How To Recycle Desktop Computers?

There’s hardly a household in America that doesn’t have at least one computer. According to EPA, we Americans throw away over 112,000 computers every day, or 30 million desktop computers every year. 

Because of the amount of different electronic components, it’s essential that you find the right computer recycling provider to do the right thing.

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Why Should You Recycle Desktop Computers?

There are four critical reasons you need to consider that make recycling computers so important.

First of all, computers contain a lot of different metals that are perfectly safe when contained in a computer. But if they end up in a landfill where heat and water can damage them, then there are significant environmental impacts.

Secondly, computers, like all modern electronics, contain a variety of valuable raw materials like copper, gold, and palladium. These are ideal for recycling and bringing them back into the production cycle.

The third reason is that your old and possibly broken computer contains a lot of personal data. If you don’t recycle it properly with certified data destruction, then your personal info could get into the wrong hands.

And the final reason is that there are state and federal laws that prohibit dumping computers in landfills. It still happens a lot more than it should, especially when you consider the many options you have for recycling a computer.

What Materials Can You Retrieve From Desktop Computers?

Computers contain a wide range of different materials, and most of them can be separated and then used in the production of new electronics.

One thing there’s usually a lot of in the housing of a computer is either metal, like aluminum or plastic. These are the easiest to remove and separate.

Next, you’ll find many types of rare earth metals, and these are considerably more difficult to extract. They require specialist equipment and processes, but they are valuable enough to extract.

And then, there are metals like copper, silver, gold, and palladium. While they only make up small amounts, when you look at the value they have, it becomes a very economically viable process.

You’ll also find plenty of silicon used in various components, from hard drives to chips and printed circuit boards.

How To Recycle Desktop Computers?

Now let’s talk about some of the best options you have for recycling desktop computers.


E-Waste Recyclers

If your desktop computer is too old or broken beyond repair, then the best place to bring it is a registered e-waste recycling facility. These companies have the equipment and experience to fully dismantle and separate all the materials. It’s also the best way to ensure that any potentially toxic materials are properly handled and disposed of in a safe way.


Municipal Waste Management

If you search for “computer recycling near me,” you’ll possibly find a local municipal waste facility. Many of these places have a dedicated electronics collection point where they either recycle the devices directly or then bring them to an e-waste specialist. Just call them to find out what the exact process is.


Retailers And Electronics Stores

Most electronics stores will offer a bring-back service. And in some cases, this service is free if you buy a new computer while you are there. Call a few electronics stores and ask what their policy is for recycling old computers for customers.



If your desktop computer is still working but isn’t powerful enough for your needs, that doesn’t mean that others won’t still be able to make use of it. Contact a few local charity stores and ask them if they take in functioning desktop computers. Many of them will be more than happy to accept it.



For those of you who need the latest technology on a very regular basis, a great option is to try and sell your computer. As long as everything is working fine, you’ll be surprised how much you might get for the old one.

Where To Recycle Desktop Computers?

Drop-Off Recycling (For Residents In The San Francisco Bay Area)

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, then you can come to our Burlingame location and drop off your old desktop computer for free. Simply fill out a form with details of the equipment and then arrange a time that best suits you. One of our team will meet you at the door, and we also offer a data destruction service.

Business Recycling Pickups (For Businesses In The San Francisco Bay Area)

If you have multiple old desktop computers, then you can collect them all in one place and fill out our collection form. We will provide you with a quote and then make arrangements to collect your old equipment.

It’s also a great opportunity to check for other old electronic equipment that might have reached its usefulness stage.

Mail-In Recycling (Us-Wide Service)

If you don’t live in the Bay Area, then we also offer a convenient mail-in service. This is particularly convenient for people who also don’t live close to an e-waste facility.

Simply fill out the online mail-in form with details of your computer. You can then use your favored delivery service to send the computer to us, and we will provide you a confirmation for the recycling and data destruction.

Green Directory (Us-Wide Service)

And finally, if you want to find out if there are any local recycling facilities available, then use our Green Directory to do a search. Simply enter your zip code and the type of device you want to recycle, and we’ll provide you with a list of options.

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