Ready for some crazy stats….41% of American homes now owns 3 computers, the average computer last about 2.5 years. So here is the quick math…that is 154,758,600 computers in the United States that get put on the shelf and or tossed in a drawer, or just put into the black hole to save space. Why is this important..to most it is not. To those who may read blog post about recycling or scrapping metals, this should be interesting to most of us. Electronic trash, as odd as it may sound, is a real thing, and it is piling up on bookshelves and drawers of America as we speak.
We have to keep this relatively simple, or it will sound more demanding of your time than it really is. The plain truth is people don’t generally get rid of computers like they might an old TV or even a cell phone. You can go to Walmart to day, drop a phone off into a machine, and get cash in hand. No questions asked. How much you get can range from $1 up to $200, depending on the phone itself. Except the difference is these phone pawn kiosk are recycling and reselling the phones in other markets for %500 mark up in some cases. Computers, just don’t work that way.
It Is What’s Inside That Counts
It is true, It’s what’s inside that counts…for computers that is. There are 3 types of main metals in computers: aluminum, magnets and steel…plus for a consumptive amount of time there is the copper in the wiring harnesses. So a quick add up leads to some really simple numbers. The hard drive boards alone is worth $2-$3 per lb. on average, plus the casing is worth .40-.75 per lb. With copper priced around $3 with the average desktop having around 4 lbs. of copper in it. So, realistically there is about $15-$20 value in an old computer.
So $20, for an old computer, well it takes no more than 15 minutes to break a computer down and strip, so 4 per hour is reasonable, that’s $80 per hour. Not to bad. But here’s the last and final amazing stat, the majority of old computers and laptops are just left to be trashed. With almost 155 million computers being dumped every few years, that could make any scrapper a wealthy person.