How Much Money Can You Make by Recycling Computers, Cellphones, Catalytic Converters, and other Popular Items?

We get many calls at Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners from people who have cellphones, catalytic converters, computers, remote control devices, and other items that contain precious metals that can be extracted and refined.

Image of circuit board and recycling symbol representing the value of recycling electronic scrap with Specialty Metals Smelters & Refiners.  

The first question that those callers ask is usually, “How much are they worth?” And the first question that we usually ask them is, “How many do you have?”

In today’s post, we’ll address both those questions. (Please note that the statistics we post today are for informational purposes only; the actual value of each lot of items we recycle for you will vary.)

Money in Cell Phones

Today’s typical cellphone contains about $1.40 worth of gold, $.58 worth of palladium, and about $.20 worth of silver.

Quick calculation: If you have 10 cellphones to recycle, they should contain about $14.00 worth of gold, $5.80 of palladium, and $2.00 of silver. If you have 100 cellphones, the value jumps to $140.00 in gold, $58.00 in palladium, and $20.00 in silver. And if you have 500 cellphones, you are looking at $700.00 in gold, $290.00 in palladium, and $100.00 in silver.

Money in Remote Controls

Modern remotes contain very compact circuit boards that typically contain only about $.02 worth of gold. Older remotes generally had larger circuit boards and therefore can be worth more.

Quick calculation: If you have 10 modern remotes to recycle, they should net you $.20 in gold. If you have 100, you could net $2.00. And if you have 500, they could be worth $10.00.

Money in Catalytic Converters

There is between $1.20 and $2.80 worth of platinum in a standard catalytic converter; the amount varies based on manufacturer, application and model. (Converters contain smaller amounts of palladium and rhodium too, but because their quantity depends on the type of converter you are recycling, we will leave them out of our calculations.)

Quick calculation: If you have 10 catalytic converters to recycle, the platinum they contain will be worth between $12.00 and $28.00. If you have 500 – the minimum amount that we will recycle for you at Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners, they could net you between $600.00 and $1,400.00.

Money in Computers

The average older desktop computer contains about $0.80 worth of gold – more if they have additional components like modems and memory or CPU chips installed. Laptops typically contain about that same $0.80 worth of gold. So let’s work with that number for our calculations.

Quick calculation: If you have 10 computers to recycle, they should contain about $8.00 worth of gold. If you have 100, that number jumps to $80.00. And if you have 500 computers to recycle, you should realize about $400.00 in gold.

Want to Know More?

We are here to answer your questions about getting the biggest payout possible for your recyclable electronics and catalytic converters. Call us at 800-426-2344 for a free consultation.

Related Posts:

How to Eliminate the Middleman and Make More Money from Your Used Catalytic Converters
Where Is the Gold Hiding in Your Old Computers?
Is it Worth Recycling Smartphones?
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