A Complete Guide to CPU Recycling

Oct 4, 2022 | E-Cycling

CPU remarketing and recycling is critical to a safer planet and the economy because materials that could go to waste are put to better use.

Sometimes it is difficult to know what to do with outdated, unused CPUs. These components can be recycled and reused, but not to the same extent as other electrical items.

In this article, we shall go over the signs that indicate it is time to sell or recycle your CPU so you can make an informed decision. We shall also look at how remarketing CPU is done. Ideally, you need to know how to sort and settle for the best value on CPU when planning on recycling or remarketing CPU.

Remarketing CPUs

It is crucial to consider the condition and age of your CPU when deciding how to dispose of it. You can still sell CPUs that have been used for as little as a year or two, but not until you consider a few key factors.

After two years after the date of purchase, CPUs in pristine condition can be sold for roughly half of their initial cost. However, if your CPU scrap is far older than that, you should give up on trying to sell it. Potential buyers will be unwilling to pay a fair price for it. Others will resist buying it altogether.

If you are remarketing CPU, give them a good scrub before packaging and shipping them, no matter their age. This trick will allow you to obtain more money for your used CPUs if they appear as nice as new.

You can sell your CPU on different online remarketing sites and platforms to potential firms that recycle them for resale. If your CPU scrap is still working correctly, small businesses and individual users could purchase them for personal use. One option is to list your CPU and wait for interested parties to submit bids. Another option is to arrange a public meeting place and sell it to someone immediately. If you decide to see someone face to face, make sure nothing fishy is going on!

Although most people would dismiss selling their CPU scrap because of the time and work involved, doing so can be a fantastic way to make extra cash out of the hardware you no longer need. Obtaining the assistance of an IT professional might be helpful if you require additional data.

CPU Recycling

Remarketing CPU is intended to secure a buyer who will reuse and make value from the product. Reprocessing and reusing CPU or portable electronic devices is what we call recycling. Electronic devices like keyboards, mice, computers, motherboards, and displays are also included.

CPU recycling help to lower waste sent to preserve valuable non-renewable resources, reduce landfills, and protect environmental and human health.

Components like silicon, lead, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, and mercury are common in most CPU scrap. It takes a lengthy procedure to shape all these cables, metals, and polymers into a single computer component. As a result, electronic waste recycling is a no-brainer. Both energy and cash will be conserved through CPU recycling.

What Happens in CPU Scrap During the Recycling

The first step in CPU recycling is to remove the protective coverings and disconnect the cords—the elimination of microprocessors. Microchips are, in miniature, precisely what they seem like they would be, but their power is anything but minuscule.

Since the sole metal found in them is gold, they are the most easily recyclable component of a computer. Hydrochloric acid and nitric acid are used to get the gold out of the ceramics. A big barrel is used to dissolve thousands at a time. The residue is a fine powder of pure gold. The gold is refined into bullion by melting it down.

Portions of the computer’s guts that include a variety of elements are more challenging to recycle. However, the process is still worth it when dealing with hundreds or even thousands of computers.

After being disassembled, the metal components are heat treated. Silver, gold, and copper are melted into a liquid, dripped, cooled, squeezed, and cut into plates.

An electric charge is applied to every plate before submerging it in a bath in CPU recycling. A negatively charged copper plate is then placed on top of the plates to draw the copper atoms, which are removed from the metal plate mixture.

The next step is to put the plate through yet another wash, this time with a steel plate, to attract the silver and precipitate it. The plate becomes entirely replete with gold when subjected to a second treatment.

A Step-by-Step Guide to CPU Recycling

1. Collection

A recycling center must collect obsolete and unwanted computers from their owners or predetermined drop-off locations from time to time. Different CPU recycling collection centers might operate under diverse stipulations based on the collection regulations.

Some recyclers may pay the owners of the reused CPU, while others may charge a disposal fee. It is common practice in the computer recycling industry to accept used computers as payment for newer models. The strategy works in reducing waste, reusing materials in future production runs, and boosting interest in brand-new computers.

2. Sorting

Next, the recycler will sort and settle for the best value on CPU from the collected computers. Sorting the CPU scrap by hand aims to put them into their respective categories. After completion, the process will advance to the next phase of CPU recycling, processing, and reuse.

The CPU scrap with cathode ray tubes (CRTs) installed is processed on one line. The rest are processed on a separate line.

3. Testing for Potential Reuse CPU

After cleaning and cataloging, the old computers are examined to see whether they may be reused for something else. It is more likely to be improved or refurbished before being sold or donated if the computer is still functional or in a reasonably decent operating state, and the parts are not obsolete or only require a little upgrading.

The reuse CPU will undoubtedly be thrown away if it is broken or in poor condition. Typically, this is done after the machines have been given any necessary upgrades. An owner will also erase any data in the device.

At this point, they are sold to secondhand computer stores in locations with significant demand for used computers or donated to charitable organizations.

4. Manual Disassembly

After determining the feasibility of reusing the entire CPU scrap system, the individual components are dismantled to see if they are salvageable for refurbishment or if the costs of upgrading would negate any potential savings from reusing them.

