Are Keyboards Recyclable? (And Are They Hazardous Waste)

If you ever think of a computer set without highlighting keyboards, then your count is not complete. Since the inception of computers, keyboards have proven to be a vital part of it. Majorly classified as an input device, it has helped humans a lot in relaying our thoughts and ideas electronically.

However, the love for keyboards has also raised many concerns regarding the environment. Specifically, many are concerned about what happens to these keyboards when they are no longer in use. Do they affect the environment positively or negatively?

The above question and many more are what this post examines. There’s a lot to gain here. Kindly sit back and enjoy!

Can You Recycle Keyboards?

With the question of whether or not you can recycle keyboards, it may have just occurred to you that you haven’t considered the recycling of any computer parts before. Well, as humans, we learn every day. You are about to know whether a critical part of the computer- keyboards- can be recycled.

The good news is that though keyboards are primarily classified as electronic devices, they are still recyclable. The difference, however, is that you may not be able to recycle it in the regular recycling station. Because it is electronics, the best place to take your used keyboards for recycling are centers that offer electronic recycling programs. These centers would take your keyboards and recycle them in the most environmentally friendly manner.

The reason these keyboards are recyclable is because of the materials they have been made of. Keyboards, generally, are made with plastic materials and have been coated in a flame retardant (the brominated type). It also has cords filled with copper wires. All these materials, including the plastics that have been coated, are recyclable.

You shouldn’t dispose of your keyboards in the landfill. This is because the fire retardants that have been used to coat the keyboards can leach off from the keyboards in the landfill. This way, they could contaminate groundwater or even mix with rainwater during flooding.

So, it seems that the best option is to recycle your keyboards, as their disposal of to the landfill may be environmentally damaging.

Are Keyboards Hazardous Waste?

If you consider hazardous waste classification, you will discover that electronic wastes make up a part of the classification. If you also consider that your computer set is classified as an electronic device, you might begin to tie the knots between keyboards and hazardous waste.

Yes, keyboards are hazardous waste. The reason this is so is that they are electronic devices. And for many reasons, electronic devices are capable of causing potential or substantial harm to humans. Even though your keyboards may look harmless to you while using them, they are way too dangerous for the environment to be treated with levity.

Asides from recycling them, which even involves the special process of separating, packaging, and sending them for recycling, the other thing you can do is have your hazardous waste management authority come pick the used keyboards up. This way, the authority will properly manage it and ensure the used keyboards do not constitute a danger to the environment.

Can You Throw Keyboard In The Trash?

Flowing from what we have above, it is clear that your keyboards are hazardous waste. And one rule of thumb about any item classified as hazardous waste is that it does not belong in the trash bin. There are different reasons this is so. Let’s consider some of these reasons.

One of them is that keyboards contain potentially dangerous materials like metals and wires, which could harm people dealing with the trash or even harm the environment. For this reason, it is always said that you shouldn’t throw your keyboards in the trash.

Another reason is that keyboards do not belong in the landfill. This is so because of the materials they have been made with. Like we pointed out above, keyboards are made largely with plastics and coated with some fire retardants.

Though this plastic material is recyclable, it doesn’t do well in the landfill. Plastics generally take thousands of years to biodegrade. And the fire retardants they have been made with contain toxic chemicals which can leach into the environment or even mix with rainwater.

When you consider the above in the light that everything you put in the trash can end up in the landfill, you would better understand. For the sake of the environment, don’t trash your keyboards.

Lastly, recall that we pointed out above that you can always recycle your keyboards. In the light of this, it becomes extremely wasteful and environmentally harmful to throw your keyboards in the trash bin when they can easily be recycled. Throwing them in the trash can equally create more problems for the environment. None of us wants this, so as a way of being environmentally friendly, you should never toss your keyboards in the recycling bin.

Are Keyboards Dishwasher Safe?

One thing about our computer sets is that they can easily accumulate dust. Even if you have dust covers for your computer sets, a time will come when you will need to clean your keyboards.

