Planning Efficient Department-Level Computer Removal

Posted on: 25 October 2016

If you're managing a business using over 40 computers, upgrades and transitions can be a major pain. Recycling isn't so simple for computers and other electronics when compared to furniture, upholstery or burnable materials, but you stand to make a bit of money back on the removal if you plan accordingly. Using computers as an example, here are a few recycling points worth keeping an eye on depending on the current recycling rate.

Aluminum Recycling And Space Considerations

Aluminum is one of the most common metals used for electronics. With computers, the case is the first noticeable source of aluminum and the largest before melting or dismantling.

Computer cases are built by adding one or two side panels to a larger cover. These panels and covers provide protection for the inner components against debris and other outer elements, and are attached to a larger metal frame that houses the components.

The panels, cover, and frame are all made of the same material. Cases can be stored easily by stacking, but you can fold the panels with basic hand strength in most situations if necessary--although a bending tool may be better for large scale recycling. The frame is harder to handle, as it has folded metal struts and beams in some places that need to be simply placed in a pile, cut or melted.

For every component, there is an alternate for tweaked performance. The case, for example, is sometimes augmented with plastic for appearance or replaced with steel for strength in hazardous conditions. The heat sink in computers--which draws heat away and assists in cooling for the processor--is usually a block of aluminum with sharp, machine cut fins. For high performance, copper is used.

Copper As A Computer Recyclable

Copper heat sinks are not a reliable estimation point for computers unless you've specifically ordered custom computers with the copper components added. A more reliable source of copper is the power supply unit.

The power supply unit brings in power from the wall, converts the power to something computers can use, and then distributes the power to other components such as the motherboard or storage drives (hard drives, solid state drives, etc). Although it has heavy bands of copper inside, it can be dangerous.

Power supply units can store dangerous levels of electricity in their capacitors for varying amounts of time depending on the manufacturer. It's best to leave these units in their aluminum case unless a certified electrician can discharge the units for specific recycling. 

To separate everything, it's best to have a reliable recycling container and delivery plan. You'll want to place separate recycling bins for each material to make recycling center separation easier, and you may need bigger containers if you're throwing computer cases into bins in-tact. 

Workers can benefit from roll off containers placed near the exit of the building. A container with a low opening or a sanitized container that can be walked into can help reduce fatigue and strain. Both options are better than reaching overhead to place a computer inside a dumpster.

Contact a roll off containers rental professional to discuss storage and delivery plans for your recyclable materials and to learn more.