The speakers, circuit board, sound and graphics cards, DVD drives, keyboards, and hard disks are just some of the parts that might be removed during CPU recycling. All the work must be done by hand. It also requires people with a lot of experience to guarantee that the parts keep working.

Those parts that are still in working order after being manually disassembled are resold. Some people are interested in buying used electronics. Other components could be sent to computer manufacturers to be used in the creation of new computer sets or refurbishment from CPU recycling.

Certain recyclers may separate the devices and sort the components into ferrous and non-ferrous materials, plastics, CRTs, and circuit boards. Some recyclers may carry out this process. Due to the presence of cadmium, barium, mercury, lead, and phosphors in CRTs, extreme attention must be taken whenever handling these devices.

It is advisable to dismantle the components and send them to processing plants with the necessary technology for eradicating lead from the CRT glass. The relevant knowledge is available at these establishments. Rechargeable batteries and other potentially hazardous components are sent to secondary recyclers specializing in battery production and recycling.

5. Destruction of the Data

A method employing ten tons of force can destroy or render the CPU’s storage media and processing units useless. This is typically done to guarantee that all the information on a hard drive has been erased. After that, they are processed into aluminum ingots for use in the auto industry.

6. Separation of Material Composition

Following the removal of all usable and potentially hazardous components from old CPU systems, the residual waste is further shredded based on the components’ original materials. The reused CPU is dismantled down to its parts, such as wires, metals, plastic cases, circuit boards, etc., and recycled independently.

The resulting trash is then subjected to screening processes to extract the usable materials. Other precious metals, like silver, iron, gold, copper, and other essential components, can be salvaged through smelting from the waste product. You can utilize this method to get back other precious pieces, too.

7. Reusing the Valuable Extracts

Once the various materials have been recovered from CPU recycling, they can be sent to the secondary material recyclers that are most suited to process them. Primary manufacturers, raw material purchasers, and secondary recyclers subsequently put the materials to use in making new products. The metals, for instance, are sent to recycling facilities, where they will be processed into raw materials for making steel and other metal products.

Products made from other recovered materials can be manufactured similarly to those made from plastics and vice versa. One notable exception is cathode ray tube (CRT) glass, which requires a particular recycling procedure to remove dangerous materials like lead.

In most cases, look for CRT recycling firms or manufacturers who salvage the glass from the CRTs for use in other projects or to make new CRTs when remarketing CPU.

Uses of Metals from Your CPU Scrap

Gold plates can be remelted and reformed into different shapes during CPU recycling, each with unique uses. In the case of dental crowns, for instance, pinching them into smaller plates allows for easier handling and storage. The components that were once in charge of rearranging bits and bytes in the reuse CPU RAM will soon be found in the mouth of the dental crown client.

A “seasoning” component in the computer fabrication process is a material called “gold salt,” which can be produced from gold plates. Gold salt is a material used to construct several types of electronic devices. The recycling CPU scrap uses cyanide, a highly poisonous chemical, to convert gold plates into gold salt crystals.

The engineer will double-check the container’s seal throughout the procedure of CPU recycling. This salt may not be ideal for cooking fish and chips, but it does wonders for computer components. One bucket of gold salt might cost close to $60,000 now. Although thousands of CPU recycling would be needed to make a single bucket of gold salt, the cost would be well worth it.

Also, gold plates can be used to hold gold rods refined in a furnace. They are squished into a small space and coiled to produce a thin wire in the computer’s internals.

Gold is in high demand not just in the medical field but also in the aerospace industry. Satellites and other vehicles like the space shuttle employ gold in their propulsion systems.

At the same time, gold has a special status in society as a precious metal, but its many practical uses have often been surprising.

Reusing already mined gold and other precious metals have a knock-on effect of reducing the demand for new deposits. CPU recycling impacts the economy and the environment because it is more cost-effective than mining.

Those who own computers have to see that they are appropriately recycled. Still, institutions like universities, hospitals, and insurance companies that regularly upgrade their computer infrastructure have an even higher obligation.

In light of this, environmentally aware companies often establish long-term partnerships with recycling providers who can handle consistent, high-volume drop-offs.

Organizations that handle sensitive or proprietary data must exercise caution when choosing a recycling partner. To be considered, a recycling partner must ensure that the company’s data will be encrypted during the process and then permanently deleted. This alliance partner must also ensure that the company’s CPU scrap is put to good use.


The impacts of electronic waste are enormous because it is now practically challenging to operate a business without employing electronics. Taking care of handling and disposal of your business’s electronic waste is crucial.

Tones of electronic garbage are produced by a wide variety of enterprises, including those in the technology industry, universities, huge municipalities, trucking firms, manufacturing firms, insurance firms, and many more.

Whether a company is large or small, if it uses electronics, it will generate e-waste. How to handle your e-waste and why it’s crucial to remove it from your business responsibly and securely are both essential issues to resolve.

It is simple to forget ecological considerations while thinking about CPU scrap recycling. Most people are concerned with removing their old computer parts and decluttering their workspace. However, what might seem trash to you might be valuable when put to good use.

Today, there are options for recycling or otherwise responsibly discarding old electronics that do not harm the planet. Old CPUs can be recycled, sold, or mined for their precious metal content.