Did you know your computer contains precious metals?

Some people might not know that there are precious metals in your electronic devices but there are some very valuable metals that can be found in your electronic scrap. Used electronic devices can be reused, recycled, resold, and salvaged. If you choose to recycle your electronic devices not only are making sure that your are protecting your data, you’re also making money off these precious metals that are in these devices.

Making sure that you recycle your electronics is very important because the number of people and companies recycling their electronics is low. There are two billion smartphone users upgrade to a new phone roughly every 11 months and barley 10% of those phones get recycled. These phones are just put to waste in a drawer or in a landfill.


By recycling your e-waste the precious metals it allows for these precious metals to be reused, therefore reducing the need to mine and process new materials. Which ultimately has a negative affects the environment. Some of the precious metals that are in these electronic devices include:

Gold: Gold is used in printed circuit boards, cell phones, computer chips (CPU), connectors and fingers.

Silver: SIlver is used in printed circuit boards, cell phones, computer chips, keyboard membranes and some capacitors.

Platinum: Platinum is used in hard drives and circuit boards components.

Palladium: Palladium is used in cell phones, hard drives, circuit board components and capacitors.

Copper: Copper is used in CPU heat sinks, wiring cables, cell phones, printed circuit boards and computer chips.



Nickel: Nickel is used in to circuit board components.

Tantalum: Tantalum is used in circuit board components and some capacitors.

Cobalt: Cobalt is included hard drives.

Aluminum: Aluminum is used in printed circuit boards, computer chips, hard drive, CPU heat sinks.

Tin: Tin is used in printed circuit boards and computer chips.

Zinc: Zinc is used in printed circuit boards.

Neodymium: Neodymium is used in hard drives.

The amount of precious metals that are found in electronic devices can be substantial. The EPA estimates for every 1 millions cell phones recycled you can get these amounts of precious metals:



  • 35,274 pounds of copper
  • 772 pounds of silver
  • 75 pounds of gold
  • 33 pounds of palladium


When looking at electronics you should be looking at recycling, the computer components with the highest precious metal content by weight:

  1. Computer CPU’s (Processors)
  2. Memory (RAM) & Circuit Fingers/ Connectors/ Pins
  3. Circuit Boards (Motherboard)
  4. Cables/WIres
  5. Hard Drives
  6. Whole Computers
  7. Cell Phones

Mayer Alloys Corporation is based in the Metro Detroit area and provides business to business electronic waste recycling. We provide our customers with:

  • Data Security Solutions
  • Hard Drive Shredding
  • Environmentally Responsible Recycling via an R2 Certified Facility
  • Competitive Prices

Mayer Alloys Corporation is an R2 compliant provider in partnership with OmniSource Electronic Recycling, an R2 Certified Recycler. Mayer will provide you with peace of mind that you are disposing of your organization’s electronic waste safely and responsibly. All electronic waste is recycled in an R2 Certified facility. All hard drives are destroyed and Certificates of Destruction in compliance with Department of Defense (DoD) security standards are provided. For more information about electronic recycling check out our Ultimate Guide To Corporate Electronic Recycling.


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