While reading the April edition of Macworld I found an article on Responsible Recycling: What to do with your Mac when its days are over.
Don’t Throw It Away – According to a 60 Minutes report, an estimated 130,000 computers end up in the garbage annually. In 2008, Apple recycled 30.5 million pounds of electronic waste, achieving a worldwide recycling rate of over 38%. For more on their recycling program click here.
Donate It – If your computer is still in working order, consider donating it. The research firm Dataquest estimates that less than 5 percent of all personal computers find a second life at a charity or school. You can increase that percentage by recycling your old electronics with a noprofit facility.
Sell It – If your old goods are only a year to three years old, you might be able to sell them for petty cash. Try Ebay, Craigslist or you can sell it to any number of online services that buy used electronics.
Clean It – If you are planning on donating or selling your computer, make sure that nobody else will be able to access its data.
The first step is to back up all the data on your old Mac’s hard drives. Either copy that data to your new machine or pick up an external hard drive and use that as a repository for all the old files. Second step is to begin erasing all vestiges of your ownership from your old drive. Make sure and deauthorize iTunes, you dont want to later realize you have one less machine on which you can play your old, pre-iTunes Plus music. Next deauthorize any third party programs that you’ll want to reinstall on your new system.
For more check out this discussion from Apple Support, How to Clean my Hard Drive to Sell my Mac.