How to Recycle Old Mechanical Keyboards

April 8, 2024

Wait! Don't throw it in the garbage yet! It can still be beneficial for others. You could give it a new lease of life by donating it to places like libraries, educational institutions, or second-hand shops.

Is the keyboard not functioning any longer? Reach out to your local e-waste initiatives or the keyboard's manufacturer to ensure it's recycled safely. By doing this, you are reducing harmful environmental pollution and promoting resource conservation.

Stay with us to learn more about how to contribute positively to our environment, starting with your old keyboard!

Why Recycle Old Mechanical Keyboards

Every keyboard that ends up in the trash exacerbates the e-waste problem. Recycling old mechanical keyboards, therefore, isn't just a great way to declutter your workspace or game space. Doing so also allows you to contribute significantly towards preserving the environment and conserving our limited resources. 

  1. Reduction of Electronic Waste: Mechanical keyboards contain plastics, metals, and other electronic materials. Recycling these keyboards prevents them from ending up in landfills where they can release hazardous chemicals and pollute the environment.
  2. Conservation of Resources: Manufacturers can recover and reuse valuable materials. By extracting and reprocessing these materials, manufacturers can reduce the need for virgin resources and minimize the environmental impact of raw material extraction.
  3. Energy Savings: Recycling requires less energy than producing new materials from scratch. For example, recycling aluminum requires only 5% of the energy needed to produce aluminum from bauxite ore. By recycling keyboards, energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions associated with manufacturing are significantly reduced.
  4. Prevention of Toxic Leaching: Electronic devices contain hazardous substances such as lead, mercury, and brominated flame retardants. When disposed of improperly, these substances can leach into soil and water, posing risks to human health and the environment. Recycling ensures that these toxic components are safely contained and managed.
  5. Promotion of Circular Economy: Recycling old keyboards is a key component of a circular economy where products and materials are reused, repaired, and recycled to minimize waste and maximize resource efficiency.
  6. Job Creation and Economic Benefits: Recycling industries create jobs and stimulate economic growth through collection, sorting, processing, manufacturing, and other activities. Communities can benefit from job opportunities and increased economic resilience.

Ways to Recycle Old Mechanical Keyboards

an image of a mechanical keyboard

How can you repurpose your old mechanical keyboards and turn them from potential electronic waste into useful commodities? Let's check out some of the ways.

  1. Electronic Waste Recycling Centers: Many cities and municipalities have electronic waste recycling programs or designated drop-off locations where you can dispose of old keyboards and other electronic devices safely. Check with your local government or waste management authority to find the nearest recycling center.
  2. Manufacturer or Retailer Take-back Programs: Some manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and electronics stores offer take-back programs where you can return old electronics for recycling. 
  3. Mail-in Recycling Services: These online services specialize in recycling electronic waste. You can request a prepaid shipping label, mail in your old keyboard, and the company will handle the recycling process.
  4. Local Electronics Recycling Events: Keep an eye out for local electronics recycling events or community clean-up days where electronic waste is collected for recycling. These events are often organized by local governments or community groups and provide a convenient way to dispose of old keyboards responsibly.
  5. Donate or Sell: If your old keyboard is still functional and in good condition, donate it to a local charity, school, or community organization. You can also sell it or give it away to friends or family members who may have a use for it.
  6. Component Recycling: You can separate, recycle, and sell individual components such as keycaps, switches, and PCBs. Some materials, like plastic keycaps or metal plates, may be recyclable through your local recycling program.

Note: Before doing any of the above, make sure you erase any personal data from your old keyboard before recycling or donating it. Follow local regulations and guidelines for electronic waste disposal to ensure proper handling and recycling.

Mechanical Keyboard Components That Can Be Recycled

An old mechanical keyboard has a lot of components that can be reused or recycled. Here are some of those components:

  1. Plastic Keycaps: Keycaps made from ABS or PBT plastic can be recycled with other plastic materials. 
  2. Metal Switch Plates: These metal or aluminum plates can be recycled as scrap metal through metal recycling facilities.
  3. Aluminum or Steel Keyboard Cases: The cases of mechanical keyboards are often made from aluminum or steel, both of which are recyclable materials. These cases can be recycled through metal recycling facilities.
  4. Circuit Boards (PCBs): The PCBs in mechanical keyboards contain valuable metals like gold, silver, and copper. These metals can be extracted and recycled through specialized e-waste recycling facilities.
  5. Electronic Components: Other electronic components such as diodes, resistors, and capacitors can also be recycled through e-waste recycling programs.
  6. USB Cables and Connectors: USB cables and connectors can be recycled along with other electronic cables and wires. Some recycling programs accept cables for recycling while others may require you to remove the wires and recycle them separately.
  7. Rubber Feet: Rubber feet or pads attached to the bottom of the keyboard can be recycled along with other rubber materials. Check with your local recycling program to see if they accept rubber for recycling.
  8. Packaging Materials: Packaging materials such as cardboard boxes, paper inserts, and plastic packaging can be recycled through your local recycling program. Separate different materials for recycling.
  9. Packaging Labels and Documentation: Paper labels, instruction manuals, and other documentation included with the keyboard can usually be recycled with other paper materials.

