About Our Recycling Program
Friend of a Friend Computers will accept nearly any laptop, working or not, and do our best to keep it out of the landfill.E-Waste is a serious problem these days, and we think every effort should be made to reduce it as-much-as possible.There is no charge for this service, but it does only apply to laptops and select notebook computers.
I'm Sold, Where do I go?
Items can be brought or, or even mailed to us at:220 E. Wellesley AveSuite 112Spokane, WA99207
If you have any concerns or questions, please feel free to call us at 509-795-1850, or fill out the contact form and we'll get in touch.
What can I recycle?
Nearly any laptop, from any manufacturer, and even some tablet PCs. If your device is, or resembles any of these common types, we can recycle it.● HP, Dell, Acer, ASUS, MSI, Toshiba, Lenovo Laptops● Apple Laptops (Pro and Air), Mac Pro desktops (small form factor only)● Microsoft Surface devices, including Surface Books● Tablets with attached/detachable keyboards (not Bluetooth/Wireless)● Laptop chargers
What about my data/personal information?
As a general rule, the data on any device can be broadly separated in to two categories. Older style Spinning Storage and Solid State Storage.
Spinning storage is very insecure and the data on these drives must be "Secure Erased". This process involves deleting the data, writing random bits across the drive then deleting those. This process is repeated an industry standard number of times (currently 6 passes are used).Even at this point, those drives will never be used or made accessible to the public again. Drives are destroyed and disposed of, typically by melting them down to recover the metals. Don't worry, they don't contain any harsh chemicals or toxic metals.
Solid State Storage is much more security friendly. Once data is erased and written over it is considered unrecoverable. This type of storage may indeed enter public use once again after being completely sanitized.
What about the batteries?
In an effort to keep e-Waste at its lowest level, all removable batteries will be professionally tested. If there remains any quality life left in them, the battery will be rebalanced, cleaned, and will be released back in to the supply chain to live on. People would be very surprised by just how much life is really left in their old laptop battery if one has the means to re-balance and tune it.
Batteries that can't be re-used, but contain usable cells can be up-cycled. Many cells live on in huge lots that DIY'ers use to create battery backups, electric bikes, and many more amazing projects.
If, after all the proceeding work, there is no life left in the poor battery, it will be sent to a recycling center that specializes in handling and recovering the precious, all-be-it toxic, materials from the battery.
What about the other parts?
Since it's our goal to keep e-Waste low, the primary goal is always to move all of the other components of your laptop(s) back in to the supply chain.
Any part of the laptop that is still in working condition, and passable cosmetic condition, will be stripped and put out to live on in another laptop. Though it's a crude comparison, think of it like a automobile junkyard (Pull-and-Save). These places may be a bit unsightly, but it is a time tested way of re-using older components on a massive/efficient scale.
Plain broken components will each be treated in the way that best suits the environment. Most of the remaining components are simple plastics, and aluminum. We are forever on a search for the best places to get these items recycled back in to base usable materials, with a minimal environmental impact. We have some solutions available now, but will continue expanding as we can.
Why won't you recycle X, Y, or Z?
Different items have different reasons that we can't/won't accept them for recycling.● Printers - These are filled with toxic chemicals, namely the ink. Even when the ink cartridges are removed, the waste ink tray remains. We haven't the facilities/connections to properly dispose of these devices. Since we can't do a good job, we choose to allow experts in this field handle these unique challenge.● Desktop PCs/All-In-Ones - This one, is just a space issue. We are a small location and just don't have room to handle larger devices like this. On the rare occasion that these types of devices are modern (last 2 years) and in fully working condition, we can still accept them on a limited basis. We just need to be sure that we'll be able to break down and integrate the device quickly.● Phones/Tablets - In addition to the fact that, with most of these, we can not disassemble and recycle them, there currently exist other services that do a FAR better job than we could keeping these out of the landfill. Please seek out a Cell Phone recycling center for these devices.● Keyboards/Mice/Monitors/Speakers/etc. - In addition to being a major space issue, there already exists the perfect method to recycle these devices. If you have any of these devices in working condition, please donate them. Our personal preference for donations are the charities that benefit Veterans, but helping is helping, no matter the recipient.