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Thread: Saving Vintage Computers from the Shredders...

  1. #1

    Default Saving Vintage Computers from the Shredders...

    I was thinking the electronics recycling programs in my area. I've found some really cool items at my municipal electronics recycling center. I only make it over there once a week at best, so I just know I'm missing out on cool finds. I was in a neighboring county and stopped by their recycling center. They had a massive trailer there filled with boxes of old crap, but there you'd think you were entering Fort Knox. Guard wanted to verify I was a county resident before I could even drop something off, and there were signs all around saying "drop off only - do not remove any items". I just knew if I attempted it, I would have been chased by the aging garbage cop. Thankfully I'm able to pillage til my hearts content in my hometown. So I was wondering just where does all this crap go, anyways? I'm in Indiana and apparently it's all hauled down to Indianapolis to some 3rd party who "processes" it. I've spoken to them and by process, I mean they take anything that looks like it was made in the past 5-10 years see if it can be reused. This is an awesome practice and I'm glad someone's doing it. However, everything else pretty much gets scrapped. They're only looking for "high volume" items - and not at all on the lookout for collectable vintage items. I doubt they could train their entire staff to do it, since all their employees seem to be on a pretty cut-throat quota system. So I was wondering if anyone has worked with any of these high volume recycling centers to try and save certain items? I've left my name & number with them to see if they have any kind of program in place.

  2. #2


    Circuit boards gets stripped of the gold plating on their traces. The early Pentium boards have a higher gold content, and are worth more per pound. The boards are ground up, then the pieces are submerged in a chemical bath that separates the gold from the copper traces.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Miami, FL


    There is an entire industry dedicated to it. But like most businesses it is hit or miss.


    Unless it is an independent private player who has the processes in place and the people qualified to identify valuable items there is no resale of vintage items. Refurbishment (e.g. Windows 10 re-installation / cleaning / some bench testing) is a considerable business. Not sure if Overstock, Amazon, Staples and so on still sell refurbished PCs, monitors and notebooks but they used to.


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