How to scrap IC for metal

Written by alan biehn
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How to scrap IC for metal
Electronics recyclers and metal refiners buy IC chips to recover precious metals. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

IC (integrated circuit) chips are components found on the plastic circuit boards in all sorts of electronic gadgets. They often resemble little robotic spiders or centipedes, and many of them contain valuable metals like gold and copper. Throwing these metals away is wasteful and may harm the environment. You can save these materials -- and even make a little money on your unwanted electronics -- by selling the chips to a metal refiner or electronic scrap recycler.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Shipping box
  • Mailing label
  • Tape

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  1. 1

    Find an electronics recycler or metal refiner. Search the Internet for refining companies that accept electronic waste, scrap metal or computer scrap. You can also search for refining companies.

  2. 2

    Contact the recycler/refiner. Describe the material you are offering and request a price estimate. Depending on the materials and the company you work with, you may pay or be paid.

  3. 3

    Package your IC chips as requested by the recycler/refiner. Use a sturdy box, a legible mailing label, and seal with packing tape if necessary.

  4. 4

    Ship the chips. Some firms pay for shipping or offer pickup service. If you live near the recycling/refining company, you may be able to drop the items off.

Tips and warnings

  • Don't bother removing the chips from the circuit boards; it's not worth your time and many firms also accept the boards.
  • Companies will pay more for chips in large volume or chips that are sorted.
  • Not all IC chips contain valuable substances.
  • Be sure to discuss how much material you have; some companies only accept large quantities.
  • Improper recycling and recovery practices can harm health and the environment, so ask whether the company operates in a safe and responsible manner.

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