Salvaging The Right Components And Scrap Materials From Computers


When a new computer system releases, many businesses scramble to upgrade. This could be due to a dire need for faster computers or new features that could change the face of the business. For many businesses with ample funding and strict compliance, upgrades may be in name only; a new machine made for the new year with the same or barely better parts. As you upgrade to new systems, make sure to keep in mind a few salvaging and recycling tips to save money on repairs and maybe make a little money in scrapping.

What Parts Should Be Salvaged?

Modern computers are built with certain standards in mind, which manufacturers agree upon in order to compete in a convenient market for computer manufacturers and the end user. Memory fits into a certain type of slot regardless of the manufacturer, and hard drives have a few specific connector types. These standards make it easier to replace parts or build custom machines, but it can also help with future repairs.

If your business is replacing computers, what is the purpose? What parts of the computer are too slow? Is there anything that the old and new systems have in common that could be interchangeable? The following parts could be salvaged and reused. 

  • Hard drive. The hard drive holds all of your documents, audio and video files. It also stores the operating system, which allows you to click, type, web browse and anything else that involves interacting with the computer. Although hard drives have different data transfer and access speeds, the main comparison between modern hard drives is the size. Save the old hard drive and use it either as an erased and rebuilt replacement or for added storage.
  • Memory. Memory allows commonly-used files to be accessed quickly. Instead of searching across the hard drive thousands of times per second for the same file, the memory offers a much faster storage. Memory generation standards include a notch that stops accidentally mixing of memory with newer systems. The memory is small and durable, and can be easily stored in drawers if a more safe and sanitary storage system isn't available. 
  • Processor. Processor speeds are one of the major factors to a computer's "power". The speed is determined by a clock rate measured in Hertz, such as Gigahertz (GHz) to show how many instructions a computer can handle at a time. An instruction is any action on a computer, which includes all of the background actions needed to run a program. 

Recyclable Materials In Computers

When the reusable parts are recovered, there are a few materials that can be separated for specific recycling purposes.

  • Computer Case. Computer cases are often made out of aluminum, even though the outer shell may be covered in plastic or acrylic. The frame is sometimes made out of steel for more sturdy computers designed for hazardous or rugged situations. Each of these metals can be recycled for cash. 
  • Hard Drive. Hard drives are made out of an aluminum case. The weight is not all from aluminum, as the glass-like platters inside are merely coated with a magnetic surface. There are valuable rare earth magnets within platter-based hard drives that may fetch a better price when specifically recycling rather than scrapping the entire computer together.
  • Power Supply. Power supplies have aluminum cases, but there is a copper core inside that can be valuable at scrap metal recycling centers.

Contact a junk removal service to transfer recyclable materials and any excess computer parts to make your upgrade easier.

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