Getting rid of an entire building's worth of computers is no small task, and recycling properly just complicates the issue. However, to stay in compliance with recycling policies and to make sure as little time is spent on the removal process, you'll need to tie together as many parts of the process as possible. With a few properly placed bins and some insight into workflow management, the next few techniques can make computers, office equipment, and other electronics check off the inventory list and into the recycling system with greater ease.
The Dismantling Process
Every piece of electronics has a different design and recycling potentials, but desktop computers and laptops are fairly straightforward when it comes to removal. If you don't have an in-house Information Technology (IT) team, there are solutions providers who can handle targeted dismantling and provide a parts plan for you.
The general idea is to remove the computer's case and break down a few major components. The case itself is made of aluminum under the optional plastic exterior, and there is a motherboard with thin electricity-transferring traces made of gold.
Heat sinks are inside the computers, which are generally blocks of aluminum, although some may be made of copper. A computer's power supply is also full of aluminum and copper components, although its best to leave power supplies intact to avoid the potentially lethal electrical charge stored in their capacitors. As long as the power supply's box isn't unscrewed and nothing conductive is jammed into the vents, the charge isn't much of an issue.
Hard drives should also be set aside, but a change in modern computer parts makes the recycling value different. Modern hard drives are still protected by an aluminum or steel case, but older hard drives using platter technology contain rare earth magnets. Newer solid state drives (SSDs, using technology similar to USB/flash drives) do not have such magnets.
With every component accounted for, a sanitation professional can provide different recycling bins for each material. Your technicians can either perform a longer, in-depth breakdown into each individual metal and material or simply keep each part separate. It all depends on the current recycling pay rate for materials, which sanitation professionals can find and share.
The Path Out
Recycling and general moving is a tiresome process, and fatigue can lead to injury. To make the process as quick, but orderly as possible while maintaining safety, design a dedicated plan for entering and exiting the building.
Such plans can include walking on a specific hallway, dedicated a certain elevator for removal use only, and locating recycling receptacles in convenient locations. If you plan on recycling, the separate bins should be near the computers being dismantled, but out of the way to avoid any tripping hazards. Bins should only be lightly filled to a reasonable amount that a single mover can carry, and can be combined once outside at the loading area.
The loading area should require as little work as possible to finalize the move. Any dumpsters being used should be freshly sanitized so that smells won't overwhelm workers or the building inhabitants since they should be located near the building exit.
A sanitation company can also provide roll-off dumpster truck services, allowing a low entry point from the rear gate that the movers can simply place recycling bins and recyclable material. From there, sanitation workers can drive to the recycling center. Contact a sanitation professional to discuss your plan and devise a more tailored course of actions for your business.