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Possibly dumb computer question

Ok, this might be a strange question, but I'm hoping someone can help me out. I have an old MacBook and I need to recycle it. My city has curbside electronics pick-up, which is great, but there's a hitch. Before you recycle any electronics, you're supposed to wipe the device in order to protect your personal information. I haven't actually used this laptop in a couple years and I recently took it out and discovered that the battery is swollen, so much so that it's warped the case.

So admittedly, I'm not much of a techie but I do know that a swollen battery is kind of dangerous. I'm nervous to turn the computer on in order to wipe the hard drive. So what are my options? Can I take it in to be serviced and then recycle it? I'd rather let a pro handle a swollen battery, because I'm worried about a rupture or leak, but I also would rather not pay a lot of money for something I can do myself. I don't even know if I can do anything with the computer in the shape it's in right now. I doubt it even will turn on. So am I worrying over nothing?


Apologies if this is a totally dumb question! As I said, I'm computer-literature but far from a tech expert.

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