Throwing computers into the garbage or to the side of the road is a waste of money, and may be crime depending on your business location. Computers have many valuable components and materials, as well as a few dangerous substances that need to be recycled properly to keep the environment clean and to keep a good flow of precious metals and minerals. As you replace an old computer and consider throwing it out, take the time to understand what you could recover from the inside of an old system.
Using Old Components In New Computers
As remove old computers from your business, you need to define a few things about what's wrong with them. How broken are they? How old are they? Depending on your answer, there may be some reusable components that could cut costs in the future, either for repairs or upgrades.
Hard drives are a major recyclable component. The drives have a limited lifetime of less than 5 years (although brand and usage makes such estimates difficult to confirm), but can be used in a new computer with little to no issue as long as they are working. The test is simple: connect the hard drive to the new computer and see if it's working. If it works, you can use it. If it doesn't, recycle it.
Hard drives are used to store all of your important documents, videos, music and other files. Instead of starting from scratch, you can connect your old hard drive to have access to your old files. If the files aren't important, you can format (erase) the drive to use it as additional bulk storage.
Other components can be useful for upgrading new computers as long as the old computers share the same standards. Random Access Memory (RAM), for example, can be added to make a computer faster by serving more information to the processor. Even if your computers are "old", as long as they're using the same variation, the new computers can be upgraded with old parts.
Recyclable Metals And Other Materials
Before starting any scrapping process, be sure to have a recycling bin beforehand. Scrapping multiple computers--especially at the department or large business scale--can create a large amount of waste that can't be easily stored. A dumpster service can provide different recycling bins for metals, plastics and other materials for the following components.
There's a lot of metal to be recycled within computers. The computer case is usually made out of aluminum or steel, and there are heat sinks inside the computer made out of aluminum or copper, but turn your attention to the hard drive mentioned earlier.
Hard drives are encased in aluminum or steel as well, although the recyclable weight isn't as much as you'd expect. Much of the weight comes from the hard drive's platters, which are glass-like silicon with a thin layer of different materials (such as a platinum).
Some unique value comes from the rare earth magnets, which are used instead of screws in some parts. These magnets have both a recycling industry potential and a collector's appeal, as there's a niche for strong, small magnets with industrial/commercial design.
As you get rid of what you can't use, contact a dumpster service for a recycling bin large enough for computer parts to make sure you're legal and well organized for getting rid of computers or any electronics.