Why Some Items & Equipment Have Negative Value
Recycled Electronics & Their Worth
All electronics can be recycled at Spectrum Ecycle Solutions and many can be refurbished, broken into parts, upcycled, and reused. Many times your unwanted computer, after data destruction, can become a much-appreciated donation. This does not mean, however, that all items have value.
Recycling Hazardous Materials
Unlike your typical recyclables, such as aluminum cans, newspapers, and water bottles, electronic components are made of many different types of metals, plastics, and chemicals. These materials include cadmium, lead, mercury, PCBs, and flame retardants. An old tube TV, for example, can have 4-8 pounds of highly toxic lead in it.
In order for these hazardous materials to be processed responsibly, they must be separated from non-hazardous components and sent to specialized facilities that are equipped to dispose of or recover the material in an environmentally-responsible manner. Spectrum has partnered with these facilities to ensure your unwanted items are processed responsibly.
Examples of Negative Value Items
In the case of an old tube TV, there are significant costs involved to separate the lead from the glass. The costs to process the lead is greater than the scrap value of the recyclable plastics and metals. Same is true for newer LCD TVs that have mercury in the bulbs that illuminate the screen.
Other items such as dehumidifiers, refrigerators, and air conditioners contain refrigerants (Freon/R2) that must be properly captured prior to recycling. This process should only be done by a licensed technician as the noxious elements can be harmful to humans and the environment.
Donating Computers & Electronics
Other items that have a negative value but bring value to others include the electronics that are free for you to drop off. Let’s use a computer as an example. You drop it off, we log it into our system, destroy all the data contained within, audit and test it, repair it if possible, then often donate it to someone in need. There are 5-10 steps involved from start to finish that require both labor and time.
Recycle Your Unwanted Computer Today
If you’re ready to get rid of your unwanted technology, please drop it off. For many items or larger quantities, contact Spectrum to schedule a pick-up. With your help, we can continue to recycle responsibly and donate computers, printers, laptops, and phones to our non-profit partners. 314-428-0777