What is E-Scrap & Where Can It Be Found?

About 2,205 pounds (or one metric ton) of electronic scrap from personal computers contains more gold than that recovered from 17 tons of gold ore according to ISRI.

With Americans discarding an average of 130,000 personal computers every day and our government disposing of almost 10,000 computers every week, there is a lot of electronic scrap available to put some extra cash in your pocket.


What is E-Scrap or Electronic Scrap?

  • Computers – These can me both desktop towers or laptops. They have a lot of the components below, but can be scrapped as a whole unit with most scrap yard. If you collect several of them, it can pay off to take them apart and sell the components separately.
  • Mobile Phones – Many scrap yards will pay for these but some may require you to remove the batteries from them. Call you local scrap yard and find out.
  • Hard Drives – They are the storage place of your computer and when separated from your computer are worth a pretty penny at a scrap yard that buys e-scrap. To be secure, you may want to ask for a certificate of destruction from your scrap yard.
  • Memory Chips – They are another valuable piece from a computer and should be separated if you have a large quantity of them. If you have different colors other than green be sure to separate them, as non-green ones are usually worth less than green ones.
  • Motherboards – These are higher grade circuit boards that are worth some good money in e-scrap. Like the memory chips, they are also going to come in different colors. You should separate the green from the non-green ones.
  • Servers – These are been thought of as really big computers. They usually hold a large amount of high grade PC boards and can be worth a good amount of money at the scrap yard. Call you local yard and ask what their price for them as a whole unit is. You may want to take them apart if you have a few to make some extra money.
  • For a full list of e-waste take a look at the Metals List on the iScrap App website.


Where Can You Find Electronic Scrap?

  • Craigslist – There are constantly free listings on Craigslist that can allow you to swing by neighborhoods to pick up curb garbage that people are looking to get rid of.
  • Classified Ads – Check your local newspapers for any homeowners that may be looking for someone to recycle their computers. It can also be helpful to have a letter of destruction for e-scrap to give them to help them make the decision.
  • Local Businesses – Some local businesses may be getting new computer systems and servers installed for their data centers. Be sure to check in with any local technology based companies and see if they have any need to get rid of computer systems or other components.
  • Colleges – During move in and move out season, many students may be putting computers in the garbage that you can collect for scrap. Also check with local universities and colleges as they may be upgrading their systems and looking for someone to pick up the e-scrap for recycling and destruction.

Did you know that the iScrap App can help you scrap your e-waste, too?

That’s right! The iScrap App lists over 23 electronic materials under our electronics section.

If you’re new to electronics recycling then we offer several tutorials on scrapping your electronics that you can watch here.


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