Electronics are a significant part of our daily life, and upgrading to get the next new model that is faster, more efficient, or has some unique features is very common. Reducing the waste from old computers and electronics can be easy if you use a computer recycling service to dispose of the old unit instead of tossing them in the trash.
Benefits of Recycling
Computer recycling services are available in many areas, making it easier to take that old PC or laptop in so some materials can be reused. Recycling can include pulling the parts off the PCB (printed circuit board) inside the machine and reusing them. Electronics often have components like resistors and diodes well within the useable lifespan they were designed for.
Often materials like gold and silver are used inside the system because they are good conductors and can be recovered from the computer and reused. If you consider the number of reusable parts and materials in just one computer, recycling many of them can offset manufacturing costs and significantly reduce the need for landfill space.
Because some of the parts in the computer can break down and become toxic over time, putting these electronics into the landfill presents another problem and could potentially contaminate soil in areas. Land that may otherwise be used for new construction, development, reforestation, or other uses, would not be possible if there were dangerous levels of materials in the ground.
Electronics stores and vendors often offer computer recycling services. All you need to do is clean your information off the computer and then drop it off at the store or specified location. They will handle the rest for you. Some recycling services charge a small fee for handling the recycling and disposal of the PC, laptop, or other electronics. However, in most cases, it is not much and is used to fund the process and the costs associated with recycling.
Computer recycling services will often take the materials from the old machines and sell them back to computer manufacturers or other companies that can use them in the manufacturing process for new electronics, reducing the cost of manufacturing in many cases.
The concern of contaminating the soil and impacting the environment has prompted some areas to make it illegal to put electronics like televisions, computers, and other devices in local landfills. Many of these jurisdictions require recycling of the products, and failure to dispose of them properly can result in fines if the owner is discovered.
Many of these cities have recycling options available for you and may even run their own computer recycling programs, so check with them before tossing your old laptop in the trash.