With the rapid penetration of computers across the world, disposing of computers has posed a serious challenge to many homeowners. Recycling computers ensure that some of the resources used in an old computer can be reused for a new one. The falling price of computers is one of the reasons why computers are being replaced so often. In the US 20 million obsolete computers are disposed of every year.
Computers are primarily made of five materials. Plastic accounts for 23% of overall materials, ferrous metals 32%, non-ferrous metals 18%, electronic boards 12% and glass another 15%. A single computer can also contain as much as 2kg of lead. The number of different materials existing in a computer makes it very difficult to recycle. The monitor of a computer is considered to be one of the most difficult parts of the computer to dispose off. This is because the monitor has a large amount of lead in it which is not naturally biodegradable and can contaminate the ground.
One way to recycle the computer is to return it to its original manufacturer. Some manufacturers encourage users to recycle their computers by covering the cost of pick up and transportation. Manufacturers break up the computer and sort components into separate piles. Metals such as steel and aluminum are recycled for new products. Some of the other metals found in computers include gold, iron, copper, palladium, cobalt, platinum, silver, mercury and many more. The non recyclable parts are then disposed off in a way in which is environmentally friendly.
Another option is to donate your computer to a non profit organization or a professional recycler. Before you do, remember to thoroughly format your hard drive. This is to ensure that all personal information is erased and that you are protected from information theft or fraud. Ideally donate your computer to an organization that has a plan for safe waste disposal.