Pin Me

Upgrading Old Computers in Your Office or Workplace

written by: Matthew Becker•edited by: Bill Bunter•updated: 5/5/2010

Hundreds of millions of computers grow obsolete each year. Does your workplace or business discard of these dying machines properly by recycling? Or is it part of the 90%+ of other areas that toss these computers in overcrowded landfills?

  • slide 1 of 2

    Old Computers in the Workplace

    With the excessive amount of computers that are discarded year after year, a lot of them are connected with the workplace. If you work for an employer who uses a large network of computers, it’s a good idea to get involved in regards to what happens with the computers after they are no longer needed or are too slow to use. Are they simply kept in storage, or do they recycle them properly?

    Slowly but surely, many companies are trying to follow suit with one another by going green. You can explain to them the benefits of upgrading old parts, and if the brands of computers they use allow take-back programs as mentioned in the second part of this series.

  • slide 2 of 2

    Fixing Old Computers by Upgrading Parts

    Alternatively, this is where upgrading certain components becomes beneficial. If hard drives are failing, or if the available RAM is proving insufficient while performing day-to-day tasks, a mass upgrade of all computers by upgrading memory or storage will not only save the company money, but it will considerably reduce the amount needed to be recycled. This is especially efficient for small businesses or even home offices.

    For example, say a local company has about a network of 50 computers. In the past seven years or so, more and more employees are noticing error messages regarding the hard drives. They are growing incredibly slow with storing and accessing data, and from time to time the computer simply crashes. The executive decision is made to replace the hard drives in each of those 50 computers. 50 hard drives being recycled is far less taxing than recycling 50 computers, on top of having to go through the effort of acquiring 50 more.

    The same thing goes to upgrading RAM. Computers that come with at least 256MB of RAM can be upgraded to 512MB of RAM, which is more than enough to run most office applications. For just a bit of extra processing strength, it would make far more sense to simply upgrade the existing memory chips in the computer instead of acquiring new machines.

    As mentioned in the first part, older, dying machines are mostly unwanted. But we all need to remember that all computers some with some upgradeable options. They are intentionally designed in this way so that in the future the proper components can be purchased to keep the machine running longer. Instead, far too many people take the easy route and simply throw away their old machines for a newer one that is just marginally better. The amount of e-waste that is filling up landfills is devastating, and will continue to be far more devastating if the proper measures are not taken. In the very least, if upgrading seems too complicated, or entirely out of the question, find out where your old computer can be recycled.

Reduce e-Waste by Upgrading or Recycling

This series discusses how upgrading certain components of your computer will help prevent their unnecessary disposals. Benefits of upgrading will not only be easier on your wallet, but on the environment as well. Finally, the concept of recycling unwanted computers will also be discussed.
  1. The Benefit of Upgrading Computer Components Instead of Fully Discarding
  2. Discarding Your Old Computer or Electronic Equipment
  3. Upgrading Old Computers in Your Office or Workplace