Eventually, your business will need to replace, dismantle, or otherwise remove older computers. The recycling process is a maintenance cost that can't be avoided, since there's workforce effort involved in removing systems and getting everything to a proper disposal area. It's illegal in some areas to throw electronics away in the standard trash, but even if it's legal, you could be wasting an opportunity to cut down on costs by making some money back through efficient recycling. Here are a few details on where the savings and earning come from, along with ways to execute a great electronics recycling plan.
What's Worth Recycling For Money?
Any electronics that have metal content are worth scrapping. You won't be getting half the price of the computer's retail value through recycling, but you can implement a few steps later on that at least save money. The key is to keep an eye on recycling rates for metals and minerals such as aluminum, copper, gold, and rare earth magnets.
Aluminum is the easiest to access and often the most plentiful scrap material on and inside electronics. Many devices that have plastic outer shells or cases will still have an aluminum frame on the inside, since it delivers a consumer-friendly amount of structural integrity while being a light weight material.
In computers, the case houses all of the other materials. Recycling means removing the actual electronics, which usually means removing a few screws to access the side panel, then unscrewing the mounting areas for the motherboard, power supply, and any installed drives (hard drive, solid state drive, disk/disc drive if it's a system from before the 2000s).
On the motherboard, heat sinks are another heavy source of aluminum. These are solid blocks with fins that are mounted on top of processors. Although they're a quick option for recycling, be careful not to damage the processor if the computer is less than 4 or 5 years old. The processor and random access memory (RAM) can be resold for more than the recycling rate if they're still relevant, and you'll want a computer technician to perform a safe removal, cleaning, and storage.
Recycling Planning Points
It's best to keep a supply of containers for recycled materials. A dumpster and recycling container company can provide color-coded containers of different sizes to help you divide the materials by metal type, component type, or any other organizational methods you'd prefer.
Arranging by metal/material type is the best option if you're keeping an eye on recycling price changes. When a specific material is at a record high, your team can send out filled containers while holding onto materials that are below their average prices.
For larger materials such as full computer recycling without dismantling, large display screens, or copier systems, a full-sized dumpster is necessary. By marking a dumpster as recycling only with a visible label and a different color from most local dumpsters, you can give employees and movers an easier target for putting away large, heavy recyclable materials or even their own recyclables.
Contact a dumpster rental professional to discuss container options and recycling pickup/delivery services.