Scrapping old computer parts

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Tutty59
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Scrapping old computer parts

Post by Tutty59 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:12 pm

Over the years my family has acquired various spare computer parts (motherboards, graphics cards, memory, etc.) that have been collecting dust in a common room. For the longest time we've debated what should be done with the equipment, as it is no longer relevant technology. Data will have to be purged from the systems, but has anyone been in a similar situation and if so, what route did you take? I suppose the following are our options at this point:

1) Find a dumpster and throw it all out
  • PROS: Quick and easy
    CONS: Not environmentally friendly, no cash return
2) Find a company to recycle it with environmental consideration
  • PROS: Environmentally friendly, could see a small cash return
    CONS: Would most likely have to ship somewhere and wait to hear back
When I type it out, the obvious answer seems to be #2. Suggestions for a company/website/refinery would be most appreciated.

Tutty

jebmke
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Re: Scraping old computer parts

Post by jebmke » Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:14 pm

Check to see if your area has a recycling program. The surrounding counties where I live have a twice yearly date when you can bring in chemicals, electronics and a few other things to be recycled.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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Pajamas
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Re: Scraping old computer parts

Post by Pajamas » Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:20 pm

We actually have a city-provided container in the building for electronics recycling and the sanitation department has drop-off events in parks. They will accept parts. It is illegal to put them in the trash here.

Goodwill will accept any computer or computer peripherals even if they are not in good condition but perhaps not loose parts.

Contact your local sanitation department for recycling options.

Also. you might be surprised at what you can sell on Ebay, even if it is non-working, for parts. At least take a look to see what has sold recently that is similar to what you have. People even buy things like 8-track tape players.

Throwing them in the dumpster should be your last resort if recycling is absolutely not available.

badger42
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Re: Scraping old computer parts

Post by badger42 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:23 pm

I ran into a similar situation with an older relative who never threw anything out, found a store (Staples, I think) that took electronics for recycling for free. They didn't blink at getting a trunkload of crap. No idea what they actually did with it, and I don't really care.

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telemark
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Re: Scraping old computer parts

Post by telemark » Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:25 pm

badger42 wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:23 pm
I ran into a similar situation with an older relative who never threw anything out, found a store (Staples, I think) that took electronics for recycling for free. They didn't blink at getting a trunkload of crap. No idea what they actually did with it, and I don't really care.
Best Buy does this also.

tev9876
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Re: Scraping old computer parts

Post by tev9876 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:26 pm

My city won't take them for curbside recycling buy you can drop off electronics at their recycling center.

Just pull the hard drives out. You may want to just hold on to them since you can buy a USB adapter that will let you read the data on them in case there is something you realize you need a year from now. You could also run a program to wipe them if you are worried about data theft. I would go the "Office Space Fax Machine" route with a sledge hammer since it is faster and more fun. There is really nothing there that would be worth an identity thief's time trying to piece drive platters back together. Of course mine are still all sitting in a desk drawer.

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Watty
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Re: Scraping old computer parts

Post by Watty » Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:55 pm

You can easily take the hard drives out of them and use them as an external drive by getting an external case like this once.

https://www.amazon.com/Sabrent-External ... 6528334011

This one will hold the two most common sizes of drives. You only need one case since you can swap the drives when you want to use them.

Uniballer
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Re: Scraping old computer parts

Post by Uniballer » Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:59 pm

Ask if anybody is interested over at Vintage Computer Forum - Marketplace? Just be aware they will want detailed lists and maybe even pictures.

ubermax
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Re: Scraping old computer parts

Post by ubermax » Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:02 pm

I cut the HD in half with a circular saw ( metal blade) and chuck it in household waste at the local dump - it then goes to an incinerator in another town , the remaining parts I leave in the recycled electronics shed at same dump - I use to sledge the HD but now I clamp it down and rip through it .

123
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Re: Scraping old computer parts

Post by 123 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:24 pm

If you've got a lot of old computer parts I would stuff them (loose) into one of the computers you're turning in for recycling. I think places are less likely to take a box of loose parts. If they're in a desktop computer you could say the computer got noisy so you stopped using it if anyone asks, they probably won't. Best Buy is probably the easiest place to recycle stuff at, they want you in the store.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

gd
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Re: Scraping old computer parts

Post by gd » Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:32 pm

It's best a local recycling issue, and you don't give your location. Contact whatever local, regional or state authorities deal with waste disposal. They're generally interested enough in keeping it out of the landfills to give some assistance. You can try area electronics stores like Best Buy, but I've found them pretty clueless beyond a battery box. In my area the usual second-hand organizations stopped taking even complete working systems a decade or more ago.

Nyc10036
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Re: Scraping old computer parts

Post by Nyc10036 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:45 pm

Around here, you can't just chuck it in the garbage.

