Computer Recycling

computer recycling is the process through which different computer components are dismantled and separated. Once separated, some of these materials are prepared for reuse. The concept of computer recycling was brought forward in the 1990s and is slowly gaining momentum as more people understand its importance and the effects of poor disposal of electronic waste on the environment.

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The process begins when the computer or its components are either collected from the clients or dropped off at designated zones. Computers and other electronic waste should not be disposed like ordinary trash but should be dropped off at the recycling plant separately. The recycler may pay the owners or the owners may be required to pay the recyclers for the parts delivered based on the operation policies in place in the recycling plant.


Computers are then sorted into two main categories: one for those with cathode ray tubes and the other for those without. This is done manually by employees and usually happens as the computers are received at the recycling plant.


The computers are then tested to determine whether they are in good working condition or not. Those that are still working or those that can work with minor repairs are set aside for refurbishment or an upgrade. Once refurbished or upgraded and the memory is wiped, such computers are usually donated to charitable organisations or projects.


A computer is made up of different plastic and metallic parts. They may contain such metals as lead, silicon, mercury and cadmium among others. During this stage, the computer is disassembled into its constituent parts; the speakers, keyboard, disk drives, screen, motherboard, hard disks and other parts. This whole process is carried out manually by a highly qualified and experienced professional in order to prevent damage to all constituent parts.

Parts made from plastic and those made from metals are separated here. The end products that are in great shape are sold to computer manufacturers or other groups of people who may have use for them. Potentially poisonous materials are also separated here and they are then sent to specialised recyclers. This is done if the recycling company does not have the capacity to do it.

Data destruction

The hard drives are crashed to destroy any data that may be stored therein. This prevents the data from getting into the hands of unauthorised people, competitors or minors who may use the information for unintended purposes. This step is especially important for data that is sensitive in nature or which can have devastating effects if accessed by unauthorised personnel. After crushing, the metallic elements are melted down and remoulded into new disks or other items.


The plastic components are melted separately from the metallic components. The resulting products are then used to manufacture other products or sold to other organisations for use.

Computer recycling is important for environmental conservation processes. It is essential for all those involved in the recycling process to engage in mass education to ensure everyone has important information to rely on with respect to recycling computers and other electronic materials.