What Are the Best Tips for Circuit Board Disposal?

Malcolm Tatum

The task of circuit board disposal is one that many companies as well as individuals face. In some instance, the need to dispose of the boards has to do with replacing worn boards with newer ones. In addition, the replacement of electronic equipment such as televisions, computers and other devices that include the boards can also create a glut of circuit board components that do not need to end up in landfills. When it comes to responsible circuit board disposal, there are several options, including recycling, returning to the manufacturer and selling the used boards.

Reclaiming or recycling are options for circuit board disposal.
Reclaiming or recycling are options for circuit board disposal.

One common approach to dealing with circuit board disposal is to take advantage of any type of reclamation plan offered by manufacturers. In some cases, used boards can be turned in for credit that is then redeemed when new boards are purchased. This approach can help to reduce the cost of replacing the boards, which in turn will aid in keeping operational expenses lower. The manufacturer benefits by being able to refurbish the used boards and sell them at a discount, or harvest the components for use in the creation of new boards.

Old circuit boards may be recycled.
Old circuit boards may be recycled.

An alternative approach to circuit board disposal is recycling. Many communities provide collection points that businesses and individuals can use to dispose of old boards. Municipalities can often sell those boards to businesses that can make use of the circuit board components by breaking down the boards and selling those individual components for use in the creation of other electronic components. Businesses can also often deal directly with these types of buyers, periodically selling off the boards to earn a small amount off something that otherwise would be considered useless.

A third option for circuit board disposal involves finding a direct buyer for the boards. This is sometimes an option if the buyer is using older computers and other types of electronic equipment and needs a steady supply of backup components. This approach can work very well if connections are made with buyers based in nations that depend on the older technology, and need ready access to proprietary circuit boards that are no longer in mass production.

Choosing to engage in circuit board disposal is one way of exercising social responsibility. Whether the boards are ultimately reused in a new setting or dismantled and the components used in other applications, the end result is still the same. The discarded boards do not end up in landfills, helping to reduce the amount of waste that is generated by a business and easing the impact of that business operation on the environment.

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