But there are e-recycling days for the township where they will take it free of charge.

ccieemeritus
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Re: Scraping old computer parts

Post by ccieemeritus » Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:20 pm

Most medium-sized towns and larger have an “e-recycle” place. Search in maps or google. They take parts. They take cables. Just make sure to erase or destroy any hard drives or old cellphones.

denovo
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Re: Scraping old computer parts

Post by denovo » Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:31 pm

ccieemeritus wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:20 pm
Most medium-sized towns and larger have an “e-recycle” place. Search in maps or google. They take parts. They take cables. Just make sure to erase or destroy any hard drives or old cellphones.
+1

Some Best Buys and other electronic stores do too.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

Steven in NC
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Re: Scraping old computer parts

Post by Steven in NC » Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:36 pm

If you decide to discard the hard drive just take a drill and drill a few holes right thru it.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Scraping old computer parts

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:53 pm

Our office building has a big pallet sized box to recycle electronics. Being a bunch of engineers work here, the box gets filled and magically unfills itself during the week and about once every other month, gets emptied completely. I wouldn't say that I've got a complete, running desktop built in my office from parts found the box.....but I do. We also have salvaged a telecom power supply to power some of our evaluation boards today. It's become somewhat of a "leave electronics", "take electronics" box.
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dash1s
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Re: Scraping old computer parts

Post by dash1s » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:45 pm

Steven in NC wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:36 pm
If you decide to discard the hard drive just take a drill and drill a few holes right thru it.
+1.

armeliusc
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Re: Scrapping old computer parts

Post by armeliusc » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:59 pm

I have used GreenDisk recycling to 'throw away' computer parts / cables / floppy disks, etc. Most of the e-recycle / computer recycling even in town only take a 'whole computer' unfortunately, not random motherboard / graphic / sound card / cables and whatnot. Unfortunately I have to pay greendisk for the recycling, but we wanted to be environmentally conscious, and their price is somewhat reasonable. So while it is not free, I find it to be the easiest solution for us. I've only used it twice, once in a massive clean up project, and once right before we moved to our current house.

Some hard drives I still keep; Not sure what to do with them yet as I wanted to make sure I removed all data. At certain point in the past I started using whole disk encryption; for those hard drive I worry less about recycling them.

capsaicinguy
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Re: Scrapping old computer parts

Post by capsaicinguy » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:06 pm

+1 for best buy. I brought a whole ton of old computers/etc there one day, didn't even ask just slapped the recycle sticker on it as I came in the door and pointed me to the roller palate to put it on. I think they will only take tube tv's up to 32". I recycled several old tv's that way too. For my old monster 55" rear projection beast I just took it apart as best I could, then cut up the rest with a sawzall. Those are 95% plywood. Just put it out in the trash a few pieces at a time over the course of about a month.

adamthesmythe
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Re: Scraping old computer parts

Post by adamthesmythe » Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:33 pm

Steven in NC wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:36 pm
If you decide to discard the hard drive just take a drill and drill a few holes right thru it.
Sometimes the platters are glass so drilling might be messy (and lead to short-lived drills).

Consider the sledgehammer.

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eengstro
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Re: Scrapping old computer parts

Post by eengstro » Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:58 pm

What's the newest video card you have in your pile? I'd like to upgrade from my old ATI 5850, but the crypto mining bubble has completely screwed up the GPU market. :annoyed

DiamondplateDave
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Re: Scrapping old computer parts

Post by DiamondplateDave » Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:46 pm

I haven't personally used them, but I have a pile of RAM and CPUs I'm hoping to get something for. The main issue seems to not have all the profits go to paying for the shipping.

http://boardsort.com/
http://www.cashforcomputerscrap.com/current-pricing
Whether what you have is worth the time...you'll still have to recycle the tin and low-grade material.

obgraham
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Re: Scrapping old computer parts

Post by obgraham » Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:57 pm

To me the lesser of the evils is just to put these bits in the dumpster. Sure, it'll wind up in the landfill, and "if everyone did that where would we be?".

However, the morality (not to mention the economics) of shipping this stuff around the country or to Asia, where most of it winds up, is just not right. Why should China or Cambodia have to take my waste materials?

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whodidntante
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Re: Scrapping old computer parts

Post by whodidntante » Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:58 pm

I have been amazed at the things people will buy from me on EBay. Goodwill if you itemize.

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Tamarind
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Re: Scraping old computer parts

Post by Tamarind » Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:11 am

jebmke wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:14 pm
Check to see if your area has a recycling program. The surrounding counties where I live have a twice yearly date when you can bring in chemicals, electronics and a few other things to be recycled.
This. Many municipalities/counties will accept electronics at certain locations and/or on certain days. In my county they are accepted year round but only at recycling centers rather than at the curb.

OnTrack
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Re: Scrapping old computer parts

Post by OnTrack » Sat Mar 10, 2018 4:38 pm

Some good options mentioned above. Here is another:
https://www.officedepot.com/a/products/ ... Small-8-H/
You have to buy a box (small, medium or large), put old electronics in the box and bring it unsealed to the store.

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