Computer is a machine that has made our lives relatively much easier and productive. Computer was invented in the 20th century in the late 50s and 60s. Since then it kept evolving with time. Computer’s evolution took a dramatic turn when Bill Gates and Steve Jobs came into the limelight. Gates invented Microsoft computer while Jobs invented Apple computer. Computer became popular during late 80s to the early 90s when Bill Gates made it possible to afford computer. Since then the demand in computer usage has kept on increasing.
For a country like India, computer became popular during the 90s and it became a household thing during the late 2000s. At present, a majority of people would have definitely used computer. There is a very huge demand of computers in the country and to fulfill the demand many computer manufacturing companies have installed their manufacturing plants in India. As one knows that everything in today’s world is somewhere dependent on computer.
There are many ways to make a profit in the computer recycling business. One way is to purchase used computers from businesses and individuals and then refurbish and resell them. Another way is to collect scrap metal and other materials from computers and sell them to recyclers.
What Is Computer Waste?
With such a huge usage and demand of computer it is obvious that there will also be computer waste. Before one understands what is computer waste one needs to understand that what comprises of computer. Computer comes in different forms like desktop, laptop, palm top and tablet. A desktop computer comprises of a monitor screen, a keyboard, a mouse, CPU and maybe UPS or speakers but they are not mandatory. While a laptop is just a single unit product similar to palmtop or tablets.
Computer waste comprises of similar items like the keyboard, mouse, monitor, CPU and its components like hard disk, RAM, processor, fan, motherboard, circuit and so on. Apart from this, connecting wires, printers, printer cartridge, modem, router, etc. are also part of the computer waste products. These items are basically made from fiber, plastic, aluminum, glass, silica and many more materials that are light in nature.
Computer Recycling Opportunity For Cash
Since these wastes are generated in huge quantity therefore it is necessary to use them in an effective manner. Most of these wastes are non-biodegradable and toxic in nature therefore they can’t be just left to decay. It would be better to recycle them for further usage as they are still usable and they are sold at even good price during recycle. As you are going to recycle computer products it is important to know that what you can recycle and till what level. Here is a brief explanation of various parts of computer that can be recycled.
- There are various precious metals found in the computer like gold, copper, lead, palladium, aluminum, etc. that can be extracted from computer and can be utilized.
- There are other materials like tin, silica, glass, plastic, fiber, etc. that can also be utilized and recycled based on requirements.
- Not everything is useless in an old computer that is sent to recycling. There are many parts that work efficiently. These parts are removed and assembled to form a new computer accessory.
- Most of the computers are sold after refurbishment on a cheap price. Refurbishment is very common in electronic products.
- Small accessories and parts are also removed from the computer and used for manufacturing new products.
- There are many accessories that are sold just after polishing, cleaning and repairing at a great price.
Now if you find this business interesting then you should definitely go for it but before you start into this you need to have a plan for computer recycle business.
Computer Recycling Business Plan:
The main component of the business plan includes:-
- Executive Summary
- Company Description
- Products and Services
- Market Analysis
- Sales and Marketing Plan
- Operational Plan
- Management and Organization
- Financial Plan
Just like any business you need to make a strategy regarding your business and then implement it step by step. Similarly in computer recycling business you need to revise a plan that offers you the best return possible. Overall what really matters to you is a heavy return in less investment. Here is the plan that may help you in your business.
Decide what you will recycle:
If you are a new business then it is not possible for you to recycle every computer product or else you have to spend a good amount of money as investment. It is because that every part requires different methods of recycle and some are quite costly. Here is a mention of some computer accessories and how you can recycle them to gain good profits.
- Computer Monitor: A computer monitor can be recycled by removing the cathode ray tube and selling it separately in case of a CRT screen. Whereas as a LCD screen or a TFT screen works basically well with few repairs and polishing. There are also precious metals found in these screens that can be recovered and sold individually.
- CPU: Central Processing Unit or the CPU is known to be the brain of the computer. CPU comprises of different parts like the hard disk, motherboard, RAM, processor, circuit board, sockets and many more. In maximum cases only few parts do not work in a CPU like the basic frame of the CPU or the RAM which can easily be replaced. After repairing the whole CPU and polishing it, one can sold it at 2nd hand price.
- Keyboard: In most cases few keys of the board do not work which can be replaced easily, repaired and resold. One can also sell the keyboard for complete recycle where it will be melted to form new accessories.
- Mouse: A mouse when it stops to work becomes useless therefore it must also be sent to permanent recycling where it will be melted.
- Other Accessories: Like UPS, Printer, Laptop, Webcam, Router, modem, etc. can be broken down into small pieces and can either be reused with small repairs or can be sent to permanent recycling board.
Capacity of Recycling:
All the above mentioned accessories of computer can’t be recycled by you especially when you are a small business. Therefore you need to make a criteria and limit of what you can recycle and up to what level you can recycle. For example, can you recycle a keyboard by melting it into a new keyboard or you can only replace the keys and repair it? Similarly with CPU and monitor, up to what level you can recycle and reuse the product is something that you will have to take a call on.
