The Benefits of Recycling Your Computer

Jul 10, 2019 | E-Cycling

For most people, upgrading your computer is a well thought out event. Major computer enthusiasts can spend months deciding on the right components, purchasing them, and actually building their PC. Casual tech owners may only spend a few moments at their local store selecting their new machine. However, in many cases, we don’t think about what to do with our computers after we no longer have a use for them.

Sometimes, you can resell your old computer for some extra cash. This isn’t always an option though. For instance, if you haven’t upgraded your machine in quite some time, it may be outdated. Furthermore, you could experience technical issues that make it so your machine is no longer salvageable.

However, it is exceptionally important that you properly dispose of your PC when you have deemed it time to do so. There are several companies, such as CJD E-Cycling, that will recycle your unwanted technology for you.

What is E-Waste Recycling? 

E-waste recycling is a form of computer recycling. When disposing of items, there are often restrictions on items such as electronics and batteries, as they can be hazardous to the health and safety of the general public when they begin to decompose. Therefore, proper decomposition and recycling of electronic materials are exceptionally important – especially as technology is becoming more and more an integrated part of our society.

However, despite waste laws and regulations on the disposal of electronic devices, many individuals may feel that they are not doing any lasting harm by simply throwing out their used computers. What these individuals don’t realize, however, is that there are a plethora of benefits to recycling your used computer that many personal and retail technology investors may not be aware of.

What Takes Place During E-Waste Recycling?

In many cases, approximately 90% of all electronics are fully recyclable. This means that the various components of the machinery are broken down. The components are then either reused or properly recycled. Potentially hazardous materials are removed and sent to proper facilities in order to ensure that dangerous chemicals are disposed of without harm to the environment.

Pieces of the machinery that can be recycled are often used in a variety of ways. For instance, the plastic casing of a laptop may be repurposed – it can be recycled like normal, common plastic and used for different projects. It can also be sent back to computer factories and reused if in good condition for refurbished machines. Components of the machine itself, such as the motherboard and processors, may be repaired by professionals and resold as refurbished parts for individuals to purchase, or used to replace broken pieces in other machines.

In some cases, computer recycling means upgrading a computer and donating it to local facilities. Donated computers and other electronics may be used in homeless shelters, schools, libraries, prisons, and adult education centers. Often, this technology is used to support low-income individuals in need, as well as educational programs that assist individuals in instances where they need to rehabilitate themselves after a tragedy, addiction, or other misfortune.

Of course, components submitted for e-waste recycling that cannot be used, for one reason or another, are disposed of by professionals. This process ensures that any unsafe chemicals are broken down into non-toxic components before being deposited in landfills or other waste management facilities.

Benefits of Computer Recycling

Throughout the United States, individuals campaign for more active recycling awareness. Typically, when individuals think of recycling, however, they think of your basic recyclables – plastic, paper, metal, and similar materials. What many don’t realize is that e-waste recycling, though it may seem unnecessary, is an important category of recycling that not only benefits the environment but the safety and overall health of the human population. Furthermore, in some cases, recycled electronics can be used for other projects, making them a valuable asset for many individuals in our society.

There is a slew of benefits that can be derived from computer recycling and other e-waste management that many recycling communities may not consider. Below, we discuss the various benefits that can come from e-waste recycling.

Conservation of the Environment

When you purchase an electronic device, or even something as simple as a package of batteries, you may notice that they contain a disposal warning. Typically, it says something about proper disposal due to toxic waste. What many individuals fail to realize when they purchase an electronic device is the proper disposal process.

Many electronic devices are made of materials that are toxic to the environment, such as flame retardants, zinc, chromium, lead, and barium. These chemicals – especially items such as lead – can be exceptionally harmful to humans and other animals. Individuals who work in landfills and waste management facilities may be exposed to these chemicals, which, if left untreated, can be fatal. Therefore, it is important to ensure that these materials, instead of being deposited in a landfill, are properly disposed of at a computer recycling facility.

Furthermore, these materials are often not decomposable – meaning that they further negatively impact the environment by contributing to the filling of landfills. While, in some cases, the solution to overfilled landfills involves the burning of waste, these materials are often dangerous to burn and can cause chemical reactions, causing long-term issues for the environment and potentially harming individuals who are tasked with these duties.

Depositing of electronics in landfills, furthermore, leads to pollution. As the metals and chemicals included erode in the landfills, they release chemicals into the environment. Some release gases, which contribute to air pollution – a leading factor of global warming in the United States. In other cases, the chemicals are released into the ground, inevitably running into the groundwater. Contaminated groundwater can lead to boil water notices. This is due to the fact contaminated water is deadly, in many cases, and can lead to issues such as lead poisoning and other illnesses.

