making recycling fun

Design A Part Removal And Salvage Plan For Computer Restacks

by Daryl Simmmons

Replacing entire departments of computers with newer models -- often called restacking in the Information Technology (IT) community -- presents no shortage of challenges and opportunities for businesses. Choosing a reliable recycling service, training responsible restack technicians and making sure that you're getting your money's worth is no easy feat with the world of computers changing on a daily basis. As you look through different services available, consider designing a plan with a few of the following points in mind to maximize the upgrade and reduce the wasted potential that could be headed for the trash.

Identify The Useful Parts

To make future repairs easier, your technicians can remove certain components from the old computers to keep in their equipment storage. Most of the useful components are stored much more easily than the computer as a whole.

In order to be useful, a component needs to be easily installed by a technician and brought into working order, a task that should take no more than 15 or 20 minutes for the physical installation. Configurations and other preparations may take longer, but with these parts, a technician can simply grab a part from a box, open the newer computer needing service and install the component.

  • Hard drive. The hard drive is used for storing the documents, pictures, videos and music that may be useful. It also holds the operating system, which is the environment that makes the computer "work" via clicking, typing, managing files and all of the background processes. It can be attached to a new computer with the connection of two cables.
  • Optical drive. Offering the same easy connection as the hard drive, optical drives are used to read CDs, DVDs and Blu-Ray discs. 
  • Memory modules. Memory is an important component used to store the most commonly used files. Instead of searching the entire hard drive thousands of times per second for the same files, memory offers a much faster storage center. Memory modules -- known as memory sticks to technicians -- are arguably the easiest to store because they're small and not as fragile as other computer components.
  • Power supply. The power supply is the most cumbersome of the convenient components because of its weight and large, blocky size. Although there are many cables involved, the power supply makes the list because power supplies rarely have important new features as two or three years go by, and most businesses operate at the same basic power needs for their computers. They're also durable enough to handle being tossed into a parts bin.

Direct The Excess To Computer Recycling Programs

Even if your computers are gutted of the useful components, the rest of the unit is useful to the recycling system.

Much of the computer is made out of aluminum, with a bit of plastic used for cosmetic purposes, and steel used in some higher end systems. The aluminum can be recycled, and if you've taken the important components out, commercial trash removal personnel, like those at E.L. Harvey & Sons, can get take the computers off the premises faster due to the lighter weight.

If you decide to leave some components in, let the recycling team know. Components such as hard drives may have more valuable scrap metal inside, such as rare earth magnets. Contact a commercial trash service to discuss what you're throwing away to make sure you're getting the most out of your restack.