Desktop computers, laptops, and many other office electronics are packed with recyclable material worth more than the fuel it takes to recycle in most cases. Although sometimes covered in trendy acrylic or other plastic-like designs, there is a lot of metal that can be found just by prying off the first layer. If you're removing a large number of systems out of your business, here are a few ways to avoid electronic waste penalties while making some money back for the effort.
Pinpointing Recycling Materials
For a good recycling plan, you'll need to know what materials to go for first. Metals and magnets are the better price points to go after, and aluminum is the first metal you'll encounter in most computers.
The case is usually made of metal, except when working with some ruggedized computers for field or industrial use with steel cases. You can easily stack computer cases for storage after removing other recyclable materials, but if you need to break down the systems, there are a few key points to get the aluminum parts as small as possible.
Computer cases are a series of flat panels and struts. These panels are held together by screws in some places, but many cases have adopted rivets or sliding tabs for quick manufacturing. Any technician pulling apart larger aluminum case components should have screwdrivers, rivets, and tear-resistant gloves for different parts of the removal. Gloves are only necessary when prying sharper case parts away.
Within the computer, the next biggest metal sources are the heat sink and the power supply. Heat sinks are solid blocks of aluminum or copper with thin, sharp fins that should be handled carefully. The power supply is an aluminum case with copper and aluminum components, but should not be opened without a certified electrician due to the dangerous electrical charge that lingers even after the system is turned off.
Organizing Recyclable Storage And Delivery
Before taking computers apart, have an organizing plan in place. Every recyclable material has a different scrap recycling pay rate that changes on a daily basis, so you may want to deliver certain materials on specific days. Checking rates is not a difficult task; simply contact a recycling center to find the rate for a specific material for that day.
Recyclable materials should go straight to recycling bins to make things easier. Dumpster rental professionals can provide various recycling and general garbage storage containers, ranging from hand-carry storage bins to recycling dumpsters large enough to throw away computer cases in bulk.
For smaller materials, such as copper components, magnets, or gold filings, you'll want to use color-coded hand-carry bins. Contact a dumpster rentals and recyclable garbage professional, like one from RMS Containers, to make sure your business is ready for efficient recycling.