Computers contain a host of easily harvested raw materials from Steel to Copper and Aluminum. In addition the 'chips' and circuit boards contain precious metals. Once at end-of-life used electronics will be broken down and the individual categories will be separated and accumulated until there is sufficient quantity for us to ship to one of our downstream vendors.
As part of our R2 certification we are required to completely erase any data on every data containing device. For 90% of our customers this is a free service. Many of our commercial customers require a Certificate RE: FW: Site Audit - Here Are Your First Site Audit Results (R3E)of Data Destruction which is official verification that the data had been wiped. As this involves a chain-of-custody and an assuming of liability this is a chargeable service.
Computers are broken down into their component parts and sent to an audited downstream processor - steel, circuit boards, drives and plastics make up the bulk of the weight.
Under R2, we are not permitted to resell anything unless it has been fully refurbished and tested. So, although a computer or laptop may not be working the processor or memory may be absolutely fine. Should these working components have a value greater than their scrap value we will remarket them as working items.