Computer Recycle Center
Sacramento
916-452-5177
recyclecomputers@msn.com
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Take a look at what a typical computer system contains!:
Below you will find some amazing, (if not frightening), statistics of the potentially
toxic and hazardous materials found in typical computer systems:

Americans buy more computers than people in any other nation. Currently over 50 percent of US households own a computer.

Twenty-four million computers in the
United States became "obsolete" in 1999. Only about 14 percent (or 3.3 million) of these
were recycled or donated. The rest - more than 20 million computers were dumped, incinerated, shipped as waste exports or put
into temporary storage in attics, basements, etc.  For the three years between 1997 and 1999, it is estimated that some 50
million
U.S. computer towers will have been dumped, burned, shipped abroad or stored to await eventual disposal.

The recycling of computer monitors is no better. Over 300 million computer monitors have been sold in the
USA since 1980.  Yet,
in 1997 only about 1.7 million monitors in the
US were recycled.  The majority of these - about 1 million monitors - were shipped
abroad for precious-metal salvage.

In 1998, only six percent of older computers were recycled compared to the numbers of new computers put on the market that
year. In contrast, for major appliances such as washing machines, air conditioners, refrigerators, dryers, dishwashers and
freezers, the proportion recycled was about 70 percent of the number put on the market that year.

Of the small number recycled, more than three-quarters come from large-scale users of the equipment. Individual users and
small businesses contribute only a small fraction of the equipment that is recycled.

Materials used in a desktop computer and the efficiency of current recycling processes:

Composition of a Desktop Personal Computer
Based on a typical desktop computer, weighing ~60 lbs.
Table presented in: Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation (MCC). 1996.
Electronics Industry Environmental Roadmap.
Austin, TX:  MCC.
PWB = Printed Wiring Board   CRT = Cathode Ray Tube
Name Content
(% of total weight) Weight of material in computer (lbs.) Recycling Efficiency
(current recyclability) Use/Location
Plastics 22.9907 13.8 20% structural, housing, PWB
Lead 6.2988 3.8 5% metal joining, radiation shield/CRT, PWB
Aluminum 14.1723 8.5 80% structural, conductivity/housing, CRT, PWB, connectors
Germanium 0.0016 < 0.1 0% Semiconductor/PWB
Gallium 0.0013 < 0.1 0% Semiconductor/PWB
Iron 20.4712 12.3 80% structural, magnetivity/(steel) housing, CRT, PWB
Tin 1.0078 0.6 70% metal joining/PWB, CRT
Copper 6.9287 4.2 90% Conductivity/CRT, PWB, connectors
Barium 0.0315 < 0.1 0% in vacuum tube/CRT
Nickel 0.8503 0.51 80% structural, magnetivity/(steel) housing, CRT, PWB
Zinc 2.2046 1.32 60% battery, phosphor emitter/PWB, CRT
Tantalum 0.0157 < 0.1 0% Capacitors/PWB, power supply
Indium 0.0016 < 0.1 60% transistor, rectifiers/PWB
Vanadium 0.0002 < 0.1 0% red phosphor emitter/CRT
Terbium 0 0 0% green phosphor activator, dopant/CRT, PWB
Beryllium 0.0157 < 0.1 0% thermal conductivity/PWB, connectors
Gold  0.0016 < 0.1 99% Connectivity, conductivity/PWB, connectors
Europium 0.0002 < 0.1 0% phosphor activator/PWB
Titanium 0.0157 < 0.1 0% pigment, alloying agent/(aluminum) housing
Ruthenium 0.0016 < 0.1 80% resistive circuit/PWB
Cobalt 0.0157 < 0.1 85% structural, magnetivity/(steel) housing, CRT, PWB
Palladium 0.0003 < 0.1 95% Connectivity, conductivity/PWB, connectors
Manganese 0.0315 < 0.1 0% structural, magnetivity/(steel) housing, CRT, PWB
Silver 0.0189 < 0.1 98% Conductivity/PWB, connectors
Antinomy 0.0094 < 0.1 0% diodes/housing, PWB, CRT
Bismuth 0.0063 < 0.1 0% wetting agent in thick film/PWB
Chromium 0.0063 < 0.1 0% Decorative, hardener/(steel) housing
Cadmium 0.0094 < 0.1 0% battery, glu-green phosphor emitter/housing, PWB, CRT
Selenium 0.0016 0.00096 70% rectifiers/PWB
Niobium 0.0002 < 0.1 0% welding allow/housing
Yttrium 0.0002 < 0.1 0% red phosphor emitter/CRT

How would we like this in our drinking water?
Computer Recycle Center
916-452-5177


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