Keeping up a stock of older computers may not be an option. The bulky boxes can take up a lot of room that you need for the new computer, and storing the old system may add to an already existing clutter problem. That said, you shouldn't simply throw it to the curb! To avoid fines for adding to the electronic waste (e-waste) problem and to get a little money back from your previous computer investment, think about a few recycling and reuse purposes for computers.
Reusable Parts From Older Systems
If you're not especially skilled at computers, recycling old computer computers for upgrading new computers may seem confusing. Removal isn't the only odd part; how can something old upgrade something new? Thankfully, there are some parts that are useful across multiple generations and can simply add to the new computer's potential rather than weighing down average performance.
Identifying a computer's generation means identifying the parts. Although there are individual speeds and other measurements, the dollar-to-performance comparison is what truly matters. Since many small improvements are barely noticeable, take a look at a couple of generation differences:
- Storage drive. Hard drive is the term used for most storage drives, but technology is changing and slowly adding solid state drives to the market. Hard drives are storage devices using spinning platters. Solid state drives are devices with no moving parts, instead using metal oxide chips to trap and release electrons to represent data. These differences are not what matters; look for the bar shape (PATA) or L-shape (SATA) connectors, which decides if your old drive can connect to newer computers. There are adapters that can connect the generations together.
- Random Access Memory (RAM). Information is processed by moving information from the storage drive to the processor. Unfortunately, this information transfer depends on the drive's speed and becomes slower when other information requests take place. RAM holds the most commonly-accessed files to be served to the processor quickly. Memory standards are physically represented by a notch on the edge of the memory. You can't mix generations together unless the notch matches with your new computer's motherboard, so it's an easy compatibility test.
Recyclable Materials Inside Computers
If the computer has no reusable parts, you can still sell the whole computer or the individual parts for scrap.
The biggest and most noticeable scrap material in the computer is the computer case itself. Although plastic usually covers more modern computers, the underlying cover and the framework of the case is usually made out of aluminum or steel.
Another recycling source is the hard drive. Aluminum or steel is used for the case as well, but there isn't as much metal as some may expect. A lot of the weight comes from the platters, which are made of a glass-like silicon material. There is, however, platinum or a similarly-precious material painted on the platters with a thin layer. Hard drives also have rare earth magnets used in lieu of screws in some places.
Solid state drives may not have large commitments of precious metals and minerals, but there are still electronics recycling programs available. Contact a garbage removal service to discuss recyclable materials and recycling systems ready to accept your old systems.
For a professional waste service, contact a company such as Western Disposal.