the end of the world.

Now this thing is tied to the hinge cover, so I'm going to get it off the hinge.

And there we have this useless little piece of plastic. Hooray!

Now, if you look close in here, there's a little piece with some screws in it. Take those screws off, and then remove the screws in the keyboard and take the keyboard off, and you've got your monitor completely detached form your laptop.

So now our laptop is free form itself except for this cable, which is stuck under this keyboard. Now I've removed the four keyboard screws. So I lift up the keyboard, which is also connected to the motherboard right down there. And this has been taped down and it's easy enough to peel off. It even comes with a convenient pull tab. And now you a have a monitor entirely free of its computer. This, right here, part, $150 easy.

Reuse is always better then recycling.

So what do we have left? Pretty much just this. Which you can try and sell on EBay for parts, but really, you're not going to get very much. My suggestion is go to Dell.com, print out the little label slip, ship it off to Dell, and they'll take care of it for you.

Right here, you've got about $250 worth of equipment that we can sell online, or turn into a very useful external hard drive.

So hats off to Dell for pioneering this stuff and getting everybody else to follow them, hats off to us for saving some money, and hats off to whoever actually gets this machine on the other side of the ocean and helps us all out by taking care of this machine in the end of its life.

I hope you enjoyed that. I'm hank Green for EcoGeek.org. Technology [burp] for the environment. I'll see you next time.