What can be recycled from a computer?

If for whatever reason a computer can no longer be used, it can then be split down and recycled for the individual parts. These parts can then either be reused if they still work (ie hard drives may still work if the power supply in the computer has broken), or the item itself can be sent for recycling. Here we’ll give a break down of what can be re used and recycled from within a computer system.

1- Motherboard
They come in all different sizes and colours, but they are the main bit that everything else plugs into.

2- Video Cards
Unless the motherboard has a dedicated video output, computer systems will have a video card. This is the part that you plug the monitor into. If they are of a good standard they can be reused, if not they can be split into different metal parts and recycled.

3- RAM
This is the memory within the computer. These are quite robust items, and tend to be suitable for reuse in alot of circumstances. These can be pulled out the system and reused.

4- Power Supply Unit
This is the aprt that you plug the power lead into. These sometimes fail, and when they do, the whole system won’t work. These can be split down for metal parts and recycled.

5- Hard Drives
This is the part of the computer that stores all your files. sometimes we are asked to destroy these, and they are shredded. Even when shredded, they can be split for their metal parts, and recycled.
If the hard drive didn’t contain any personal or sensitive information, and still works, we can securely wipe all the data on there, and reuse it.

6- CD Drives
If these are still working they are reused. If they no longer work, they are split down for their metal content and recycled. The same applies to the plastic front of them.

7- CPUs
This is the brain power of the system, it is a microchip that is central to the computer working. Older versions of these are typically no longer commercially viable to sell, and so are recycled.
The newer ones (typically made within the last 10 years) can be reused if they are still working.

8- Heat Sinks
A system may contain 1 or more heatsinks. These are used to help disperse heat that is generated by the system. Normally made of solid aluminium, they are sometimes reused, and sometimes recycled.

9- Case
The computer case itself is typically made of metal and can be reused or recycled.

10- Anything else
Anything else that has been missed of this list, and found inside a computer can be reused or recycled. any wires or cables can be recycled, any other cards like the video one above (sound, TV etc) can be reused or recycled. There is very little within a system that cannot be reused or recycled at any time.

We have a zero to landfill policy, and when dealing with computer system we prefer to offer reuse over recycling as that uses less energy and is better for the environment.