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Computer Recycling Info

Updated on April 17, 2013

Recycling E-Waste and Electronics

Computer Recycling

The planet is slowly being filled up with junk created by our modern throw-away society. It's not our fault, it's just that we buy stuff that eventually stops working or becomes obsolete and then we don't know what to do with it.

The answer of course it to recycle but that is not quite as easy as it seems and lots of the stuff we have is full of other stuff that is not so good for the environment.

So recycle your electronic waste, old computers and old TVs, cell phones, mobile phones, photocopiers etc... - You know it makes sense What do we do with all our old electronic devices when we don't know what to do with them ? We would like to recycle them but sometimes they are just too old to be of any use to anyone. It's not as if they can be destroyed in giant paper shredders - they need to be carefully recycled, but we also know that this isn't happening. So here are some ideas on how to recycle your old electronic waste. This excellent article was published first here - computer recycling

How to Recycle All those Old Computers?

Computer Recycling

Computer Recycling Ecowarriors from Uranus
Computer Recycling Ecowarriors from Uranus

If you are anything like me you have a house full of old electronic junk gathering dust, particularly computers and computer monitors and even laptops and soon an ebook reader or two not to mention digital cameras. Well all this junk now has a name - it is called e-waste ! I bought my first PC way back in 1985, it had no hard drive but two ! floppy drives, it also had a RAM drive which was very useful, and what is more, I've still got it and it still works, but strangely enough I never use it (probably because of the lurid orange and black screen - the green and black screen died and I had to get a 'new' orange one).

So what do you do with all these old computers? Do you recycle them or just stuff them under the stairs and hope some idiot will steal them?


I read somewhere that 75% of all computers ever bought are still stored in people's houses, a veritable ecological time bomb given all the nasty chemicals they have locked up in them.

So what should we do with them ? Well at the moment the US government sends its old e-waste and other toxic e-junk to Africa, in particular Ghana where kids can make a dollar a day after school burning toxic waste and inhaling all those lovely fumes, and it's all legal (most other countries have signed directives banning the exporting of toxic waste - so any waste they send abroad is actually illegal - so it's nice to learn the US still prefers legality)..

Anyway, instead of shipping all that unloved e-waste to Africa here are my suggestions for what we should do with it. My preferred answer to the problem would be - rocket ships. Just load rocket ships up with all the old electronic junk we have lying around and send them off to the ends of the cosmos (or the sun) (or someone else's sun) - there could even be a system installed to use the computers themselves as rocket fuel. How neat is that?

Alternatively, we could build a huge conveyor belt leading up to the top of a really hot volcano and just tip everything in, I'm sure it would melt and if we are really lucky the volcano might be so hot it would destroy any nasty gases.

Method number 3 would be to scrunch all the computers and monitors up into small pieces and stuff them down all the holes we have made drilling oil wells. There must be plenty of oil wells that have run out of oil and have just left a big gaping void somewhere in the middle of the earth. So just fill up the voids with old computers and I'm sure eventually over time the plastic would be re-converted back into oil and we could use it all again ! Excellent!

Method 4 (the cheap version) take it all to the dark side of the moon and dump it - no need even to dig a hole and who would ever know.

Method 5 develop some sort of bacterium that eats plastics and nasty metals and farts out methane which we could put in cars and aeroplanes and the like.

Method 6 make power plants that actually convert old junk and recycle computers etc.. into electricity and stuff the fumes down into the previously-mentioned empty oil wells (in fact I think that method may already be in the pipeline).

Method 7 cover them in fish oil and feed them to whales. Whales have been known to be partial to the odd plastic bag or two, so they might quite like a computer to chew on.

Method 8 whenever anybody dies insist that they are buried in a lead coffin along with all their junk.

Well I can't think of any more sensible ideas, but if you have any please leave them in the comments section below.

If you really want to recycle your old computers and electronic junk then you had better check out this place - - or have a look at the links below, I'm sure some of them will be useful.


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    • Singular Investor profile image

      Singular Investor 7 years ago from Oxford

      Nope I didn't know they had that much in them - but recycling electronics should certaionly be tken more seriously at the moment so many of them are still just dumped - often in places like Africa and India where kids have to melt them down to get the copper etc...

    • rmr profile image

      rmr 7 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Recycling old electronics makes financial sense, too. Did you know that 1 ton of used cell phones contains about $15000 worth of precious metals?

    • Singular Investor profile image

      Singular Investor 8 years ago from Oxford

      Excellent news thanks for the info. - I didn't realize this option was feasible but it certainly makes sense iven all the old plastic there is lying about -

    • Temperance M profile image

      Temperance M 8 years ago from Oregon

      oddly enough there is a company in Oregon that is developing a method to extract oil back from old plastics...this would be my prefered method! I think I could drive the old Jeep around the world with all the old electronic junk I have lying around in various places!

    • Singular Investor profile image

      Singular Investor 8 years ago from Oxford

      LG - thanks for the encouragement I shall continue my researches !

      Alex - thank you - I think so too :-)

    • Alex ONeill profile image

      Alex ONeill 8 years ago from Sweden (But I'm from Colorado)

      Volcano? That is just a cool idea!

    • LondonGirl profile image

      LondonGirl 8 years ago from London

      I like the idea of computer-eating microbes....