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Efficient Computer Recycling For Businesses

by Daryl Simmmons

System refresh operations are the key to keeping a business agile and tech savvy. Unfortunately, many businesses struggle with the right refresh balance. Some wait too long to replace their systems and may suffer with slower computers, while other businesses may abuse their profits by buying every new system on the market. Regardless of your refresh timing, replacing computers while recycling old systems can give you a small recycling return while keeping the environment just a bit safer if you take a few concepts to heart.

What Is A System Refresh?

When a business needs new computers, it may need new peripherals, connections and other parts of the Information Technology (IT) infrastructure. A refresh project essentially brings a computer system up to date, hopefully from the smallest mobile device to major file servers.

This means that a lot of computers will likely be leaving the building. Businesses that haven't had major upgradfes in over a decade will likely have systems that can't be salvaged for future use, and can't be easily used with most modern types of software.

Businesses that upgrade within a year or sooner may be able to pull a few vital components for repair purposes. While this advice doesn't go as far as changing entire business practices, an IT support team could work much more efficiently by replacing and upgrading specific parts than ordering an entirely new computer that needs to be configured from the ground up or services with a copy of old files.

How Does Recycling Fit Into The Picture?

Businesses can't simply throw away old computers, even if they're using dumpsters. Electronic waste (e-waste) regulations have become more strict over the years, and have resulted in fines for offenders. At the business level, you could be spoiling the ground and displacing hundreds or thousands of pounds of valuable materials that could be used for precision pieces of technology.

If the threat of fines or the promise of supporting the economy doesn't do anything for your business planning, what if you could make some money as you replace the systems. Many of the components inside computers are sought after by the recycling industry and can bring in a sizable payment depending on the daily rate.

You can recycle a computer as a whole unit, or you could target specific recycling centers with specific materials. Computers are thick with aluminum or steel frames under their plastic covers, which is a good starting area for metal recycling. There are a few copper wires to untangle, but you can find even more copper inside the power supply--although you may want to send in the entire power supply rather than taking it apart. There are dangerous loads of electricity inside the capacitors, which requires and electrician to safely handle. It may not be worth the trouble to take apart.

Hard drives with platters may be more valuable than newer solid state drives (SSDs). This is because of the rare earth magnet clusters inside, which are sought after by recycling centers and magnet hobbyists. Prices may vary depending on who you decide to sell to.

Contact a recycling equipment professional to plan your recycling process. If your business regularly comes in contact with electronics that need to be recycled, you may be able to begin a small-scale recycling project at your business property. If not, a recycling professional should be able to point you to the right recycling facility.

And for compactors and bailers used in the process, contact a company such as C-TEC Compactors & Balers.