Consult a Technician and Expert:
Consult an expert who guide you on recycling computer products as they will give a brief explanation on every topic. Ask them to make a feasibility analysis report where you will get a glimpse of your business model, its implication and its return on investment. A feasibility analysis report is a necessary aspect of any business model especially when it’s complicated and requires good capital investment. Based on the report you can make plans and start your business.
Basic Requirement for a Computer Recycling Business
A computer recycling business doesn’t requires any huge machine but it requires some trained experts, technicians, engineers, few small machines, etc. Here is a mention of all requirements.
Space for Recycling: In India you don’t really need a separate large space but a room big enough is appreciable. You can either open your recycling business at your home or on a shop that allows decent space to keep computer waste and to operate. It would be better to rent the space instead of buying as it will require good capital.
Infrastructure: For recycling computer waste you need some good infrastructure. A closed room with latest technology, machines, gadgets, tools, equipment, power connection, chamber, etc. The chamber should be free from noise and dust and must be cool.
Equipment: For recycling accessories you need different equipment through which the experts will carry out their tasks. For this you may take advice from the experts you have hired and they will give you a list of equipment required.
Scrap Computers: For this you need to team up with scrap pickers who also buy electronic waste especially the computer waste. There are many in a particular city those who deal with computer accessories. You can build a network with them and based on your requirement you can but the scrap accessories from them.
Requirement of Technicians and Experts:
Hire experts, engineers and technicians to carry out the recycling job. You can also hire helping staffs who may carry out the job of cleaning and polishing the recycled product. You need to be extra vigilant while hiring experts as their skill will determine your profit. In the initial stage hire experts who can perform basic recycling work and later on you can extend your reach.
Registration of your Firm and Documents:
Register your firm as a computer recycling business to your local authority. Also register to GST for paying tax on your sale. Being a computer recycling business, there are few permissions that are required which you must definitely take as some parts of computer carries hazardous and toxic substance that should be dealt carefully.
Your capital investment will depend on:
- Space on rental, infrastructure, utilities like power connection, etc.
- Hiring Experts, technicians and computer engineers.
- Buying or renting recycling and repairing equipment, tools and machines
- Purchasing scrap computer parts and accessories from local vendors
- Recycling, repairing, polishing, cleaning, refurbishing and packaging
- Supplying, transporting and tax
- Documents and permission charges
- Miscellaneous charges
Overall these are the fields where you will have to invest your money while opening a computer recycling business. One can estimate a total investment of around Rs 3 to 10 lakhs while a monthly charge of Rs 50, 000 to 2 Lakhs for paying rent, hiring experts, packaging and transportation.
Market for Reselling Recycled Products:
There are many shops that purchase 2nd hand computers especially the refurbished products in a good price. Mostly computer wastes are sold at a low price in comparison to what one can sell a recycled product. There is a very health margin and that is where earning comes. Here are few ways to sell your recycled goods:
- Sell the repaired, polished and refurbished product as 2nd hand to a new customer directly from your shop
- Sell these products to some other shop so that they can sell it to their customers
- Sell the parts to the company directly after few steps of recycling
- Sell some parts that can’t be recycled by you to the major recycling company or the manufacturing company.
- Sell assembled parts on online portals like OLX.
It would be beneficial if you own a computer shop where you can also sell recycled products along with new products to your customers. There are many firms that require computers in bulk and instead of buying all new they rent many while they buy many 2nd hand computers.
Return on Investment:
This business will require a good amount of time to grow since it is time consuming and lengthy business. The return would gradually rise as you expand your business. The margin of profit will be high given the difference between a waste product and a recycled product. Overall it would be advisable to open your recycling shop along with your computer shop that also sells new product as that would not only increase your customer base but would also help you in networking with sellers and potential buyer of your recycled product.
This is a difficult question to answer because it depends on a number of factors, including the size and location of the recycling business, the type of computers being recycled, and the market for recycled computer parts. Generally speaking, however, computer recycling can be a profitable business.
Some of the challenges associated with recycling computers include the following:
The high cost of recycling computers due to the need to disassemble and process the materials.
The complex mix of materials used in computers, which makes recycling difficult.
The lack of recycling facilities for computers.
The environmental impact of mining the materials used in computers.
1. Collection: Computers and other electronic devices are collected from businesses and individuals.
2. Transportation: The electronic devices are transported to a recycling facility.
3. Processing: The recycling facility processes the electronic devices to extract valuable materials.
4. Refining: The extracted materials are refined to create new products.
The best computer recycling practices include ensuring that all data is wiped from the device before it is recycled, as well as ensuring that the device is properly dismantled so that its components can be recycled.
This is a difficult question to answer as it depends on a number of factors, such as the type and quantity of computers being recycled, the geographical location of the business, and the costs associated with running the business. Generally speaking, however, it is possible to make a significant amount of money in the computer recycling business.