The 5 Key Steps of the Electronics Recycling Process

Discarding your computer as you would other electronics like your old iron box, DVD player or microwave is a risky move that exposes your personal information in the event that anyone harboring malicious intent stumbles upon it. Old computers need to be recycled instead, and this should be done by experts not only to ensure safety of the data, but also to make sure the laws that govern the procedure are adhered to.

Electronics recycling entails a lot but the process can be broken down into 5 major steps that ensure owners make the most out of their old equipment.

They are as discussed.

Component Analysis

When the equipment gets to the recyclers, the process of recycling begins by disassembling the machine. Computers and other consumer electronics comprise a good portion of reusable resources which need to be extracted.

For that to be done, however, these components need to be separated from the non-renewable components which essentially end up as toxic leftovers – the bad kind. Materials like gold, iron and other precious metals that may be present are collected for re-use. The remaining toxic part includes mercury, lead and arsenic which need to be disposed of in a responsible manner for these are lethal substances that could contaminate the soil and groundwater to disastrous consequence.


Following the harvesting of useful and non-renewable parts, the electronic waste is then sorted out. A shredder reduces the computer (or other assets) to rubble before automatic screening techniques take out any valuable components that may be remaining.

Steps-of-electronics-recyclingSmelting will then follow to purify the samples even further where precious remainders are also collected.

Safety Management

The e-waste recycling process produces toxic fumes which need to be trapped. This also goes for any shredded particles produced during the process.

This critical part of the recycling process ensures that no additional toxic material is released into the atmosphere.

Security Measures

For the average user, hard drives and other data storage devices can be notoriously hard to clean. This is one of the reasons dealing with reputable electronic waste recycling companies is advisable because they will professionally sanitize the storage devices for you prior to any form of reuse. This ensures your personal data is gone for good and no surprises might spring up later.


A good number of recycled computers that are still in good working condition avoid facing the shredder and get back to the world as refurbished machines.

These computers are usually ready for a second life after a memory wipe and a few cosmetic repairs. Mostly, they will be donated to bodies that could find them useful such as schools and non-profit organizations.


Computer recycling has a lot of benefits for you, the community as well as the planet. It is a process you should not take for granted, and indeed, having a professional recycler handle matters on your behalf is the best recycling option out there.

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