Why You Should Recycle Your Old Computers and Laptops

Why You Should Recycle Your Old Computers and Laptops: A Guide


Re-cycling is a way to conserve valuable raw materials and preserve natural habitats for future generations. Reusing materials in manufacturing uses significantly less energy than the production of new products from raw materials, even when you consider all costs like transport. There are additional energy savings as more energy is needed to extract, refine and transport raw materials that can be used in industry, as opposed to providing ready-to-use materials. Recycling reduces the need to extract, refine and process raw materials which contributes to saving the environment.


Why recycling computers and laptops is important

Electronic waste (e-waste) is a category of waste, comprising a large quantity of discarded or abandoned electronic components, such as mobile phones, personal computers (PCs), calculators, microwaves, televisions and computers. When it comes to electronic waste, physical disposal is the cheapest and safest option. Most countries around the world collect e-waste on a large scale and send it to landfills for permanent disposal. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), of the annual 17.5 million tons of e-waste sent to landfills in the US, nearly 60% goes to landfills for permanent disposal. In 2017, e-waste generated from US households reached a new high at 487,000 tons, and as population increases, this figure is projected to rise to almost 750,000 tons by 2021.


What should be recycled from an old computer

Electronic devices with a grey or green colour are usually recycled. A few examples of such products include older computers and TV sets. Compatible household waste bins are usually coloured brown, orange, green or grey. Recyclable electronic devices are usually torn down into small pieces which are then collected and recycled. Some of the components that can be recycled include: Materials for computers: metal, plastics and electrical components. The process requires treatment of the waste materials to remove toxic materials, remove all metals from the plastic and ensure the safe handling of the solid plastic. The recycling process is a long-term process, during which the industry makes investments in equipment, technology and staff.


How to responsibly recycle a computer

Computer recycling, or data recycling, involves the collection of used computer equipment for disposal at authorised recycling facilities. To recycle your computer, take it to a recycle centre, or call your local council’s environmental centre to find out how to recycle a PC. You can also take your old machine to your local recycling centre, which provides an efficient, safe and convenient method of disposing of computer equipment safely and securely. You should also note that laptops are not eligible for recycling and must be disposed of responsibly and properly according to their terms of sale, not to be used in normal everyday life or left in your car or kitchen.


What should be recycled from an old laptop

No matter how old your laptop is, it has to be properly recycled. There are two ways to safely recycle an old laptop: • Landfill: shredding your laptop is the least efficient option. Many other countries such as France are trying to reduce the number of computers sent to landfills. In that country, computers are still being sent to landfills. However, they may be turned into a medium for electric-based transportation or as a source of heating. • Recycle: the process includes a heat treatment and a material testing before you can send it to the manufacturer. You will not get any money for the program or an income from your old laptop; however, you will get the environmental benefits and get your laptop back in working condition.


How to responsibly recycle a laptop

Due to the difficulty in identifying laptop recycling services in your locality, most are run by companies or collectives, or by individuals. These service are largely not advertised and usually require people to visit their facilities to pick up their devices and also pay a fee. While these services may seem reasonable at first, it will take some time for people to adapt to the new way of doing things. It is also worth noting that while some companies collect old laptops and other electronic devices, most of them do not consider computer recycling to be part of their company mandate. Therefore, many are doing it just for profit without really being involved in recycling or the reuse of the product.



Computers make up a large portion of UK electronic/electrical waste, as they are frequently upgraded and discarded. Every year, millions of old computers are thrown away. However, computers should never be thrown away as they are potentially hazardous because they contain toxic substances. Sometimes electronic waste ends up in the developing world and the problems are then exacerbated as re-cycling legislation tends to be far less strict and robust compared to the developed world.

The Environment Programme is concerned about the improper disposal of electronic goods overseas. The pollution from hazardous chemicals and heavy metals is a growing concern in Africa, Asia, and South America.

We at Fixed Asset Disposal offer computer recycling services to educational, Governmental and corporate bodies across the United Kingdom. We ensure…

  • You will receive an entire asset register. Your corporate branding is also removed.
  • Compliance with strict UK environmental legislation is assured. A full audit trail and compliant paperwork are provided.
  • Your business will be disrupted minimally with fully qualified and vetted personnel who are accredited to BS:7858
  • The WEEE Directive is met and exceeded.

Resources are taken from obsolete or broken computers. Re-using components with residual life is also possible. Hard drives are completely erased, or physically destroyed.

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