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How to scrap an old computer

Updated on August 15, 2013

It's not TRASH...It's CASH!

It' trash day and I know many people out there have old computer towers they are tired of tripping over, Its ok because you are so tired of tripping over that old clunker that "that piece is going to hit the curb tonight", right? STOP!...DON'T DO IT! RECONSIDER! It's not trash day It's cash day! Just because that dreded "blue screen of death" has popped up in your life doesn't mean that your computer needs to go to the bone yard! There are a lot of valuable parts in computers that can be removed and sold at your local scrap yard or online to make cash. All you need is a couple screw drivers and 10 minutes of your time!


To get the most value out of your old beater will require a little bit of work and a little bit of research. Sure, you can take your computer to the scrap yard and they will buy it from you, they will buy it from you for about 0.20-0.25 cent a pound! This is the simpleton method! You will basically be driving to the recycling center for 2 or 3 bucks and well...farts and giggles! DON'T BE THAT GUY!


Every piece that you remove from the computer is salvageable and can be recycled. You have to get to the get to the meat and potatoes to fatten that wallet. This table will tell you all the compents in the computer and how and where to sell them to maximize your dollar!

Hard Drive
Milled aluminum, stainless steel, and high grade board
research ebay with model # before scrap yard
The main circuit board that hold the CPU, the RAM and the PCIs.
PCI Boards
“mini boards” that can get pulled out of the motherboard
The part that is most gold concentrated (gold rcovery)
the small thin boards or sticks that can be pulled from the motherboard.
Power Supply
This is the box that has alot of wires coming out of it
reasearch ebay or scrap yard
The Case
The steel case (the shell) outside or computer
scrap yard
Ribbon wire
this is copper we that looks like ribbon that sonects componets
scrap yard
These are the alluminum blocks near or on cpu and mother boards
scrap yard
Disk drives
DVD/CD/Floppy disk, each of which has a high grade board.
sell boards on ebay-scrap the rest
The square plugs on the power cord that plug into the computer
cut the plugs off sell in bulk on ebay
Power cord
The cord that plugs into the wall that powers the computer


There are many ways to come across old computers to scrap/recycle. Every Wednesday night which is the night before my scheuled trash pick up day I get in my Bently (haha) and I drive around my neighborhood and the surrounding neighborhoods to look for these little treasures and I usually find and average of 3-4 computers. I am very concious of how many miles I drive and how much petro ole Bently consumes because i don't want to spend more than $ 5 dollars while i am out. I always try to keep the overhead low rarely do I use over a gallon of gas. Another upside is you never know what all you will find while you are out. Another great way to come across great almost free computers are at auctions. I almost always get computers for $1 or $2 at an auction. Craigslist is another great place to pick up cheap computers. I don't look for people selling old computers on craigslist because people ask to much for them, I usually place an wanted ad on craigslist for used computers and I get to dictate my own pricese that way. I have even bartered for old computers. Keep in mind you really have to hold some good judgment when dealing on craigslist there are mean people out there so just feel someone out before you meet up with them. If they don't sound like they are leget then I don't care how good the deal is I WONT MEET THEM! Just use good discretion. Ask friends and family to keep you in mind if they are throwing away an old computer...This is sometimes the best way. Scraping old computer will not make you rich but it is good side money...It got me a Bently! (That's the name I gave my car)


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    • profile image

      adfsf 3 years ago a good video I found if you want more info.

    • SpaceShanty profile image

      SpaceShanty 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi, Excellent Hub! I have been looking in to recovering gold from computers but can't seem to find out exactly how much gold there is in a motherboard or per lb of RAM etc.

      If you could help this would be really useful.

    • gorilla24 profile image

      gorilla24 4 years ago

      Steven, In what way is this information inaccurate and incomplete? Your comment has no substance and is inaccurate and INCOMPLETE!

    • profile image

      steven 4 years ago

      This information is inaccurate and incomplete.