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

PC Boards - scrap metal prices

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 be both desktop towers or laptops. They have many components below but can be scrapped as a whole unit with most scrap yards. Collecting several can pay off by separating them and selling the components separately.
  • Mobile Phones – Many scrap yards will pay for these, but some may require you to remove the batteries from them. Call your 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 can request 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 many. 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 worth some good money in e-scrap. Like the Memory chips, they will also come in different colors. You should separate the green from the non-green ones.
  • Servers – These are thought of as massive computers. They usually hold many high-grade PC Boards and can be worth much money at the scrap yard. Call your local yard and ask what their price is for them as a whole unit. You may want to take them apart if you have a few to make extra money.
  • For a complete list of e-waste, look at the Electronics Metals List on the iScrap App website.
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Where Can You Find Electronic Scrap?

  • Craigslist – Their constant free listings allow you to swing by neighborhoods to pick-up the curb garbage people want to eliminate.
  • Classified Ads – Check your local newspapers for homeowners looking for someone to recycle their computers. It can also be helpful to have a letter of destruction for e-scrap to help them decide.
  • Local Businesses – Some local businesses may install new computer systems and Servers 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 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 the iScrap App can also help you scrap your e-waste?

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

If you’re new to electronics recycling, we offer several tutorials on scrapping your electronics. Check out one tutorial below: