Computer Recycling and The Law

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When it comes to laptops and computers, recycling just one really makes a difference to the environment. As well as saving households and businesses a lot of power, you may be surprised to know that various precious metals can be recovered from computers, including copper, silver and gold.


Computers also contain materials including glass and plastics. A single computer contains up to 2kg of lead, therefore combining these materials can not only be hazardous but difficult to recycle and require a specialist service.


Disposing of Old Business Computers

A computer recycling service will provide both an efficient and legal way to dispose of your old machine. However, before you begin the recycling process, it’s important to remove the data on your computer’s hard drive.


Data Removal

Many business computers contain sensitive information, therefore it is vital all data is disposed of before the machine can be recycled. Whether you choose to remove the recorded data through electromagnetic field or choose to overwrite the hard drive using software, it doesn’t matter which form you choose to remove your data with, as long as it is removed.


Did you know that you can physically destroy a hard drive, using a hammer, run it over with a bus or setting it on fire, and can still retrieve the data on the drive?



IT equipment that still works, although may be old and out of date, can be reused and still be useful to some people. Reusing the computer parts is the preferred and greenest option when it comes to recycling computers. Selling your old computer for ‘spare parts’ may also save you some money too.



The next best option after reusing, is to dismantle and recycle the computer equipment. When you break the computer up into its raw materials, they can be reused again for the next piece of IT equipment. They will be crushed and melted down to reveal their origin material so they can be recycled.


The Law

The WEEE legislation came into force in 2007 to cover waste electrical and electronic equipment. The regulations have significant implications for those who treat or recover WEEE and state users must store, collect, treat, recycle and dispose of WEEE separately form other waste.


It is now required that your business obtain and keep proof of your electronic waste being given to a waste management company, and was treated and disposed of in an environmentally sound way.


If your business is looking for a WEEE disposal service, find more information here and give us a call.