Electronics we use in our everyday lives, no matter the type, come with an expiration date. So, what to do with old computers, all your obsolete and non-functional IT equipment? Well, they are destined to become part of incalculable global e-waste. But, do you really plan to turn your unusable computers into hazardous items for the environment and humans?

Computer recycling is an essential task that must be handled appropriately. Taking your old or dead IT assets and dumping them with the rubbish is absolutely not recommended.

Apart from personal use, organizations also need to discard old computers for the sake of multiple reasons—for instance, business expansion, replacing older equipment with updated ones, or downsizing IT staff. Abandoning electronics will only add to the landfills producing toxic chemicals. Old computer recycling needs safe measures and eco-friendly techniques.

Old Computer Recycling

The question of computer recycling is whether old computers are recyclable or not. But, it is a separate topic, and one thing is sure: you cannot throw them out in the dust bin without proper treatment. Typically, IT equipment recycling is the best solution for safe e-waste business computer disposal.

Disposing of computers is easy. But, you must follow the appropriate waste techniques, including Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment recycling (WEEE) guidelines. Moreover, it would help if you had a secure management facility.

What is WEEE?

WEEE regulations have a set of guidelines that are mandatory to follow during IT recycling to ensure that company and vendor are compliant with privacy and safety laws. Originated in 2006, the WEEE directive got the status of law inside the UK in 2014. The latest guidelines happen to expand the range of electronic products (10 categories) to fit more and more daily-use IT assets under the law to easily recycle IT equipment. Typically, the products are either having a plug or battery.

    How to Recycle Computers?

    First of all, adherence to WEEE regulations is necessary for discarding IT equipment and telecommunications assets, such as PCs, laptops, printers, calculators, telephones or smartphones, scanners, and photocopying equipment. IT equipment comprises various metals/materials that can be valuable and useless, beneficial or dangerous.

    The most common items include glass, plastic, gold, copper, ceramics, zinc, lead, arsenic, mercury, and other precious metals. These metals need to be recycled with care, and WEEE regulations are set up to ensure that every bit of equipment is cautiously recycled.

    The Process of Computer Recycling

    Backup Your Important Data

    You must be thinking how to recycle a computer. The very first step of old computer recycling is to back up the data stored in your computers’ hard drives and other storage disks. It will be time-consuming but is necessary to keep your sensitive data safe. Or else, you will lose it forever. You usually have two options for backing up your data:

    • Migrate your data to the cloud
    • Create an archive on your external hard drive

    Wipe Your Hard Drive

    Have you saved all your valuable data on other drives or the cloud? Now, you need to remove every bit of data from your computer’s hard drive to keep them away from the approach of hackers. Genuinely speaking, wiping data is a challenging task. You can clear off the information by following multi-step procedures for peace of mind.

      Start to recycle computers with deleting your stored files by always choosing the “delete permanently” option. Sadly, emptying recycling bins can never be enough for safety. You must aim to overwrite the saved data on the hard drive with more data. Don’t forget to unlink your clouds and uninstall extra applications and software that can have your private data. Besides, you must have saved passwords or bookmarked important sites on browsers. Clear them all, including your browser history.

        Last but not least step of computer recycling, restore to default factory settings. Use an effective hard drive erasing or data shredding software before you recycle old computers.

          IT Recycling

          For safe IT recycling, get rid of environmentally hazardous components. It includes metals such as lead, arsenic, and mercury. Moreover, toxic parts are batteries, motherboards, and ink. Disposing of computers first under strict supervision while keeping the safety protocols in mind. Now, move on to the valuable parts extracted from old computers during computer recycling, including gold, copper, aluminum, zinc, etc. Keep them for future use or reselling.

            The next step is shredding when it comes to recycling IT equipment. Computers are placed inside an industrial shredder and cut with blades turning them into tiny bits making data irretrievable. Now the IT recycling procedure comes to an end with sorting. The shredded pieces are manually or mechanically sorted to separate materials.

            Other computer recycling options for unused computers are:

            • Donating them to low-privileged people, in schools or orphanages
            • Contact trade-in services for remarketing used or refurbished computers to get cash in return

            The Do’s and Don’ts for Recycling Your Small Business Old Computers

            • Create an off-premises secure backup in USB, cloud, or external hard drive. You can also transfer the files to your new computer.
            • Keep overwriting the information or wiping your hard drive as doing it one time is absolutely not enough.
            • Permanently destroy your hard drive physically. You can choose any method such as shredding, degaussing, melting, hammering, etc.
            • Never try to recycle computers on your own! Get help from trustworthy, certified, and professional computer recycling companies for data security and proper computer disposal.
            • Keep a record of recycled devices for future ease.
            • Computers are never meant to be thrown into the trash.
            • Always receive your “Certification of destruction.”

            WEEE Specialist Business Computer Recycling Services

            If you are planning to carry out IT recycling at your home, on your own, YOU ARE HIGHLY MISTAKEN! You will face plenty of health risks and add more to existing environmental hazards when you recycle old computers. Besides, you will not be able to follow the WEEE recycling guidelines completely. That is why Root Recycle is here!

            Our experts can recycle computers while showing compliance with the Data Protection Act. We know the right tricks to destroy your assets without data loss and with extra security. Root Recycle, a WEEE recycling company, specializes in computer disposal.