5 Ways to Cash in your Electronic Scrap

| September 15, 2013
English: Mobile phone scrap, old decomissioned...

English: Mobile phone scrap, old decomissioned mobile phones, defective mobile phones (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What do you usually do when an electronic device stops working or becomes obsolete? Once it’s trash, most of us usually don’t give a second thought to it, carelessly disposing it. But electronic waste is a major concern today and if not handled properly can be a major hazard to the surroundings. Most devices can be sold as electronic scrap – making you money in the process and keeping the earth cleaner. Here’s a detailed look at how you can cash in on electronics recycling.

Five Devices which can be traded in as Electronic Scrap


Computers contain several parts such as the hard drive, the outer case, the CPU, and motherboard. The outer case is usually made of aluminum or steel. The motherboard contains PCI components containing gold fingers. The CPU also contains a fair amount of the precious yellow metal! Hard drives will usually yield aluminum and steel. So scrapping your computer as electronic waste can rake in the moolah! Just to give you an idea about how many computers were recycled as e-waste, the EPA found that in 2009, 18 million computer units were picked up for recycling out of the 29.4 million units that were discarded.


Microwaves can fetch a good price if sold as electronic scrap. The oven case mainly consists of sheet metal. A scrap yard dealer will only be too happy to receive a microwave because it contains a magnetron which contains copper in large quantities. Microwaves also contain transformers and industrial grade wire made of copper. Microwaves contain reusable parts such as the rotating glass tray and panels which can be sold on eBay before you take the microwave to the scrap yard to be recycled as electronic waste.


A refrigerator contains a good amount of copper which can be found in windings inside the compressor and the condenser. Never disassemble the refrigerator yourself but haul it to the scrap yard. Another way to cash in on it is to sell it to a repair shop, who can use the appliance for parts that are still functional.

Cell Phones

These ubiquitous devices fetch a pretty penny when sold for scrap. Cell phones also contain precious metals such as gold, silver, and platinum. You can find over $15,000 worth of metal (copper and precious metals) if you heap a ton of mobile devices, which equals roughly 6000 handsets. If your device has stopped functioning altogether, ask a scrap yard what price it can fetch. If it’s old and you no longer have use for it – there are plenty of websites which accept used cell phones to be sold as scrap and pay you for it. You get paid depending on the model, age, and condition of your cell phone. The EPA states that a mere 11.7 million mobile devices were collected for recycling as compared to the 129 million units that were disposed. That‘s a sorry state of affairs and only goes to show how cognizant we are (or rather aren’t) about recycling electronic waste.


TVs contain a lot of metal, contained in various components. The capacitor, circuit boards, and the copper yoke and even the small parts like electronic chips bearing precious metal, transformers, aluminum heat sinks, and inductors will prove valuable to any scrap dealer. According to the EPA, 22.7 million television units were disposed in 2009 and only 4.9 million units were collected for recycling. Again, not too impressive, eh?

Advantages of Recycling E-waste

  • Electronic waste contains different types of metals, such as mercury, lead, and cadmium which can pose a serious threat to the environment if not disposed in the right fashion. Exposure to these chemicals can have health hazards for human and animal life.
  • Recycling creates jobs. The United States produces a massive amount of electronic waste, and reprocessing it and recycling it involves tremendous manpower. An increase in the number of jobs is a major driving force for the economy.

Technology is taking giant leaps and with each passing day newer versions of electronic devices are introduced which render the older ones obsolete. So the next time you end up with an electronic device which may seem redundant don’t toss it into the garbage. Take it to a scrap yard which buys e-waste. For example, SIMS has scrap yards for electronic recycling in many places across the United States. So for instance, if you live in the south you can go to their center in Greenwood MS and sell electronics as scrap. You may think of it as something trivial, but if each one of us becomes environmentally conscious, it can make a huge and positive difference to the planet we call home!


Enhanced by Zemanta

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: Personal Finance

About the Author ()

Comments are closed.