Generally, because keyboards are easily detachable, many people think they can employ different means to clean them. And surprisingly, one of the areas people have considered is using a dishwasher to clean your keyboards. But then, relax. Before you toss your keyboards into the dishwasher, let us consider whether or not this idea is good. If you adopt a dishwasher to clean your keyboards, will you like the result? Let’s check it out.

First of all, reserve it at the back of your mind that putting keyboards in the dishwasher is an entirely bad idea. And one thing we can promise you is that you will never be satisfied with its outcome. This may sound scary and discouraging. Well, we have our reasons for that. So, quickly, let’s look at the reasons.

1. Keyboards Are Considered Hazardous Waste: There are reasons keyboards are considered hazardous waste. This classification implies that you should deal gently with it. In all sense, putting your keyboards in the dishwasher does not qualify as dealing gently with it. You may even be setting your keyboards up for the damage.

2. Keyboards Only Require Easy Cleaning: Without a doubt, the cleaning that your keyboards require is not the same as that required by your dishes. Generally, what is required is just brushing off the dust that has settled on the keyboard. For this, a small brush will do. Putting your keyboards in the dishwasher may be a way to damage it. Your keyboard does not require as much cleaning as you want to give it.

3. Keyboards Are Electronic Devices; As such, They Don’t Need Liquid On Them: You should be able to figure this out. Let’s face the fact; your keyboards are electronic devices. Even when you detach them from the monitor, they still retain their nature. One thing about these electronic devices is that they don’t do well with liquid.

If you put your keyboards in the dishwasher, you would have to add water and dishwasher soap. Since this is not possible without damaging your keyboards, then the best solution is to die the idea of putting your keyboards in the dishwasher.

How Do You Dispose Of Old Keyboards?

Whether we believe it or not, disposing of things is a necessary part of living. But then, because of the environmental effect and the harm posed by the improper disposal of something, you must know how to properly dispose of the things you have.

In this light, we will briefly consider how to properly dispose of your old keyboard. If you are ready, let’s take a look.

1. Recycle Them

You absolutely should not expect something else to be our first option on how you can properly dispose of your used keyboards. Like we pointed out above, keyboards are great recyclable materials. They are majorly made of plastics, and the cords are made of copper. These materials can be easily recycled. So, you should not fret about your old keyboards; you can always send them for recycling.

2. Donate Them

If you happen to have an old keyboard in large quantities, you can always donate them. This is another way to contribute to the course of humanity. You might be confused because you don’t know if the usual charity homes you know will accept it. Well, you can try them out.

Even if they don’t have an immediate need for the keyboards, they can always sell them and use the money for another charitable course. But then, you can also donate the keyboards to schools or computer centers.

This way, you are sure that they will make good use of it. However, before you donate your keyboard to these places, you must ensure that the keyboard is still in good condition. This is because the purpose of donating them is so that others can have good use of them.

3. Gift Them

The good thing about keyboards is that they will always be needed. Even if you have upgraded yours, others would still need your old keyboards for their computer set. You can ask amongst friends, family members, colleagues, or even neighbors to know who may need them. Like donating keyboards, you also must ensure that the keyboards are in good operational condition.

4. Sell Them

Yes, you can sell your keyboards to make some extra cash by the side. Many people will be willing to buy your keyboard. However, you have to know the specifications and model of your keyboard and the kind of computer sets they work with.

This way, when a buyer approaches, you will easily decide on whether you should continue bargaining. You can check out online stores like eBay for platforms to sell your keyboards. You can also check out Facebook and Instagram to get buyers for your keyboards.

Lastly, selling your keyboards requires a higher obligation of ensuring that the keyboards are in great condition. Since this is a transaction, and you must give the buyer value for their money.


Keyboards are a necessary part of a computing system. They are the means through which we transform our ideas and thoughts into electronic forms. As good as these keyboards are, they may also be a means to an end of the efforts of sustaining the environment. This is why we all must take proper care of our keyboards.

And taking proper care involves disposing of them properly so that they won’t cause harm to the environment. As you have seen above, we have provided you with what to do with your keyboards; the ball is now in your court.

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About Rinkesh

A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.