As the use of personal computers (PCs) increases, their short life cycle and the fact that they contain many hazardous materials means that their retirement and disposal represents a significant environmental concern. Many communities are mandating the recycling of these PCs, to recover parts and materials, and to minimize the amount of waste landfilled or incinerated. An industry to recycle these PCs is evolving to take advantage of this stream of materials. At present, PC recycling is not profitable. This paper investigates the factors that most influence the net cost to recycle PCs so that PC manufacturers, recyclers and legislators may better develop products and policies to insure that it is cost effective to recycle PCs.


Computer recycling, electronics, economics, environment, disassembly

Subject Categories

Recycling (Waste (etc.))



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Engineering Commons