With this in mind, proper e-waste recycling is exceptionally important. Computer recycling facilities ensure that electronics are properly disposed of and reduce the number of potentially toxic chemicals being released into the environment. Given the rise in water toxicity issues throughout the United States, as well as the overwhelming e-waste issues reported by many public landfills, this is an important aspect of proper waste management that should not be considered as optional, but necessary to maintaining human health and environmental integrity.

Community Development and Support

As previously mentioned, in many cases computer recycling is similar to a new and relatively popular trend known as upcycling, in which individuals take previously used items and turn them into something similar, but new. In many cases, recycled computers may be repaired and reused for different purposes. While this may seem like a relatively simplistic job, in many cases it can be a long term project that requires multiple individuals to successfully complete.

For instance, the initial repairs will need to be done by certified technicians who are familiar with the technology at hand and able to repair it. This may be as simple as the installation of new computer components, or it may mean harddrive and operation system repairs. Furthermore, broken components may be sent to the aforementioned professionals to be repaired and refurbished if they are deemed repairable.

Individuals who are not experienced with technology may be under the impression that work like this is simple, but depending upon the repairs and installations required, skilled engineers may be necessary to properly repair parts alongside individuals how are experienced in PC building and device management. The need for these roles, as created by computer recycling, creates jobs on a local and national level, depending on the type of e-waste recycling taking place.

This job creation is a great asset in boosting our economy and workforce, as every day, individuals are purchasing new electronics and replacing outdated technology. For instance, big businesses often upgrade their computer systems every few years – meaning dozens, if not hundreds of machines have the potential to be recycled every year. These machines are often donated or given away in sales, purchased by local libraries, schools, and community resource officers to provide essential – because, in today’s day and age, computers, and computer skills are essential – workforce training for individuals who may be in need.

Other Benefits

While the primary benefits lie in job creation, the ability to protect the environment and the development of communities through reused electronics, there are other benefits to recycling computers that many individuals may not realize. For instance, some recycled computers are used for scientific purposes, such as research and study of technology.

Old computers can often be disassembled and used to help develop new technology. This is primarily due to the fact that in many cases, it is more affordable to reuse older technology than attempt to purchase new and current technology when attempting to develop and understand technological advances. For instance, experimentation on electric current and energy conservation can often be completed using recycled technology, making it a valuable resource for scientists.

Other benefits include the ability to use the chemical decomposition of old technology to understand how too develop technology moving forward that is more environmentally friendly. Scientists are able to study the chemicals that are dispersed when technology is disposed of, both properly and improperly, and determine the best course of action to ensure that future technology is developed in a way that requires less toxic chemicals to be used.

Research completed on used technology can also help scientists determine the best course of action for the removal of chemicals that are deposited into the environment by technology that has not been disposed of through proper computer recycling methods. This is important, as, despite the growing campaign to encourage individuals to properly dispose of their used technology through e-waste recycling, plenty of technology still finds its way into landfills annually. Understanding the best ways to manage this sort of waste and the hazardous chemicals created by these products when they are disposed of improperly is important to ensuring the integrity of our environment moving forward.

Of course, an additional benefit of computer recycling is the cost factor associated with it. In some cases, if you have a plethora of old technology cluttering your home or office, some e-waste recycling facilities will purchase your used technology from you for a fair price. This is a win-win situation typically speaking – they are able to take your used technology off of your hands, and you gain a profit, no matter how small. Who doesn’t love a little extra cash, anyway? Knowing that the technology you are recycling will be put to good use is a further additional benefit!

Where Can I Recycle My Computer?

With all of the benefits presented for computer recycling, there are few reasons not to recycle your used technology. Many companies will assist you in the proper recycling – and, if necessary, data destruction – of used technology. Companies such as CJD E-Cycling will assist in the proper disposal of your computer at limited to no cost to you, depending on the services you are looking for.

It is important, initially, to ensure that the company you are choosing to use for your computer recycling needs is involved in ethical recycling. Essentially, it is most important to ensure that your computer is being repurposed and recycled properly – make sure you are not providing your technology to a company who will, for instance, use any data left on your machine. Furthermore, make sure that the company you are choosing is going to ensure no hazardous materials make their way to public landfills. Companies such as CJD are committed to ensuring that all machines in our care are disposed of in responsible ways, as we feel that maintaining our community and environment is of the utmost importance.