Recycling Your Old Computer Equipment
Many people have aging or old computers that they don’t know what to do with. Many people are in the habit of just tossing whatever is old into the trash and never thinking about it again. However, your computer has many different chemicals in it that can harm the environment and come back to harm us. The internal computer components of your old computer may be too old to resell individually or as a whole. If this is the case then you will want to consider recycling your computer.
Computers monitors contain a lot of lead in them. How much lead is a lot? Well on average each CRT monitor will contain four or five pounds of lead! Considering what a hazardous material lead is this is astonishing. Besides your monitor some of the internal computer components contain mercury, cadmium, and hexavalent chromium. You may not know what all of these chemicals are however they have been shown to cause several diseases and nerve or brain damage to animals. This damage includes humans as well. If your computer goes to the landfill it will deteriorate over time and cause these harmful chemicals to be exposed to the ground. Once they are in the ground they can make their way to the water supply and come back to hurt us.
So what should you do with your old computer? Well if it’s too old to sell or give to a family member then you can look into various non-profit organizations. Many of these organizations need computers and will gladly take your old machine. You can also contact your local schools and see if they are able to use your machine. While schools usually buy computers for their school system a couple free computers could be added for extras in the library or computer lab.
Many companies that manufacture computers such as Dell, HP, and Apple are now offering recycling programs of their own. They will dismantle and recycle your old computer for you. If you can’t find information on recycling programs through the manufacture you can find a hardware recycling business in your local community through the internet. Many computer professionals are able to use your old computer for parts or repairs. Several of these companies will pay you decently for your hardware. It also allows them to continue their business.
Finally there are other vendors who will take your old computer and combine it with other parts that they have to build refurbished machines. These machines are then resold at a lower cost to people who only need a computer for the basics. This works great for first time computer buyers that don’t want to invest a whole lot of money into a computer because they feel they’re just going to use it to surf the internet and answer emails.
It’s surprising that in this day and age almost nobody knows how to properly dispose of old computer equipment. It has become very common just to throw out the old PC components rather than try to reuse or recycle them.