Anonymous asked in EnvironmentGreen Living · 1 month ago

Are we getting scammed by home trash recycling companies? Why won't they take metal other than cans ?


We have to pay to get rid of the real stuff that we need to throw away. I have to schedule an appointment to drop off metal. They want to charge me $5 a laptop (I have 10 broken ones), they stopped taking plastic and paper too. WTF?

Update 2:

I got tired of scrapping little stuff. I'll demolish aluminum pools and decks and bring it to the scrap yard (8 miles away). But a few computers won't be worth my time. Scrap metal prices are too low. 

Update 3:

FYI - I'm 25 min from 2 major cities in the NE US. There are many recycling facilities here. 

7 Answers

  • Fred
    Lv 7
    1 month ago
    Favourite answer

    Electronics can be difficult to recycle.  In the past Asian countries with cheap labour took that sort of stuff but many Asian governments are worried about the health of the poor people pulling these things apart, as well as the people living nearby, as well as the environment so are now refusing to accept it.  De-soldering circuit boards gives off lead gasses which will be harmful to those working in that area.  Many Asians working in these electronics recycling places have become seriously contaminated and ill as they receive no PPE or other devices to protect themselves.  This means the recycling companies would be stuck with it and likely there is a fee for processing electronics goods.  Steel, aluminium and copper are easy to recycle but most other metals are alloys and are a mix of metals and much more difficult to deal with.

      Perhaps contact local high schools or technical colleges and see if they want that sort of stuff for parts for an electronics club or could use them for students learning to work on computer repairs.  I have heard of some schools taking old electronics so students can cannibalize them for components to build other electronic gear or just to experiment and learn with. 

  • 2 weeks ago

    It costs money to dispose of trash. 

    As far as recycling, that costs money too. Some of the cost is offset by the value of the materials recovered, but as you yourself note - scrap metal prices are low. So they probably don't fully offset the costs of handling the materials. 

  • 1 month ago

    Maybe they need the material for some other projects.

  • 1 month ago

    Laptops are actually very valuable trash because of the gold in the circuit board, luckily in the UK we don’t have this problem, you can just leave anything with metal at the end of your driveway and scrapmen will take it away before you can blink. TV’s you name it, the only thing they won’t take is fridges because of the gases in them, if they’re pulled by the police they can get in trouble.

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    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    It depends if there are people willing to take the waste from the recycling company and process it. If there's no nearby market they might have to transport it quite a distance to find a company willing to use it.

  • Rick
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    My city JUST quit the 'recycling' pick-up as it's not worth it .............

  • 1 month ago

    you think you're being scammed?  In my town they just got rid of recycle pickup...and guess what time you can drop off your recyclables..on wed between 2-5

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