Computer Recycling in Berkshire

What happens to my old computer?

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Situated in Wokingham, covering Berkshire and the surrounding area.

We Clear Businesses, Offices and Warehouses of Surplus IT Stock Safely, Securely and Responsibly.

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So What happens to my old computer?

There are various stages of re-using materials when it comes to surplus computing equipments, and at Berkshire Computers, we strive to ensure that each item is re-used at the earliest stage so that no disposal of equipment is necessary unless it is the only remaining option.

The stages are simple enough to understand, and pivot around what materials are going to be re-used and what process must be carried out to facilitate that re-use.

The simpliest and best kind of recycling is the old-fashioned kind. Don't melt down a -plastic bottle - re-use a glass one, and this is where we begin.

Computer equipment that is being resold.

This is obviously the most environmentally friendly way of dealing with waste, the electronic wombles approach where everything is simply re-used elsewhere. This is very common with items that might appeal to people's childhood memories or whom have equipment that only works with certain other equipment that they need to maintain for certain activities.

Under certain conditions companies throw away computers that are still perfectly serviceable and that can be used very happily for years to come. These situations are often due to leaving offices and not wanting to dispose of the equipment, or sometimes when equipment reaches the age that exceeds the companies usage policy. Either way we make sure that they are put to good use.

Refurbished computers are a responsible, and financially sensible way to keep computing...

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Computer components being resold for re-use

This type of recycling is almost as good as recycling items whole, but it does leave us with an environmental issue that is sometimes more difficult to resolve - it means that we are left with a machine body or case that may contain plastic. This is difficult to recycle as a resellable item, but if we can we will. Otherwise we must either repair or replace internal components or face paying for the plastic to be ethically recycled whereupon it is reduced to Diesel in an Oxygen free environment. Although this is not harmful to the environment directrly, it does mean that it will be burned as fuel rather than recycled.

RAM, storage and screens etc are often perfectly good to resell if something else has failed. They can be used as refurbished parts to repair other equipment, as a five-year-old laptop might as well be fixed with a five-year-old screen to ensure compatability with the rest of the components and keep the laptop financially sensible to continue using.

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Computer components recycled for metals

The final option when it comes to re-using computer components is to melt them down for the valuable metal content that they hold. Computer components like RAM contain trace amounts of metals like Gold, Platinum, Mercury, Magnesium and Copper. All of these can be re-used infinitely as melting and fractionally distilling the metal removes any trace of fatigue or impurity. This can be a very valuable way of dealing with equipment that is no longer functioning or has been damaged by water or some other catastrophe.

Warehouse failures, such as roofing or water dispersement can lead to huge insurance claims where equipment can no longer be resold. This can often lead to thousands of items needing to be removed from packaging and completely re-tested and sold as ex-demo products when a manufacturer wants to claim on insurance. In these circumstances we have to ensure everything is tested and replace any failures under warranty.

Turning computers into precious metals... »

Used computers contain a variety of metals that can be recovered and recycled. These include:

  • Gold: Found in connectors, relay contacts, and within chips because of its excellent conductive properties and resistance to corrosion.
  • Silver: Used in soldering and as a conductor on circuit boards.
  • Copper: Found in wires, computer chips, and circuit board components, used for its high conductivity.
  • Aluminum: Used for heatsinks, cases, and some internal components because of its lightweight and good heat dissipation properties.
  • Iron: Often used in the construction of computer cases and various internal components.
  • Platinum and Palladium: These precious metals can be found in small quantities in certain components like hard drives and circuit board connectors.

Recycling these metals from used computers not only supports environmental sustainability by reducing the need for new raw materials, but also helps in recovering valuable materials that can be reused in various industries.

Computer RAM (Random Access Memory) contains several metals that can be recovered during recycling, including:

  • Gold: Often used in the plating of the electrical contacts on RAM sticks due to its excellent conductivity and resistance to corrosion.
  • Silver: Sometimes used in the electrical contacts or solder on RAM modules.
  • Copper: Found in the circuitry of the RAM module, as it is a good conductor of electricity.
  • Aluminum: Used in the heat spreaders or casings of some RAM modules to dissipate heat.
  • Tin and Lead: Often found in the solder used to attach components to the RAM circuit board.

These metals are valuable and can be extracted and reused in various applications, making RAM recycling both economically and environmentally beneficial.

Every item or component that we recycle has a profoundly positive effect on our environment and the future environment of Planet Earth so please help us do all we can!