Recycling bins and curbside trays aren't a new sight anymore, but there are ways to make things a lot more efficient. Between recycling entire systems without any changes and taking of specific components for scrap, you could see more recycling money in your hands with the right balance of itemization and effort. To figure out what type of balance is best for you, here are a few recycling considerations for computers and consumer electronics.

Whole Devices Or Scraps? Which Is Better?

When recycling electronics, you have the opportunity to turn in a complete device or take it apart to recycle the components and raw materials inside. The amount of money you'd get back depends on what's inside and what the day's recycling pay rate is, and that can be hard to track if you're not paying attention to prices on a daily basis.

If the electronics you're turning in are full of plastics and a light amount of aluminum, it's usually best to leave the device intact. Effort spent taking apart a device is time you could be doing something more profitable elsewhere.

Larger and more complex devices such as computers can be more tricky. The cases are mostly made of aluminum, but there are large enough deposits of metals and other materials that may be worth more on their own depending on the individual recycling rates.

Copper is one of those materials that could change your mind. If you turn in a standard computer, odds are that the prices are tuned to a standard recycling rate that includes a normal aluminum heat sink and other standard parts. Many computers are switching to the copper heat sink design for more efficient cooling — a technique that used to be limited to high-performance graphic design machines, research computers, or gaming computers.

Custom computers in general may fetch better prices if you recycle or resell the individual parts. Especially if the "old" computer is less than 5 or 10 years old, the parts may still be good enough for skilled hobbyists and computer builders to use at less than retail prices.

Organizing Recycling For Any Scrapping Plan

If you're  getting rid of whole electronic devices, be sure to speak with a curbside recycling professional for a container large enough to hold these devices. You wouldn't want someone walking off with your scrap sources and pocketing your money, so don't just place the old computers on the curb with the rest of the trash. In many states, that's either illegal or likely to be ignored by garbage collectors anyway.

For scrap metal enthusiasts, keeping multiple bins with color-coded organization can be a big help. Storing your aluminum, copper, magnets, and other materials in their own separate trays or bins can make it easier for you to bring out a specific recycling tray when prices are good on a specific day's pay rate without turning in other metals at lower rates.

Contact a curbside recycling professional to discuss what you plan on recycling, lay out a general idea of the sizes and weights, and get information on recycling pay rates. For more information, contact a business such as Industrial Services Inc.