How Are Electronic Waste Recycled

Several different types of scrap electronics can be recycled. Some items contain valuable materials, and others are made of waste. For example, the keys on your old computer can be recycled. Keyboards and mice are made of 99% plastic resin, and the rest are made of copper and degaussing wire. Computer monitors and their bases contain 98% plastic and 2% ferrous metal. Other items that can be recycled include various screws and monitor cases.

Recycling Electronic Waste

Rather than dumping e-waste in landfills, electronic recycling waste involves separating the components in electronic devices. Experts determine which components can be reused while the others are discarded. The recoverable components are then used to create new products. The process of electronic recycling reduces the amount of landfill space and minimizes the effects of e-waste on plants and microorganisms.

Because most electronic products contain toxic elements, they must be disposed of properly. In the wrong hands, these chemicals could leach into groundwater and affect the aquatic ecosystem. In addition, some of these toxins can cause reproductive and neurological problems in fish.


To recycle scrap electronics, they must first be sorted and cleaned. These commodities can then be used to manufacture new products. This type of recycling is based on the efficient separation of materials. The first step of this process is initial shredding, which separates metals from plastics and internal circuitry. Next, shredded e-waste items are spread out on a conveyor belt and shaken.

Electronics comprise various materials, including metals, glass, and plastics. The process used to recycle them will vary, depending on the materials and technologies used. The electronics are collected and transported to the recycling facility in the first step. This phase is crucial to preserving the environment because old electronics contain toxic materials.

Environmental Impact

E-waste is a growing problem for the planet. The production and disposal of these digital products are polluting ecosystems for generations to come. These products release toxic chemicals into the earth’s soil, water, and air. Besides damaging ecosystems, they also pose a threat to human health.

A large amount of used electronics is shipped from developed countries to developing countries where the laws and infrastructure are not in place to manage and dispose of the materials properly. The unregulated handling of these electronics causes the release of toxic chemicals and metals into the environment, causing public health and environmental concerns.


The cost of recycling scrap electronics is not insignificant. The process involves considerable transportation, materials handling, and industrial equipment. These costs detract from the value of the raw materials. However, it is not impossible to find an affordable recycling solution. Some companies offer free or very low prices for scrap electronics. However, some companies require that you pay a nominal fee for collection and processing.

The price of electronics stream commodities has decreased in the last two years, reducing the revenue that local governments receive for recycling scrap electronics. This decrease in revenue makes it difficult for companies to pay scrap recycling companies to recycle the material safely. In North Carolina, public recycling programs have felt the effects of this change the most. However, companies such as Apple are more environmentally conscious.

Accepted by Recyclers

Recycling is important in protecting the environment and creating a sustainable future. However, there are some items that recyclers do not accept. Keeping these items out of your trash can help keep your local recycling program strong and reduce the cost of recycling overall. Some items that recyclers do not accept include plastic bags, styrofoam cups, and plastic lids. Other materials that cannot be recycled include all #6 plastics, furniture, and plastic bags.

High-density polyethylene (HDPE) and low-density polyethylene (LDPE) are plastic types commonly used in packaging. HDPE is thicker and more durable, making it more suitable for recycling. However, low-density polyethylene (LDPE) is not as commonly accepted by recyclers and is often not worth the effort.

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