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UK based WEEE recycler - do you want any bits and pieces? Answered

Hey there instructables fans. I've been reviewing your site for a while now, loving all the cool projects. I saw one project that was using some disused IDE connectors from a PC and it got me thinking.... part of my day job is running a WEEE recycling company in the South West of the UK. We process an awful lot of computers and although we re-use as much as we can of the computer stuff we recycle there is still a lot that goes to be shredded for material recovery. I'm always looking for new ways in which bits and pieces could get themselves a second life. Would this community be interested in any old computers bits and pieces? I'm not asking for money just enough to cover postage, perhaps some brave soul in the UK would like to take on a 'bulk order' and then distribute around? It's just a thought and my apologies if I've stepped on any toes or forum rules, I have no interest in making money from this just simply to get make a few small bits and pieces useful once again :) Please message back if interested!


I've got relatives near Taunton, anywhere near you? I've been asking around for old hard drive magnets for some ongoing generator type projects. (even if it costs me a hundred quid, i'm going to save 10 pence a week on my electricity bill !!!!)

Beado - A terribly interesting idea, I'd love to know more :) the one thing that is a bit tricky tho is HDD magents, I know they are super cool as we use them from stripped HDD's to affix our tools to the walls and to hold Wera bits that we aren't using (because each one costs a fortune, but they are so sooo good :) The thing is is that to meet our data destruction promises the platters have to get shredded. Typically we just ship out the HDD's whole and they shred them and separate out the ferrous (spl?) from the alu and we get a few quid back. To get you the magnets we would need to de-manufacture the HDD's before and that is something with our narrow margins I simply can't afford to do. If we can find someone in the area who is willing to come down I can probably get at least 100 HDD's ready for them to dismantle. But having your relatives in Taunton is very handy. I'd be happy at least this first time to drop a box off with them. Checking on parcel force it would cost £31 to ship an upto 30KG box of stuff. So if folks here could gather a list of wants with you, I box it, I drag it to taunton, your relatives post it, and then you re-dsitribute it? I'm fairly positive no one here would be-grudge you making a few pence for your troubles too :) And being a recylcer I'll be happy to take whatever remains back off you for no charge if you want (you just need to get it to me :) Sry about the HDD's but without getting someone to me it's going to be tricky. I do know a lad who could do the de-manu for a 360 game or something... I'll sound him out. Over to you fella. If the scheme worked then we could repeat this and perhaps get the exchange setup. I'd love to be able to put my company name to a project like that!

Not sure if anyone on this site has heard of Hugh Piggot but i've got a few of his books on renewable energy and the only thing slowing me up is a source of semi scrap magnets to 'experiment@ with. If you want to message me privately with your address there is a chance i'll be visiting your area soon. I'm only just up in the Peak District and i've been meaning to visit the folks for a bit.

Dismantling 100 HDD's sounds like a fun hands-on project for a local school! The kids get to keep the magnets, and I'm sure it'd be cheaper for you to shred the platters separately rather than the whole HDD.

Actually, one of the hit attractions for younger kids at the latest Maker Faire and Robogames was a big table full of various electronics junk plus tools. The youngest ones had a blast just taking stuff apart, and some of the older or more creative ones glued or soldered together some nice art pieces with the occasional LED and motor... Wonderful learning opportunity!

oh definitely, I'd be intersted in certain bits... and a defunct LCD monitor that works would be great, even with lines/ dodgy pixels, any whole slightly older computers, PSUs and other stuff, I could possibly move some, stuff also I'm in northern ireland which is both handier than europe but a bit of nuisance...

Defunct LCD's do come about so if we can make anything of this I will be more than happy to put them to one side. We get a fair few from laptops as well but they obviouslydon have the driving circuitry. PSU's - I do get a price for them but can certainly afford to lose a few now and again. Slightly Older Computers-mores the pity there's money in them there old PC's, their material value makes them a good earner. So yay to a few bits and pieces going but large quantities of whole units is a problem. Sry.

