Have you ever been curious as to how computers are recycled? Throwing your computer in the garbage may seem more convenient, but it can cause problems by taking up space in our landfills and putting your data at risk. It’s often true that computers aren’t worth much over time; however, when you recycle your computer, you allow the opportunity for people to build new devices.
Some of you might already know that recycling is the best option when it comes to helping our environment. What you might not know is how the process works and how the materials are used when you recycle your computer.
You can recycle almost every part of your computer, like the glass, plastic, and circuit board. Circuit boards contain silver and copper that can give off electrical signals. These metals are also rare worldwide. When you recycle computers, these metals are sent to a recycling center, processed, and then used again in a new device.
As you continue reading below, we’ll discuss the process of computer recycling, why it’s essential, the benefits, and what happens to your computer when it’s recycled.
Why Computer Recycling is Important
If you’ve wondered why Atlanta computer recycling is essential, you’ve come to the right place. Computers hold sensitive information such as financial information, photographs, credit card info, and much more. Even after you move your data into the computer’s trash bin, your computer will still have your sensitive data left behind.
This is one of the reasons people choose to hold on to their computers too long because they’re unsure of how to deal with the amount of information on it. Many people also carelessly toss their computers directly in the garbage. Throwing your computer directly in the garbage is one of the worst things you can do as a computer owner.
When you toss your computer, anyone can gain access to your device and your personal data left on it. When you properly recycle your computer, everything is stripped and cleaned out before being separated into the recycling center. After this process, no one can gain access to your personal data.
The importance of Atlanta computer recycling goes far beyond data security; it also focuses on the materials, which can contain toxic heavy metals and other waste that is hazardous when thrown into the trash. Computers are considered non-biodegradable items, so they should be kept out of our landfills.
Recycling your computers also gives other people the chance to purchase your computer at a more affordable price. That’s why it’s essential to recycle your computers and conserve energy to help the environment.
The Process of Atlanta Computer Recycling
If you’ve been curious about the process of Atlanta computer recycling, below are the four main steps of the computer recycling process.
Send Your Computer to a Recycling Organization
It’s essential to know that you should never attempt to recycle computers on your own. If you need to efficiently recycle your computer, you’ll need to send it to a professional recycling service. If your computer’s battery has leaked, wasn’t stored properly, or was exposed to direct sunlight, it puts your battery at risk of exploding.
In addition, your hard drives should be destroyed (shredded) as they hold personal data and sensitive information.
Destroy Your Data
After you have sent your computer to a recycling service, the professionals will begin the process of destroying your data. It’s essential to understand that you can’t just perform a cleanup on your computer and have all of your data removed. To remove sensitive data, you must completely destroy your hard drive and remove any trace of sensitive information.
The hard drive must go through a proper destruction process, such as hard drive shredding, to ensure that all sensitive data is destroyed.
What is Hard Drive Shredding?
Hard drive shredding is the process of using heavy machinery to completely destroy a hard drive and other electronics. Hard drive shredding eliminates every part of a hard drive which ensures that no personal information can be recovered from the drive.
Hard drives can contain sensitive information such as your name, date of birth, banking information, photographs, and credit card information. Identify theft can quickly occur when old computers are improperly disposed of. This is why hard drive destruction is essential to the computer recycling process.
Many people believe that if you delete your files from the hard drive, you’re in the clear; however, this isn’t true. If any piece of your hard drive is left intact, you leave the chance of a hacker retrieving your information.
With Atlanta computer recycling, hard drive shredding will destroy the physical components making it impossible to retrieve information from the drive. Hard drive shredding is secure, permanently destroys data, and destroys all electronic data to the point of no recovery.
Once all of your sensitive and personal data has been destroyed, individual components are then removed from your computer, sorted, and then shredded. Shredding components involves breaking pieces of the computer down into smaller pieces, which can then be sorted based on the type of material.
Once the components of the computer are shredded, they will pass through a conveyor belt to go through dust collection, which removes any remaining contaminants from each component.
Separation of Components
Magnet-based and water-based methods are two methods that are used to separate shredded computer components. Professionals use the magnet-based method for steel or iron components, while water-based methods are used to separate glass and plastic components.
Once the components have been separated, each recycled material can be used for reuse or resale.
What Happens to Your Computer When it’s Recycled?
When your computer is recycled, the casings on the outside are taken off, and the cables are disconnected. The first part of the computer that is removed is the microprocessor, which is one the most manageable parts of the computer to recycle since they contain small amounts of gold.
Professionals use a combination of nitric acid and hydrochloric acid to separate the gold from the computer. At the end of the process, you’ll have gold dust, which is then turned into gold bullion.
