Whether you're managing a small business with less than fifty computers or a corporation with thousands of systems, creating a proper disposal and recycling plan can bring a bit of money back into business during labor that's already being spent. Before tossing the systems haphazardly into any old dumpster, consider a few points to add to your business recycling and computer inventory refresh plan.
Parts Removal For Efficient Recycling
Depending on the current rate for certain metals and materials, it may be worth your team's time to take a few components apart. You'll want to contact a recycling center ahead of time to get current recycling rates for materials such as aluminum, copper and rare earth magnets, but they'll be able to give you a good idea of what needs to be taken out and what can stay in place.
A few common components to remove are held in place with a few screws for basic safety and protection, which a standard Information Technology (IT) professional should be able to handle. If you're using a general moving company to remove the computers, consider tasking a few IT professionals prior to the move or contacting an IT firm specializing in system moves. Such moves are sometimes called IT refreshes or restacks, since the work involves refreshing a company's inventory to something newer or stacking a new set of computers in place.
Here's a brief overview of the common recycled components:
- Computer case. The computer case is often made of a solid shell of aluminum or multiple aluminum plates. Although often covered in plastic for a sleek appearance, the plastic can be removed to show a folded or reinforced aluminum sheet.
- Heat sinks. Heat sinks are solid blocks of aluminum or copper with thin fins rising from the center. Be careful, as the fins are often sharp enough to cut with just a brush of the skin against the surface of a heat sink.
- Hard drives. Hard drives are covered with an aluminum or steel case, but there's more value inside in the form of rare earth magnets. Newer storage drives called Solid State Drives (SSDs) do not have magnets inside.
- Power Supply. The power supply is protected with an aluminum case, and often has an aluminum block wrapped with thick copper wiring. It's unsafe to remove the materials inside the power supply without a trained electrician to discharge the lethal, latent charge inside the capacitors. No matter how old the power supply may be, treat it as charged and dangerous.
Planning An Efficient Recycling Storage And Removal
Whether you're recycling individual parts in separate groups or the entire computer units at once, you'll need a efficient flow for workers to move.
Contact a dumpster and recycling bin rental facility and ask for multiple recycling bins to carry individual materials. These bins are easy to carry due to their customer-friendly handles and gripping areas, and can make it easier for workers to know where to put their materials.
Outside of the business, rent a stationary or roll off dumpster. Avoid using dumpsters in the area that are used for standard garbage, as the smell and sanitary conditions can be unsafe and cause discomfort to you and your workers. A roll off dumpster rental professional can park a sanitized disposal unit near the exist of the business, ensuring a short and safe travel for workers and less stress from having to throw heavy computers into overhead or side-loading dumpsters.
Speak with a dumpster rental professional to coordinate disposal and recycle plans.