A reader was surprised when his donation was refused recently at a Goodwill drop-off station. He writes: “I bought a new laptop recently and decided to donate my old desktop to charity. I wiped the drive and reinstalled Windows Vista (I still had the discs). When I got there, they told me that they don’t accept any donations of computers. This seems very wasteful to me. I contacted a couple of other places, thinking someone would want a perfectly good PC, but no one was accepting computers. They suggested I go to one of our town’s e-cycle recycling events. Why would they do this?”


Multiple reasons. Outdated PCs like those running Windows Vista post security risks for users. There’s not really much demand for old PCs. Most of them won’t run modern programs. And unless Goodwill has a tech team on staff, there’s no way to ensure that a donated PC hasn’t been infected with malware. Also, disposing of old electronics can be a pain. To do so safely, you really do need to take items to things like the e-cycle events.