Throwing out computers can be a tricky task. In many states, it's illegal to throw electronics away with the general trash. You can maximize your recycling profits by making a recycling plan that is time-efficient and targets specific materials. Here are a few ways to get some cash back from the old computers you were getting rid of anyway.
Efficient Disassembly And Storage
To save time, you need to get skilled at taking computers apart. If you have free time and just want to make sure you're getting the right amount of money for your recycling, one computer is fine. If you want to get skilled at it, collect a few desktop and laptop computers for practice.
Aluminum is the first recyclable metal encountered in most computers. Many computers have acrylic or other plastic-like molds for design purposes, but these plastic covers can be removed either by pressing hidden tabs or with a screwdriver.
The case/chassis proper is a set of aluminum panels over aluminum framework, and you only need to take off one panel to get to the rest of the system. After you work at other components discussed later in this section, you can completely disassemble the case if needed for free space, or simply stack cases on top of each other if you have multiple systems. If you're scrapping one system at a time, it's best to leave the case intact and simply remove one side panel.
Inside the computer is the motherboard, which connects all other components. The heat sink is a notable recyclable material usually made of aluminum or copper. The power supply is also recyclable, since it's an aluminum case with aluminum, copper, and gold internal components.
Organizing Recycling Center Delivery
The pay rate for recyclable materials changes daily, and is different for each material.
Some days you may want to take just copper while waiting for aluminum prices to get better. Other days may have average prices that won't get better any time soon, so it may be better to just take the entire computer.
To make separation and delivery easier, make sure to have a decent supply of recycling bins and trash containers on hand. Recycling bins can be color coded for different materials, allowing you to keep your aluminum, copper, gold, magnets, and other materials in quickly-accessed storage to hand over as needed.
If you're scrapping new computers and getting rid of plastics, you may as well have a plastic recycling container. Plastic rates aren't great, but it's some extra money that can be built upon with bottles, jugs, and other household containers since you'll need somewhere to store computer plastics anyway.
Contact a trash collection, recycling, and dumpster delivery service, such as Mountain Waste & Recycling, to schedule pickup.