Separating Computer Scrap For Recycling

If your business is getting rid of old computers and other electronics, there's a lot of money that could go to waste. It's illegal in most states to simply throw away electronic waste with the general trash or any kind of curbside or undesignated disposal, but even if you put everything into a single recycling container, you could be missing out on a final return from your old investments. Here are a few concerns to understand when it comes to computer recycling and ways to make the process easier.

What's Worth Recycling In Computers?

Every material inside a computer has its own recycling market with a specific price. These prices change on a daily basis, and it may be better to turn in some materials when their prices are high while holding off on other materials.

Some materials such as gold will usually have a high recycling price--at least compared to more common materials such as plastic or aluminum--but depending on the volume of your materials, waiting for a few cents increase can still make a big difference in payout.

Aluminum is the most common material, as the biggest computer component--the computer case--is usually made out of it. Side panels are made of aluminum sheets that may be covered with decorative plastic, and the chassis/framework beneath is usually made with some sort of folded aluminum.

The insides of a computer have even more aluminum, such as the heat sink. The heat sink is a solid aluminum block with thin fins used for heat distribution and air cooling, usually with the aid of a fan attached to the top. Components such as hard drives, optical drives (for CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs), and power supplies also have aluminum cases and internal aluminum components.

Copper is another valuable material. Heat sinks--the solid, metal blocks of aluminum mentioned earlier--are often made of copper in more expensive, custom computers with higher processing speed demand or climate cooling issues. The power supply also has copper coils and blocks on the inside, although power supplies should be discharged before any maintenance attempts are made.

Separation And Delivery Considerations

The easiest way to separate different recyclable materials is to add each material to its own storage bin. This can be done by contacting a dumpster rental and general sanitation company and asking for color-coded recycling bins.

Different colors can be used for different materials, and temporary labels can be added --not permanent markers or etchings--to keep the bins versatile. If you have more materials than hand-carry bins can handle for some materials, larger trash cans and dumpsters can be sanitized and rented for electronics waste use.

Delivery can be tricky if your business doesn't rely on tractor trailer or large trucking personnel. A roll off dumpster container can be left for use and picked up later for recycling center delivery, which cuts out a lot of the logistics concerns for your business. Contact a garbage collection, recycling, and storage solutions company for rental dumpsters to make your recycling plan more efficient. To learn more, contact a company like RMS Containers.