Posted on: 10 January 2017
If your laptop computer either bit the dust, or you're just ready for a newer, more advanced model, you should not just throw your old equipment in the garbage. Beyond just the idea of wasting a recyclable item, you may find yourself in violation of both state and federal law. There are both legal and ethical reasons why you need to follow a few simple steps and recycle all your old electronics; especially computer equipment like your laptops.
Recycling Is the Right Thing to Do
All computers and most of the equipment, including monitors and keyboards, have internal components made from materials that are hazardous to the environment. Laptop computers are an all-encompassing piece of technology. From the toxic content in the case, to the electronic chips that make your laptop function, most are really bad for the environment.
If you just toss them in your curbside trash, they are going to find their way into a landfill site, polluting theenvironment with bad stuff. Because of this, many states have enacted laws that make it illegal to just throw away electronic products in your trashcan. Beyond just being a bad thing for the environment, throwing away your old laptop in the garbage could get you hit with a pretty stiff fine.
So if you have an old laptop, one that for whatever reason is no longer useful, recycle it.
Nearly everything in a computer can be recycled, even if the equipment itself cannot be repaired. This goes for both large company computers following a sustainable waste strategy plan, to individual consumers. All electronics contain toxic materials, so they need to be recycled.
If you do not understand how a computer is built, you may not realize that there are a number of precious metals used in its manufacture. Nearly all of these metals are toxic to the environment, but best of all, they can be reused on another piece of electronics.
The circuit board has silver, and the motherboard in a computer is laced with flacks of gold. Recycling centers have an efficient process for removing these items and sending them on to be reprocessed in a new piece of electronics equipment.
The plastic parts are separated and sent to a plastics recycling facility, and the metal components that do not have a monetary value like the gold and silver, make their way to a scrap metal recycling service. There is really nothing that's part of your laptop that cannot be reused somehow. It makes perfectly ethical sense to do the right thing and recycle.