How can I reuse or recycle broken computer keyboards?
My brother and I got our first proper PC in the mid-1990s.
We could do word processing on it, basic drawing and DTP – lots of serious grown-up stuff that justified it as a (second-hand) purchase to our parents … but we still mostly used it for playing games.
Our favourite game, for a long while, was a pinball game which used the ALT keys to work the flippers. Before long, the worn out ALT keys fell off. So we changed the game’s controls to use the CTRL keys instead. And ditto. And so on, until we rendered our first computer keyboard pretty much useless.
I don’t go in for such abusive gaming these days but as we live on our computers now, (my boyfriend) John and I still end up with broken keyboards from time to time, or just spare ones when one comes free with a new computer or something.
When they’re still in working order, we give them away to friends or family in need, or the local computer recycling place, but any suggestions of what we can do with broken ones, or their parts? Any recycling/upcycling ideas?
- Pass Them On: if you’ve got a keyboard that still works – but is just old or surplus to your requirements – pass it on. There are dedicated computer recycling/refurbishment charities in most areas or offer it on Freecycle/Freegle.
- Reuse: If letters have broken off, they can be used to make letter/spelling games for young children or jewellery.
- Recycle: Keyboards are classed as WEEE waste, which means they need to be disposed of correctly – and any recyclable materials will be reclaimed. Take them to your local WEEE collection point (typically at your nearest tip).
- See the comments below for more suggestions and ideas
(Photo by annaink)