How to recycle old Computers

Society has finally woken up to the dangers posed to the environment by discarded plastic goods but a growing problem everyone needs to be aware of is e-waste. Laptops, PCs, mobile phones, video recorders and printers are all becoming obsolete in their turn as technology develops new and improved models. So many broken or out dated items are being sent to landfill sites with the regular household rubbish collections simply because people aren’t actually aware of the hazardous waste their electronic goods contain.

What’s in your old Computer?

Computers are engineering successes but their internal circuitry owes much to a cocktail of hazardous elements which can pollute the environment if disposed of incorrectly. The printed circuit boards, keyboards and monitors can include mercury, lead, barium, cadmium and dioxins. All are poisonous elements that can harm fish and aquatic animals if they leach into the rivers and the soil of landfill sites becomes polluted. Your old computer also contains a mixture of valuable metals such as gold, copper, aluminium, silver, iron and even platinum. All of these have a value and when recycled correctly they can be retrieved and put to other uses.

Where to take e-waste?

Occasionally manufacturers are willing to take your old computer. Some retail outlets will run a scheme for collecting outdated electronic equipment. Always make enquiries to find out if any local shops have this type of scheme. Even if you no longer want your hardware someone else might. Find out if local charities are willing to take them in the hope of customers being able to have the equipment updated. Very often your old computer is only in need of a few repairs and new software installation to make it as good as new. If you can find the right place to take your computer to you will be providing someone with an economic alternative to purchasing a new one. The local waste collection service usually has a recycling department for e-waste products. Check online for where your nearest centre is located.

Regulations for disposing of Hazardous Waste

Legislation concerning hazardous waste is constantly under review but the emphasis for e-waste is on recycling where possible. Environmental concerns have ensured that determined efforts are being made to avoid e-waste going to landfill sites. Many of the components in your old computer are hazardous and need careful disposal. Companies that specialise in the removal and recycling of toxic materials including printed circuit boards, TV monitors and batteries have to be registered as waste carriers and are licenced to organise the recycling where necessary of retrievable metals and substances.

The Perfect Solution

Using a waste disposal service on a regular basis to remove old computers and other e-waste will help to protect you and the environment from the toxins they contain. Oates Environmental offer an affordable, reliable collection service for all types of computers and hazardous e-waste.

Peter