Where to Donate Old Mechanical Keyboards

an image of a mechanical keyboard

Rather than throw your old but still functional mechanical keyboard away, why not give it to someone else? Donating old mechanical keyboards is a great way to give them a second life and support organizations or individuals in need. Here are suggested places where you can donate old mechanical keyboards:

  1. Schools and Educational Institutions: Many schools, especially those with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) programs, may appreciate donations of functional mechanical keyboards for use in computer labs or classrooms.
  2. Nonprofit Organizations: Various nonprofit organizations such as community centers, youth centers, or after-school programs may welcome donations of mechanical keyboards to support their activities or provide access to technology for underserved communities.
  3. Charity Organizations: Charitable organizations may accept donations of old mechanical keyboards to distribute to individuals or families in need.
  4. Libraries: Libraries often have computer stations or workshops where mechanical keyboards can be used by visitors or members. Consider donating to these institutions to support their educational and creative endeavors.
  5. Online Platforms and Forums: Online communities dedicated to mechanical keyboards such as Reddit's MechanicalKeyboards subreddit or Geekhack forums often have donation threads or programs where members can offer or request donations of keyboards and related components.
  6. Local Community Groups: Community groups, clubs, or meetup organizations focused on technology, gaming, or DIY projects may appreciate donations of mechanical keyboards for their events, workshops, or community initiatives.
  7. Thrift Stores and Donation Centers: Some thrift stores and donation centers accept electronic devices for resale or redistribution. 
  8. Refugee or Immigrant Support Organizations: Organizations that assist refugees, immigrants, or newcomers to a community may accept donations of mechanical keyboards.

Impact of E-Waste on the Environment

Think for a moment about the advancement of technology, its increasing influence on our lives, and the relatively short lifespan of many electronic devices. All these factors contribute to the growing problem of electronic waste (e-waste), which presents grave environmental challenges. Discarded electronics such as keyboards and computers pile up, releasing hazardous toxins into our environment. The impact of e-waste on the environment is significant and multifaceted:

  1. Toxic Chemicals: Many electronic devices contain hazardous substances such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and brominated flame retardants. When improperly disposed of, these toxins can leach into soil and water, contaminating ecosystems and posing risks to human health.
  2. Soil and Water Pollution: When e-waste is dumped in landfills or incinerated, it can release harmful chemicals and heavy metals into the environment. These pollutants can accumulate in soil, water bodies, and food chains, which leads to long-term environmental degradation and ecosystem disruption.
  3. Air Pollution: Incinerating e-waste releases toxic gases and particulate matter into the air, contributing to air pollution and respiratory problems. 
  4. Resource Depletion: Electronic devices contain valuable materials such as metals, plastics, and rare earth elements. Mining and extracting these resources for manufacturing contribute to habitat destruction, water pollution, and energy consumption. 
  5. Energy Consumption: Manufacturing electronic devices requires significant energy inputs including electricity and fossil fuels. Additionally, the transportation and disposal of e-waste also consume energy. 
  6. Landfill Space: E-waste contributes to the growing problem of landfill overcrowding. Electronic devices make up a significant portion of municipal solid waste, and their disposal takes up valuable landfill space. 
  7. Global Impact: Developing countries often receive large quantities of e-waste from wealthier nations for recycling or disposal. However, inadequate recycling infrastructure and informal recycling practices can lead to environmental and health hazards in these regions.


Don't allow your old mechanical keyboard to just collect dust, or worse, contribute to our growing e-waste problem. There are several options for its disposal, including recycling, selling, or donating.

By participating in these efforts, you're doing more than just tidying up your space. You're playing a part in the reduction of electronic waste, a significant problem in our world today.

Chris Greiner, a Mechanical Keyboard specialist, boasts a solid educational background with dual bachelor's degrees in Computer Science and Business Management from Lewis University. His additional certification in Mechanical Keyboard Design showcases his dedication to staying on the forefront of keyboard technology. Chris primarily writes for keyboard enthusiasts and has been featured on platforms like Jestik, solidifying his reputation as a thought leader in the mechanical keyboard community.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Pinstack is a dedicated online media platform focusing on selling and reviewing mechanical keyboards. Our commitment is to provide comprehensive reviews, in-depth guides, and much more. With our active presence on YouTube and our website, we strive to deliver top-quality content across multiple platforms, aiming to bring the best to our audience.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Subscription Form
We care about the protection of your data. We’ll never share your details.

Pinstack is an Amazon Affiliate. All earnings from this website are from qualified purchases. Learn more about our affiliate disclosure terms.
2023 - Copyright, All Rights Reserved
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x