It would be smaller quantities but I do know a few people that may take larger quantities at good prices, as in for the actual machine components rather than raw material, other than that I don't know... Do you get much other scrap? there's other stuff I could move, that and being in belfast means the same postage prices which I would clearly pay... Or if there was stuff worth coming for I'd make the trip over... Also In terms of sending scrap etc over there may be a few businesses/people that are happy to get rid of them, I know one guy who works with scrap cars and due to the higher price for removed ciruicts and plastics has a pile of boards from cars, though he sells many of these, also I've noticed that allroute tend to pile up a fair amount of computers and lcds that get damaged in delivery, it's shocking just what becomes 'useless' after one short shower, We had twenty Dell 19 inch LCD's which worked but we got for free, sold them all for £20 a piece, because shipping insurance are paying for the new ones and the old ones are damaged goods and so unmovable. Also magnets of any decription would be great. also any more recent whole computers that come in... if I could cobble together a decent spec machine for a project that would be really great, that and if it all worked well I'd be over the moon, at the minute it's all just figuring it out I suppose.


10 years ago

Cheers for all the replies, certainly seems like there is interest here. In reply to Kiteman - Not on the doorstep of the Eden project but it's not a million miles away, cool place. re: what I've got - If it's ever been in or been connected to a computer it's a safe bet I've got at least 100 :D for example: IDE and floppy cables and ribbons Keyboards, keyboards keys, keyboard contact pads, keyboard little rubber bouncy things Power supples, power bricks Lots and lots of unsorted screws Old fans and speakers Whole CRT monitors (but you don't want them as we have to get all Waste license tastic to shift em) Cases Old switches Old digi cameras Bust printers (from inkjets to colour lasers... and some aint so bust) Phones.. lots and lots of phones (digital ones) And the list goes on.... I like the idea zieak's & zachninme about some sort of exchange centre website thing. I can't afford the time to create that myself right now but I do think I'd be a good source of bits n pieces. Is anyone up to it? I can host and will pay out for the domain if someone can sort out the website. I'd be happy to let someone come down and go rummaging through our unit if they can get over this way to get a good stock built to feed the community? Whoever runs it is just going to need a big pile of jiffy bags :) And for all you US peeps... I'm happy to ship a box of stuff to someone in the US but the cost is probably going to be prohibitive. If someone is interested in anything secific and wants to put together a list then I can find out the shipping costs if you like? Thanks for all the replies.

Floppy and hard drives are always good: motors, gears, magnets, platters. Fairly compact, although a little heavy. I would guess that keyboards, cases and screws are probably in least demand.

Prik - Floppy and CD drives are quite light which is good, and lots of good bits in them. HDD's are an issue, see my longer commentary above.


10 years ago

Seems like there would be a decent market for an eBay type exchange area for makers. Where people could open "stores" with their list of stuff and others can browse through and buy up items they are looking for.

I wanted to set up an Electronics exchange, send in crap you have, and get crap you want... Didn't seem to show interest, though. And to you, yakboy, we have 2 rules around here (that I'm aware of): No spamming, and be nice :-)

I remember that conversation... still seems like a good idea to me.

This isn't spam, it's a decent offer of cheap bits (if you're in the UK).

I didn't mean to imply that they were...


10 years ago

It's definitely interesting/good idea... I'm just a little too far away. :-( If you want to give this stuff to people, try freecycle, all computer stuff on our local one is snapped up really quick.. ;-)

I want some- If you can ship to the us.

Hi, Thought the creative recycling of PC components and whole PC's would almost be worth a -scrapheap challenge- type show of it's own... Or use them as building blocks... for buildings. Would love to do something cool with a pile of old PC's. Will have to sleep on it a while tho.

Sounds like an excellent idea. It would be helpful, though, if you could give an idea of the kind of parts / quantities you'd have available. I don't know there are any 'iblers in the SW, but I'm waaay over in Suffolk, and there is at least one in Scotland. (SW? WEEE? Are you anywhere near the Eden Centre?)

same here but cool idea!