Recovering Valuable Resources and Minimizing Harm: How to Recycle Computers the Environmentally-Friendly Way

Do you know how many computers are discarded every year in the United States alone? Recent figures estimate that the figure is up to 20 million annually, and this is set to increase. As prices of computers, computer accessories, and electronics continue to decrease as new technology becomes available every day, consumers are encouraged to replace their “obsolete” computers and gadgets on a regular basis. This has led many people to wonder how to recycle computers in an environmentally friendly way, without adding to the already out-of-control amount of toxic electronic waste around the globe.

Computer recycling involves the disassembly of computers into their various components, which are then separated and sorted, with the raw materials subsequently dealt with in the most environmentally friendly way.

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Understanding the Importance of Computer Recycling

When your new computer is set up and your now-obsolete old equipment is sitting on a pile on the floor, it can be tempting to consider how to dispose of computer components with the rest of your household or company waste. Not only is this method environmentally irresponsible, increasingly more jurisdictions are cracking down on this process of discarding electronics. Rather than wondering if it’s possible to get away with disposing of unwanted or obsolete computers with the rest of your general waste, the real question should be how to recycle computers in a way that recovers valuable resources while also minimising harm to the environment.

We already know that approximately 20 million computers are discarded in the United States per year, and now new figures by the EPA suggest that discarded computers and other electronic waste make up more than 2 million tons of waste in the United States. Even worse, computer waste is extremely dangerous, even compared to other forms of waste.

Computers and electronic waste are incredibly toxic to the environment, containing dangerous elements including cadmium, nickel, mercury, and even lead. Left to sit in landfill, unwanted computers cause toxic chemicals to seep into the ground and potentially infiltrate the water systems. Discarding piles of paperwork directly into landfill rather than recycling them is certainly environmentally irresponsible, but it won’t cause the types of damage that computer waste can potentially cause.

When tackling the problem of how to recycle computers, legitimate recycling companies like All Green Recycling have the technological equipment and expertise to extract valuable precious metals from discarded computers – including gold and copper – while also preventing carcinogens and other toxic waste from entering the water stream, the Earth, and the atmosphere.

There is no doubt that computers are difficult to recycle. With a single computer potentially containing up to four and a half pounds of lead, deciphering the unique chemical makeup of computer equipment requires an expert approach. Put simply, while many companies may claim that they know how to recycle computers, very few will understand how to extract the greatest amount of raw materials possible.

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Get Creative with a DIY Approach to Recycling Your Old Computer Parts

Here’s a unique spin on recycling old computers: if you fancy yourself a bit of a DIY enthusiast, consider how you could reuse various components of an unwanted computer system for personal use. Indeed, while you will need to engage a professional data destruction and certified electronics recycling company when the time comes to fully dispose of your unwanted computer, in the meantime you may be able to extend your equipment’s useful life in various ways.

After all, just because a computer is obsolete does not mean it is broken, and various computer components can prove useful with a little creativity. Plenty of DIY tutorials can be found online, allowing you to potentially create:

  • A makeshift file server out of an old computer;
  • An external hard drive by combining an internal hard drive with an external enclosure;
  • A DIY air filter from old computer fans;
  • Or even a funky art installation.
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All Green Recycling Know How to Recycle Computers in a Way That Benefits, Rather Than Harms, the Environment

We mentioned above just how difficult computers are to recycle. When asking ourselves how to recycle computers in a way that will extract the greatest amount of valuable resources while minimising the harm to the environment, we have come up with methods of turning electronic waste into the greatest amount of secondary raw materials possible.

Not only is responsible computer recycling the best and most environmentally friendly way of permanently disposing of obsolete computers, it is the only sustainable method – and the only way of ridding yourself of the burden of unwanted computer equipment without adding to the already dangerous levels of e-waste in United States landfill.

All Green Recycling is the largest provider of computer recycling services throughout North America and operates more trucks than any other recycling company. If you’re wondering how to recycle computers in an environmentally friendly and cost-effective way, contact us today to find out more about our computer recycling services, or book a pickup now.

References

How to recycle your old computer

Cleaning Up Electronic Waste (E-Waste)

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