Other areas of the computer’s interior are a bit more complicated to recycle since they contain more metals. Still, the outcome is worth it when you’re recycling a lot of computers.
How Are Components Used?
During the extraction step of the recycling process, metals such as copper and gold are extracted from computers, motherboards, and hard drives. These extracted metals are then used to manufacture additional electronics.
Although the amount of precious metals in electronics has decreased, according to Statista, over 35,000 pounds of copper were removed from every 1 million smartphones in 2022. In addition to metal, plastics can also be recycled.
Plastic components can be found in the cables of computers, and glass can be found in the computer’s monitor for recycling. In the United States, many businesses are required to offer a recycling program for their electronics to help reduce the amount of electronic waste.
In addition, the individual components of a computer can also be resold to manufacturers who are willing to make new electronic devices that will be available to consumers.
The Benefits of Atlanta Computer Recycling
Below are some of the expected benefits of recycling a computer.
One of the main benefits of Atlanta computer recycling is that it creates jobs and economic growth. The recycling process requires skilled professionals for collecting electronics, sorting electronics, refurbishing, and recycling. With computer recycling, more jobs can be created and support local communities.
Computer recycling is also for the reuse of valuable materials when making new electronics. Extracting valuable materials from computers is a cost-effective option as opposed to mining from the Earth. By extracting valuable materials, this reduces manufacturing costs.
In addition, recycling computers can also create cost savings for businesses. Instead of purchasing new computers, businesses can buy refurbished computers at a more affordable price. In addition, companies can also avoid fines for improperly disposing of their computers, further increasing their savings.
One of the most significant environmental benefits of recycling computers is the lower number of landfill waste. When computers are disposed of improperly, they take up space in our landfills. When you recycle your computer, you can reduce the amount of electronic waste that heads to our landfills and reduce the strain on our resources.
Another benefit of recycling computers is that it conserves natural resources. Computers contain materials such as gold, copper, and silver. The resources are extracted through mining, which isn’t an eco-friendly practice.
In addition, computer recycling has benefits because it helps prevent pollution. When you dispose of your computer improperly, hazardous chemicals can make their way into our soil and water. By recycling computers, you ensure that toxic substances are being safely handled, preventing damage to our environments and humans.
Did you know that recycling computers can also be socially beneficial too? Computer recycling can help assist and provide technology to lower-income communities. Refurbishment can be used for school systems and low-income communities, which can encourage them to interact with the digital world and increase their skills to work in the modern world.
Another way computer recycling is socially beneficial is that computers can be donated to charity and other businesses that wish to make an impact on society. These businesses will donate computers to those in need, which can include students and people with limited means.
When we recycle computers, it also involves data destruction to destroy all sensitive data. When using a recycling center to recycle computers, people can ensure that their data is secure and won’t be at risk of a data breach.
In addition, government laws have played more of a role over the years when it comes to computer recycling. Many states and countries have laws that require responsible electronic recycling from manufacturers, recycling centers, and consumers. With these regulations in place, we can minimize the negative impacts on our environment and increase its social impacts.
Computer Recycling at Beyond Surplus
Beyond Surplus is one of the best computer recycling companies in Atlanta, making recycling your computer a breeze! We offer various electronic recycling opportunities so you can get rid of any electronics without the stress and headache. Our computer recycling services provide you with a safe and responsible way to get rid of your old computer and other outdated parts.
When recycling your computer, you can choose items to recycle, such as laptops, MacBooks, and any Windows device. When you recycle your computer by mail, you’ll get a tracking number and an updated progress report of your device.
Our recycle-by-mail services are available for both home and business use. Regardless of the condition of your computer, you can ship your computer to Beyond Surplus directly from your home or business.
Since electronic waste contains many harmful toxins, we should do everything in our power to prevent them from getting into our environment. Valuable computers can be reused in addition to other electronic devices. For this reason, in particular, Atlanta has stringent computer recycling regulations for computers, laptops, and other devices.
To help your business comply with Atlanta regulations, Beyond Surplus has one of the best services for recycling computers. Our team of experts complies with Atlanta regulations and provides a hassle-free approach to recycling computers.
If you need to dispose of your computer safely and want to stay in compliance with Atlanta regulations, we can offer our services for free and help you recycle your computer responsibly
Atlanta Computer Recycling: FAQ
1. How do I dispose of electronics in Atlanta?
To dispose of electronics in Atlanta, you can call Beyond Surplus recycling services.
2. How do I dispose of old computer devices?
Some communities offer a place where you can take your computer devices for safe disposal, which are often connected to recycling organizations.
3. What should you destroy before recycling a computer?
To help prevent your data from being stolen, you should destroy your hard drive.
4. How can you destroy a hard drive?
You can contact a professional who provides hard drive shredding services.