Recyclable Metals And Materials In Computer Systems

Whether you're upgrading an entire building or adding new construction for a computer department, getting rid of old computers can be like throwing away a big investment. Even if the old computer is significantly slower than your new system choice, the sunk cost can be difficult to simply throw into the trash. To get some more value out of the old systems, consider a few recycling points that could fetch some extra cash from the recycling system.

Take Precautions With Power Supplies

The computer power supply is a source of recyclable aluminum, copper and sometimes steel. The case itself is made out of either aluminum or steel depending on the brand, but a lot of the worth comes from inside.

Within the power supply is a set of Power Factor Correction (PFC) coils made of copper wrapped around a ferrite (magnet) ring. Both the coil wiring and the ring should be consider for recycling, but you'll need to be aware of the dangers of opening a power supply.

Power supplies hold a latent charge within their capacitors, even after being turned off or disconnected from any power sources. Opening the power supply and working with any of the contents without electrical training can lead to injury or death, so consider leaving the opening to an electrician.

It's possible to recycle power supplies as an entire unit, but there may be benefits to recycling specific materials inside. Contact a recycling professional to figure out what would be worth your time.

Hard Drive Recycling Materials

The hard drive is used to store all of your information, such as your text documents, pictures, videos and the operating system used to make your computer usable. If the hard drive no longer works or isn't compatible with your new computer systems, there are some valuable materials inside.

Protecting the contents of the hard drive is an aluminum or steel case. The case can be removed with a basic screwdriver set, exposing the platters and magnets. The platters can be a deceptive weight when estimating the hard drive's contents, as much of the weight comes from the glass-like platters with only a thin layer of platinum across the top.

A bit more recycling worth comes from the rare earth magnets, which are used instead of screws in some small areas. The magnets have a niche recycling community of both the standard recycling industry and hobbyists interested in strong, small magnets.

There are many more areas for scrap metal recycling in the computer, such as aluminum in the case, gold contacts on the motherboard and copper or aluminum for the heat sinks. For more information, contact Cherry City Metals or a similar company.