Make Your Next Computer Recycling More Efficient

Tossing a computer into the garbage is a waste of resources, not to mention illegal in some states. You're throwing away an investment, even if the computer doesn't work anymore. To get a bit of money back from the materials inside the computer, or to put what working components you can find to better use, here are a few efficient ways to find, dismantle, and recycle computers with the help of garbage removal tools and professionals.

Aluminum Recycling Points

Even though many modern computers are covered with acrylic or other plastic-like materials for design purposes, most computers are still made with aluminum cases and framework. The main exception is with ruggedized computers used for field or industrial work, which often use steel for case materials.

The cases can be taken apart with screws in most situations, but you may want a rivet remove on hand for the few cases that use rivets. Metalworking safety gloves are the better choice if the case uses tabs or locking metal joints to hold everything together, since the force used to pull tabs apart may be enough to cause a cut when pulling everything apart.

Magnets For Hobbyists

If your computers have hard drives, they're still worth some money even if they're no longer working. Hard drives are made of aluminum cases that can be unscrewed to reveal a few different materials, with the rare earth magnets being quite valuable to hobbyists looking for something cheaper that store-bought novelty magnets.

Keep in mind that hard drive is sometimes a generic term for a bigger category of storage devices. Solid State Drives (SSD) are often incorrectly called hard drives (the shortened form of hard disk drives or HDDs), but hard drive refers to the specific platter-based technology that includes magnets. SSDs do not have magnets--or any moving parts, for that matter.

Working Parts Versus Recycling Bin Material

If some of the components are still working, they may be better off sent to a new computer or marked for working condition. Recycling centers don't necessarily has to destroy working components and can see that the functional components are put back into proper use.

Devices such as hard drives are often the first to fail and have a much more limited useful life than other components, so they may be scrapped or destroyed. Processors require more attention to properly remove and preserve, so it's more your responsibility to make sure that a processor worth hundreds of dollars isn't turned into its much less valuable collection of gold pins and smaller metals attached to silicon. 

Power supplies, memory modules and optical drives for CDs, DVDs and Blu-Ray discs tend to last longer. To be sure that components are sent to their proper recycling destinations, you'll need proper labeling to make garbage collection and recycling easier. A garbage removal professional can provide color-coded recycling bins to allow easier separation.

Working devices can be placed into a set of bins dedicated for reuse. Different metals and other materials from non-working components can go into other bins, and you can hold onto those bins until a more favorable recycling pay rate is available. Recycling rates change daily and are different depending on the material, so be sure to speak with recycling professionals while keeping an eye on prices for the best payout.

Contact a garbage removal professional to discuss recycling bin delivery, recycling plans and scheduled pickup.