How to Recycle Servers?

A server is a piece of hardware that provides service to other computers. Unlike desktop computers you can place under your desk, servers are usually mounted in large racks.
So when servers become outdated, there’s quite a lot of hardware to recycle. You can’t just drop one in the recycling bin.

Let’s find out how server recycling happens.


Why Should You Recycle Servers?

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Prevent Toxic Waste Spread - Just like any computer, servers contain hazardous materials such as cadmium, chromium, and lead. These elements are highly toxic to the environment and human health, which means the only right thing is to recycle servers.

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Reclaim Valuable Materials - Other hand toxic substances, servers contain materials like aluminum, gold, copper, plastic, silicon, and glass, that can be separated and reused through the recycling process.

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Save Energy - Recycling and repurposing materials salvaged from old servers requires far less energy than fabricating those materials from ore or virgin resources.

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Prevent Data Breaches - If you throw an old server in the garbage, you risk compromising the confidential data of your customers and employees. Choose a recycler who guarantees data destruction.

What Parts Can You Retrieve From Old Servers?

Parts Retrieved Materials Through Recycling
Motherboard By smelting and treating with acid, printed circuit motherboards can be recycled for gold, copper, and non-metals like silicon.
CPU, GPU, and RAM Since these components don’t store user data, you can try and sell them first. As a rule, if a CPU is 2 years old, you can sell it for roughly half of its initial cost. Other than that, they can be recycled for precious metals like motherboards.
Storage All server components are considered e-waste and need proper recycling. However, HDDs and SSDs are especially vulnerable to data breaches, so make sure the recycler properly destroys them first.
Power Supply Unit This is another memory-free component you can easily sell. If the power supply is broken, send it to recycling with other server components.

How to Recycle Servers?


E-Waste Recyclers

Recycling is the safest and the most eco-friendly way of server disposal. Professional recycling centers have the technology and know-how to recycle your server with maximum reuse and minimum energy.

When choosing a recycler, look for those that have a transparent business model and recycle hardware locally. The last thing you need is to hire someone who exports e-waste to developing countries where it’s burned in unregulated landfills.

Municipal Office

Municipal Waste Management

Servers are electronic waste, which means that they’re illegal to dump with regular office garbage. Currently, 19 states plus the DC have banned e-waste from landfills. However, local municipalities often have e-waste collection and recycling programs. As with your local environmental agency or municipal waste management company.


Manufacturer/seller take back programs

Companies like Best Buy will buy back computers and other electronics, even if you didn’t buy the item from their stores. Amazon also has a computer recycling program where you can trade in your network hardware for an Amazon gift card.

Where to Recycle Servers?

Drop-off Recycling (For Individuals in the San Francisco Bay Area) 

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, feel free to bring your old server to our EcoCenter in Burlingame.

The address is — 1831 Bayshore HWY, Suite 2, Burlingame, CA 94010, USA.

If you have any questions, call us at (650) 493-8700.

We recycle computer servers responsibly and locally.

How much does it cost?

Not a thing. We recycle servers, laptops, and network switches for free.

Business Recycling Pickup (For Businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area)

Many of our business clients run on tight schedules and can’t spare people to make drop-off runs. 

That’s where our Business Pickup Service comes in. 

If your business is in the San Francisco Bay Area and you have servers that need recycling, feel free to contact us. 

Our logistics team comes to you and takes old servers off your hands. 

We send you a certificate that your servers have been recycled safely and responsibly.

Mail-in Recycling (US-Wide Service)

But what about us from other parts of the state? 

We got you covered too. If you like our recycling model, you can mail us your server via regular mail service, and we’ll recycle it free of charge.

Once we get your package, we’ll email you a confirmation and get down to recycling.

Green Directory (US-Wide Service)

We’ve always been strong advocates of local recycling. Not everyone can bring their servers to our Eco Center in Burlingame, and mailing hardware in bulk doesn’t pay off.

That’s why we developed a service that helps you find the nearest recycling center that takes servers.

So next time someone asks, “Who does server recycling near me?” Kindly direct them to our GreenDirectory.

The GreenDirectory service is easy to use:

  • Search for the item to recycle
  • Enter your location and zip code
  • Select your preferred recycler

You get a list of the nearest recycling centers or drop-off locations that accept servers, switches, along with business details, like the distance to your place, working hours, etc.

Can’t find the address? Don’t worry — we have a Google Maps widget with all the locations from your search results.


If your business is investing in new technology or simply moving to a smaller space, you’re likely to have IT equipment that you’ll want to let go.

GreenCitizen can become your partner in IT Asset Disposition by removing and recycling your IT equipment in a responsible and environmentally-friendly way.

You get a free evaluation of your asset, free data destruction and sanitization with a certificate, and if we can get a fair price for it, we’ll share the net profit with you.

Hard Drive Data Destruction

Discarded servers and hard drives are a treasure trove of information for hackers and identity thieves.

GreenCitizen offers hard disk data destruction both at our Burlingame EcoCenter and through scheduled business pickup.

For total transparency, we add each hard drive’s serial number to our database and crush the unit in our hard disk destroyer.

Once your server’s hard drives have been destroyed, we’ll send you a certificate of destruction that lists each individual drive by serial and model number.

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