NewsBack To School


Recycled computers mean more green for you and the environment

Families can save substantially on back-to-school costs
Posted at 5:44 AM, Aug 22, 2019

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — We live in a throw-away society when it comes to electronics because technology changes so quickly.

The constant turnover of electronics is impacting your pocket book and the environment - especially when it comes to home computers.

Brand new computers, depending on whether it is a PC or Apple product, can range from $300 up to $2,000.

For families looking to make sure students have a home computer, that can be a budget-breaking bill on top of other back-to-school costs.

But there is an option: recycled computers.

Buffalo Computer Recycling (BCR) is a local company that takes old computers, refurbishes them, and then sells them for a fraction of what a new computer will cost. Most of the computers are former business models that were leased out.

The company started in 2011 and had been primarily selling thousands of refurbished computers online - until now.

It has opened a new store located at 1500 Clinton Street, Suite 92, Buffalo (In the Niagara Frontier Food Terminal). To accommodate back-to-school shoppers, the store is open 9 a.m. - 4 p.m Monday to Sunday.

According to owner Richard Chumsky, a refurbished computer, laptop or tablet sells for 50% less than the cost of a new one.

"Companies get rid of computers that have value in them," added Chumsky.

Right now, Buffalo Computer Recycling is selling some tablets for as low as $50 and mini-laptops with Windows 10 and 2 gigabytes of memory for $75.

BCR cleans, tests and installs new solid-state hard drives in its refurbished computers which results in the computers operating five-times faster.

"It is a great way for parents to save money on computer technology," explained the company owner.

The computers and recycled computer parts are also sold online at

Will a refurbished computer run the software that students need? "Yes," said Chumsky, who explained that all of the refurbished computers are tested to make sure they operate properly. The company offers a 1-year warranty on everything it sells.

In addition to saving families money, recycling computers can have a positive impact on the environment. According to BCR:

  • Unwanted and obsolete electronics are rapidly filling the world’s landfills. The EPA estimates that 60 million metric tons of electronic waste are thrown out each year, with the US accounted for 9 million of those tons in 2012. The United Nations predicts that by 2017, the amount of electronic waste worldwide (expected to reach 65.4 million tons) will weigh the equivalent of 200 Empire State Buildings or 11 Great Pyramids of Giza. Though electronic waste makes up only 2% of all waste in landfills, it accounts for nearly 70% of all toxic waste due to its high concentrations of mercury, lead, beryllium, and other harmful substances. Every year, 14,000,000 cell phones are thrown out, accounting for 80,000 lbs. of lead that then leaches into the environment.
  • We can lessen the impact electronic waste has on the environment by reducing our consumption of electronics. Recycling 1 million laptops saves the energy equivalent to powering 3,657 homes each year.
  • We can also help by reusing electronics. More than $60 million worth of gold and silver ends up in US landfills each year in the form of components of thrown out cell phones. These metals can be used in the refurbishing process to fix and update other electronics. By purchasing one refurbished computer instead of a new one, you help save the more than 530 lbs. of fossil fuels, 48 lbs. of chemicals, and 1.5 tons of water needed to make a new computer.