So how much money can you typically get for an equally typical Pentium-class
minitower? I ask only because it sounds like a lot of work for a little
money... of course this whole discussion is (arguably) off-topic... since
we'd never recycle anything worth collecting! :)
From: Bill Pileggi [mailto:wpileggi@...
Sent: Tuesday, November 14, 2006 2:51 AM
Subject: [midatlanticretro] recycling how do/getting rid of junk/electronics
Dear Jim, et al:
Just to make sure things are clear: computers are only "haz-mats" as a
whole, assembled, computer. And as we know, the only hazardous material (in
any quantity) is the leaded glass in CRTs - which we aren't discussing
here....[As an aside, our local counties have collected computers for the
last couple of years as p/o haz-mat days. If you ask nicely, you may be
allowed to pick through the junk. If you want first pick, VOLUNTEER for the
morning. I picked up a couple of decent original IBM monitors I needed, and
one time, a nice piece of vacuum tube audio gear - we know where that went
To get some value from the machines, they MUST be taken apart. Steel cases
gets crushed. We've been able to have them picked up for free by a local guy
who collects steel. There may be a manufacturing company who will let you
put in their steel scrap dumpster. Otherwise, placed with normal trash.
Plastic trim panels get placed with normal trash.
Motherboards, pull off CPUs, cables, memory, etc. Empty Motherboards get
placed in cardboard cartons as 'gold scrap'. Cabling - cut off connectors
and place in 'gold scrap'. The rest of the wire goes into
(covered) 'wire scrap'. (Note: wire scrap is different than "copper scrap".
Copper scrap is pure, uncovered, copper. For example, copper plumbing pipe.
This is worth several times what wire scrap is worth.
Don't try to remove the insulation, it's a waste of time.) Power supply
cables - cut off connectors and place in regular trash, wire goes in 'wire
scrap'. CPUs with gold-plated pins get placed in "high-grade" gold-scrap. (I
use zip-lock sandwich bags...). Pentium II and III in plastic housing (slot
1): use a screwdriver to snap apart the case - you'll see an actual cutout
along the connector edge where a capacitor is mounted on the board. Shove
the screwdriver in there and and break open. The heatsink plate goes in
aluminum scrap. I cut off the edge connector with a pair of large tin-snips
and put in "high-grade". The rest goes in gold scrap.
Hard disk drives get taken apart. (You'll need a set of TORX drivers:
T-6 through T-10 and T-15.) Motors get placed in regular trash. Boards get
placed in 'gold scrap'. Housing, chassis, platters get placed in 'aluminum
scrap'. The magnets are given away at hamfests or placed on refrigerator
door. (Note: I usually bring several pounds of the magnets to hamfests, and
they ALWAYS get taken. Caution - they are STRONG. You can easily pinch your
fingers.) Floppy disk drives with aluminum chassis get taken apart.
Everything except the aluminum chassis and gold plated connector goes in
ISA/PCI, etc. cards - cut off the gold-plated edge connector with a pair of
large tin-snips and put in "high-grade". You may also use the snips to cut
off any other connectors, or simply place the card in gold scrap. Memory -
cut off the gold plated edge connector with a pair of large tin-snips and
put in "high-grade". Otherwise, place in trash.
CDROM drives - break off the gold plated edge connector with a pair of LARGE
pliers and put in "high-grade". (Note: there is an art to doing this in one
step. When practicing, remove the bottom cover screws
first.) The rest is placed in regular trash.
Open up the phone book and look under "Scrap Metal Dealers". (Any decent
sized town will have several. Near large cities, you may have quite a few
choices.) The ones who buy non-ferrous metals, like aluminum and copper,
most likely will also buy (plastic) covered wire and gold scrap. You may
also ask for a referal, if they do not buy gold scrap. Non-ferrous metals
scrap is a competitive business, you may call around for the best prices. As
a note, until last year, I got 10 cents a pound for plastic covered wire.
Hardly worth the effort (unless you've accumulated 100's of hard disk drive
cables). Now, with finished copper at $3.30, it's up to 40-45 cents a pound
(or more?). Dealers also like you to have a couple hundred pounds of scrap
at a time, too, so it may pay to combine your efforts with others. I take my
friend's smaller quantities of scrap with me when I go to the scrap dealer.
I used to sell my gold scrap to variety of people at hamfests, etc. I
happened to ask my aluminum scrap dealer a few years back if he knew local
gold-scrap buyers, and he said, yes, him. Now he doesn't pay me as much as
the guy he sells it to, but it does save me money, going to one guy to get
rid of it all. And, I'm getting much more than I ever got before, relatively
3. recycling how do
Posted by: "Jim Scheef" jscheef@...
Date: Sun Nov 12, 2006 6:50 pm ((PST))
Very interesting. What kind of scrap dealer and where? Here in CT where I
live one must pay at the recycling center to dispose of old machines
- except on that annual festival of recycling - Hazardous Materials Day.
----- Original Message ----
From: Bill Pileggi <wpileggi@...
Sent: Sunday, November 12, 2006 1:34:34 AM
Subject: [midatlanticretro] Where 2 draw the line - getting rid of junk To
Robb, et al:
As much as I hate to mention it, with gold prices where they are, the
average PC motherboard (working or not), is worth more than a dollar++ each.
If you have a pile of them gathering dust, that could be money in your
pocket. Pull out the CPUs: 386/486/Pentiums, etc. have gold plated pins and
are worth $5-15 pound, probably more, as I haven't had a price breakdown
since early in the year. Even those gray hard disk and floppy disk cables
are worth 40 cents a pound, now, with copper at $3.30 a pound. I cut off the
connectors, and toss them in with the motherboards. Wire from the power
supplies goes in the scrap box, too.
(Don't forget the hard disk drives are almost pure aluminum, and floppy
chassis are also usually aluminum. The gold plated connectors get cut off
and tossed in with motherboards. ) With ISA/PCI, etc. cards, I cut off the
"fingers" and toss them in with CPUs. The rest of the card gets placed in
the trash (any extra gold plated pins get cut off and placed with gold
I accumulate 100-200++ systems/boards a year, just from neighbors and
friends. The best gets rebuilt and given away. The rest, pentiums, P-II, and
older, gets scrapped. Interesting classic items get listed here, on this
forum, for give-away. I keep representative items in my "collection" , but
at least the rest is getting recycled. I do not scrap directly myself, but
take my sorted materials to a scrap dealer who purchases them. If I can
provide any assistance, as I've been doing this since the late 1970's,
please write. My basement and bedroom are crowded now, if I didn't keep up
the pace, I shudder to think.....Bill/ KA3AIS
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