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School of Pharmacy

UCSF School of Pharmacy

Computer Recycling

This page describes how to recycle computers and related items for students at UCSF. You can recycle:

  • computers (desktop, laptop, handheld)
  • printers and multifunction devices
  • inkjet and toner cartridges
  • batteries
  • iPods and other small electronic devices
  • DVDs, CDs, and floppy disks

UCSF occasionally has computer recycling events in which you can bring your computer equipment to campus and it is recycled for free. To determine the next date for such an event, contact or Facilities Management. If no such event is coming soon, use the following list of computer recycling resources:

  1. Apple Recycling Program: Apple enables you to turn in your old computer and turn it into an Apple Gift Card. They take qualifying Mac and Windows computers, working or not. Even if you're not a Mac user, Apple Stores carry lots of hardware and software that works with Windows.
  2. For all computers and electronics, see GreenCitizen San Francisco.
  3. For cellphones:
    1. Drop off at the Millberry Union service desk just inside the east entrance of Millberry Union on the Parnassus campus
    2. See GreenCitizen (below).
  4. For batteries, drop off at the Millberry Union service desk just inside the east entrance of Millberry Union on the Parnassus campus. It is also acceptable to dispose of uninterruptible power supply (UPS) batteries in this bin (the battery only -- not the whole UPS).
  5. For DVDs, CDs, and floppy disks that do not contain confidential information (see sidebar), drop in any recycling bin on campus.
  6. GreenCitizen accepts certain equipment for free or for a nominal charge daily at their San Francisco South of Market location.
  7. For items that do not contain confidential information (see sidebar), TechRestore accepts iPods, VCRs, iPhones, CD players, DVD players, game consoles, and handheld game systems by mail and at their repair center in Concord (50 minutes by car from San Francisco).
  8. Computer Recycling Center accepts equipment at specific dates, times, and locations in San Francisco.
  9. Best Buy offers a variety of recycling options for appliances, televisions, cellphones, batteries, ink jet cartridges, computer hardware, audio/video equipment, and more. See Best Buy Recycling and Best Buy tests free recycling in 117 stores.
  10. Radio Shack offers recycling for rechargeable batteries and for cellphones. For details, visit RadioShack Guide to Batteries.
  11. For laser printer toner cartridges, see the drop-off locations list at Toner Cartridges.
  12. Anything else: ecofindeRRR - how to recycle and properly dispose of just about everything.

Go to: Computer Services

Dispose of old electronic equipment securely

Before any electronic equipment permanently leaves your possession, consider what confidential information might be stored on it.

Computers, cellphones, flash drives, iPods, CDs, DVDs and any storage media can be used to store confidential data such as protected health information (PHI), social security numbers, account logins or passwords, or credit card numbers. Federal and state laws and University policy require you to take extra steps to protect the information from theft.

We erase or destroy equipment to meet these requirements. You can sometimes do this inexpensively yourself, but it's usually faster, easier, more secure, and physically safer to give these tasks to an experienced service provider.

Do it yourself

  • Windows & UNIX: Use Eraser or Darik's Boot & Nuke. Both are free and open-source.
  • OS X: For entire hard drives, use the secure erase options in Apple Disk Utility. For files and folders, use the Secure Empty Trash feature.
  • iPhone and iPod Touch: The "Erase all content and settings" instructions at Resetting iPhone work for both devices.
  • Unsure? If you aren't certain of erasure, send it out. For example, for small devices consider the Technotrash Pack-IT Service.
  • Be safe: Don't attempt to destroy equipment yourself; leave this to professionals.

Send it out

Use a service provider focused on secure disposal of equipment such as:,,,, or

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