Recycling is a concept and an activity that is crucial to the health of the planet. Most people realize the benefits of recycling plastics and paper, but electronic recycling is also a massive concern around the world.
In fact, it’s been estimated that in the neighborhood of 50 million metric tons of electronic waste piles up around the world every year. Much of this waste is supplied by computers that have become outdated and thrown away. With technology the way it is, the number of outdated computers will only grow, and the recycling effort will become even more important.
As with all kinds of recycling, there are many benefits to recycling computers. Environmentally, keeping old computers out of landfills helps to reduce many different toxic chemicals from leaching into the soil. Chemicals such as lead oxide, nickel, mercury, cadmium and zinc are all by-products of computers being left in landfills. Aside from the chemicals, fewer computers in landfills also reduce the amount of overall space that’s needed to store garbage.
Recycling computers also benefits those who can’t afford new or full-priced computers, because they can often buy refurbished ones at a fraction of the cost. Many recycled computers are also donated to schools, charities, correctional facilities and other organizations in need.
What Is Computer Recycling?
Computer recycling refers to the process of refurbishing older computer parts into new parts, as part of a new computer. The parts of a standard computer that may be recycled include the glass monitor, the CD Rom drive, keyboard, cathode ray tube, the metal from the circuit board, printer cartridges and the copper inside the power cord.
For the computer owner, the process is quite simple. All you have to do is take your old computer to a recycling facility that accepts computers, or a refurbishing business that will break it down and build it back up again. Today, many apartment building and other facilities have specific recycling boxes for computers and computer parts. This makes the process even easier.
If you have a computer that still works well and you’d rather donate it, that’s also an option. So many kids and adults would benefit from having regular access to a computer, and often it’s the organizations that need them the most that don’t have any.