Computer Recycling

The bad news is that your current laptop will be obsolete soon…even if you just bought it a handful of years ago. Nearly 98% of every part of a computer can be recycled, including the glass monitor, keyboard, plastic or aluminum casing, cables, CD-ROM drive, power cord, and circuit board.

Before you take your computer to the recycler, follow the DIY Expert Bob Vila’s recommendations:

  • STEP 1: Remove the hard drive from your computer.
  • STEP 2: Access the hard drive's platters and circuit board.
  • STEP 3: Remove the read/write arm, and scratch the platters with a screwdriver to destroy data.
  • STEP 4: Break the circuit board.
  • STEP 5: Recycle the computer's components.

By computer recycling, we mean not only computers and laptops proper, but also the accessories that accompany them, such as keyboards, mouse, screens, etc. All these components are mines of recyclable resources.

You can take out metals from the computer case, disk drives, hard drives, motherboards, CPUs, power supply, PCIs, and RAM. But you need to separate them all first.

After shredding, conveyor belts transfer the shredded computers and e-waste under a powerful magnet, which separates iron and steel from the shredded e-waste. The steel and iron are collected in pallet sized bags and prepared for sale as recycled commodity materials.

At Atlas Metal and Iron, we recycle computers. So does Best Buy if you happen to be there buying a new replacement.

Computer components containing valuable metals include Motherboards, connector cards, graphic cards, memory cards, CPU's and other various small electronic components, connectors/cables & Hard drives.

These old computers can contain valuable metals such as gold, copper, and aluminum. While sleek modern laptops do not provide the bounty of precious metals found in the heavier, older units, they can remain profitable, just the same.

Some reports suggest that an older laptop may contain $30 worth of gold, while newer units would include gold worth $15 to $25. Besides, it notes, there are still a lot of old laptops in storage that will eventually have to be recycled.