|Frank Petersen Softwareentwicklung|
These days, computers are becoming outdated faster than last year's wardrobe and recycling that 486 may not be as easy as you think. According to the consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association, growth in computer sales has increased by more than 23 percent per year since 1985, with 44 percent of American households now owning computers. U.S. sales of personal computers grew from 3.2 million units to 12.8 million units from 1985 through 1998. But these numbers only begin to reflect the rate that old computers are replaced. Most businesses replace their computers every 2-3 years.
While businesses are required to recycle computers, EPA regulations allow households to throw computers away as household hazardous waste, which can contribute a significant amount of lead to the municipal solid waste stream.
There is a bit of a misconception that it's easy to donate used computers. Today's level of technology creates a desire for better equipment. Many computers simply cannot be upgraded to a level that a modern nation would want to use.
- Ship the computer overseas to a third world country
- Refurbish or upgrade the computer (we help you)
- Use the machine as a training tool for underprivileged people
The best way to manage old computer equipment is to recycle it as soon as you realize you are not going to use it anymore. It costs more money to tear a computer apart if it is older. Choose a recycling company that will manage the equipment properly. Be sure the parts and materials from the computer are actually recycled and not land filled.
Recycling an outdated computer involves pulling out the parts to be reused or resold, and separating other parts by metal or plastic to be sent off to processors. A small amount of material cannot be recycled and should be disposed of properly.
To date, there is no comprehensive list of computer recycling companies. For more information on computer recycling in your area, contact your state recycling coordinator.