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Computer Recycling

Computer recycling is important for a multitude of reasons. It’s simultaneously a data security issue and an environmental one.

Here are some of the most common questions and concerns regarding computer recycling:

What is Computer Recycling?

Computer recycling is the process by which a licensed recycling entity dismantles and refurbishes broken or old computer components into usable parts for more new computers.

Which Parts of a Computer are Recyclable?

Once broken down, the entirety of a computer is recyclable. 

From glass, to metal, to plastic, most components that make up the computer can prove to be valuable and used to create new products with the same properties.

However, computers and their accessories contain many hazards such as lead and batteries, so they must be recycled responsibly to protect the environment and your brand.

What Computer Accessories are Recyclable?

Many components of computer accessories are recyclable:
Mice, Keyboards, speakers.

Is it Illegal to Throw Computers in the Trash?

Yes. Computer speakers, keyboards, and other accessories contain toxic substances like brominated flame retardant that aren’t permitted in landfills, for good reason. That specific substance prevents the equipment from overheating during the operating process, but in landfills, it seeps off and mixes into the soil. This has an incredibly negative impact on our environment. 

Wires, Cables & Cords. Are They Recyclable as Well?

The interior copper of electrical wiring can be considered scrap metal. Phone charger cables, audio cords, and standard electrical wire are all recyclable.

Can I Recycle My Laptop?

Absolutely. Laptops contain many recyclable materials like plastic and metal that can potentially yield value. Read more about laptop recycling here.

Where Can I Take My Old Computer for Recycling?

You can take your computer and its accessories to any of the various recycling companies in your area. However, once again, you cannot dispose of your computer in a landfill. It’s actually illegal to do so in most states.

When Did Computer Recycling Begin?

Around a decade ago, computer recycling became an international environmental initiative.

As data surfaced that e-waste was causing tremendous damage to our environment, Dell and other important computer and monitor production companies developed programs that allowed their customers to bring their old, unused, and broken computers to their facilities for recycling.

While you can currently recycle your computer at recycling locations like Cohen all around the United States, most units had typically been sent overseas to cut process cost. 

Unfortunately, data had surfaced that the e-waste that had been sent overseas had actually caused illnesses in countries like Africa and Asia. Because of this, recycling centers take extra precaution to safely dispose of all harmful chemicals and toxins in the equipment before disposing of the unrecyclable parts.

What Size of Computers Are Accepted?

Cohen and most other recycling companies will accept any size of computers. However, the size, weight, and component material have a large impact on the monetary value.

Can I Recycle My Printer?

Yes! Printers are made of recyclable components like plastic and metal. Read more about printer recycling here.

What is Data Destruction?

Data destruction is the most efficient way to protect against liability.

$83 billion: That’s the estimated annual cost of data security around the globe in an increasingly digital world. And while viruses, scammers, hackers, and leaks typically get the most attention, many organizations tend to overlook the risks posed by the computers and laptops they no longer use.

On-site data destruction is convenient, efficient, and secure. Cobalt, our sister company, is the premier certified provider of secure data destruction for decommissioned electronics.

Next Steps

Through computer recycling, we’re taking steps to reduce our carbon footprint, preventing the deterioration of the ozone layer, and promoting a healthier environment for us all. 

Let Cohen properly recycle your computer.