How to dispose of a computer

Who invented the computer?

An English inventor and mathematician named Charles Babbage is known to have created the first-ever automatic digital computer in the 1800s. However, German Konrad Zuse, also created the Z1 between 1936 and 1938 in his parents’ living room. It’s known as the first-ever functional modern computer.

computer disposal and recycling

How are computers made?

Computer chip makers turn silicon dioxide or sand into crystals of silicon, then slice them into wafers. These intricate patterns of metals are deposited to wafers, which form electronic circuits. These circuits usually contain billions of resistors, transistors and other components.

What materials are computers made of?

Your computer is probably made up of a wide selection of different materials. This includes glass, steel, iron core, silica sand, bauxite, gold and more. All these raw materials typically are mined.

Fun facts about computer waste disposal

• 85% of e-waste that is sent to landfill sites are most incinerated, releasing dangerous toxins into the air.

• Electronic devices like computers contain lead. This material can cause damage to your kidneys and central nervous system when released into the air.

• Low-level exposure to lead can negatively impact a child’s mental development.

• 80% of waste that is produced in the US and the majority of other countries are taken to Asia.

• Did you know that electronics also contain expensive non-renewable resources like silver, gold, platinum, and aluminium?

Where can you dispose of computer waste?

If your computer is completely gone, we believe that your best option is to get in touch with the council closest to you. Councils who are concerned about the environmental crisis will offer to collect your computers for a fee of up to £10. Alternatively, they’ll give you the names and addresses of recycling centres. Ever since the WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) Directive was introduced to the UK, they’ve ensured that companies who produce computing equipment including computers also dispose of it sustainably.

Problems with computer waste

It’s sad to say, but most e-waste like computers end up in landfill sites. This can cause many environmental problems because of the toxic chemicals like mercury, lead and arsenic that are released into the soil and water. Not only does it disrupt our health, but also our eco-systems too.

When broken, damaged, or unwanted electronics like computers are dumped in landfills, toxic substances like mercury will seep into the water and soil.


What are some eco-friendly alternatives to dispose of computers?


Option 1: We believe that you should first and foremost ask yourself whether you actually need to get rid of your computer. If you don’t need a new computer as your current one is working perfectly fine, you should keep it with you for a few more years (no matter how tempting it may be to purchase a new one) in order to protect the environment. On the other hand, if your computer monitor could be upgraded or repaired with the help of specialists, it’s well worth doing that instead of disposing of it.

Option 2: Try and find a method in which your computer can be reused and benefit others. If you yourself have finished your education or find that your computer is rarely in use, chances are that someone else could be looking for one that perhaps they cannot afford at the full price. So, you have the option to donate your unwanted computer to charity. Alternatively, you could sell it online using eBay or Facebook.


Option 3: Recycle your computer. If you’re dead set on getting rid of your computer, you must recycle it and not throw it in a regular waste bin.


What happens to computer waste after it’s disposed of?

Electronic equipment like computers are collected at WEEE recycling centres. They’re then taken to a plant where they’re reprocessed and the plastic is shredded into tiny pieces.

Get in touch with our expert team for all your computer disposal and recycling needs today.

What would you like to learn next?

Business Waste LTD
4.6 (184 Google reviews)