How to properly dispose of an AIO?

  • By: greenorb
  • Date: October 2, 2021
  • Time to read: 4 min.

An AIO cooler usually lasts 5 to 7 years, however, if treated right it can last much longer than that. 

While these devices are great for cooling down your computer’s components, there comes a time when every owner wants to upgrade to a new one. 

Whether the pump is slowing down or the AIO has completely bit the dust, it could be time to get rid of it.

This leaves many people wondering how to properly dispose of an AIO. 

Since an AIO is an electronic, it should not be placed in your garbage or recycling bin.

If you’re wondering how to properly dispose of an AIO, you’ve come to the right place. 

On this page, we’re going to discuss what you need to do when you’re ready to get rid of your AIO. Keep reading to find out more.

Determine if it’s ready to be recycled

Is your AIO still working or is it completely dead? Many people are ready to dispose of their AIO once it starts to slow down because it’s no longer efficient. 

If your AIO still has some life left in it, it may be easier for you to sell it than dispose of it. All you need to do is place a listing on a site like eBay.

You could earn a bit of money for getting rid of your old AIO. 

If you’re AIO is no longer working, you won’t be able to sell it. Let’s take a look at what you can do with it.

Dispose of an AIO at a local recycling center

How you dispose of your AIO will depend on where you live. 

Many municipalities have a recycling center or a location where people can drop off old electronics to be recycled. 

If you are not sure what’s available in your area, we recommend calling your local municipality office to see what your options are.

Many people didn’t believe this was an option because there is coolant in the AIO. 

The liquid coolant is non-toxic, so it doesn’t cause concern. 

This fluid is a mixture of distilled water and propylene glycol, which is safe to empty down the drain. 

(Always avoid draining this substance in a septic tank it kills bacteria that is necessary for breaking down waste.)

Will the recycling center accept the old AIO?

Anywhere that recycles electronics should accept an AIO. 

However, every municipality has different rules regarding the recycling process. 

Most recycling centers will take the AIO as is because they have the resources to recycle them safely. 

However, some centers may require you to take them apart.

Why is this?

  • The rad is made from metal/ copper
  • The pump is electronic
  • The tubing is made from rubber/ plastic

You may be required to recycle each part separately if the recycling centers do not have the ability to safely recycle it as is.

In this case, always drain the coolant before taking the AIO apart.

Consider Best Buy’s electronics and appliances recycling program

Did you know that you can recycle your old electronics at Best Buy? They allow customers to recycle up to 3 electronics and appliances per day free of charge. 

Before you commit to recycling with Best Buy, you should always see what the AIO is worth. 

If it still has value, you may be able to trade it in for a Best Buy gift card.

This is one of the most sustainable ways to recycle your AIO and make sure it stays out of a landfill. 

Since Best Buy has started this program, they have been able to keep over 2 billion pounds of electronics and appliances out of landfills. (source

How does this recycling program work?

Every state has different rules regarding the Best Buy recycling program. 

The state-specific details are listed on their official website so people can find out if the Best Buy nearest them will accept their AIO. 

It’s very easy to take advantage of this program, simply bring it in-store to the customer service desk.

All Best Buy locations in the US are participating in the electronic and appliance recycling program. 

You will not be required to take the AIO apart either before bringing it in to recycle. 

Do other electronics stores have a recycling program? 

Some electronics stores across the US are participating in the eWaste collection program. 

If there isn’t a Best Buy location near you, always phone the closest electronic stores to see if they offer electronics recycling. 

Even if they do not accept electronics for recycling, they will likely be able to point you in the right direction of where to recycle electronics in your area.

Manufacturer take-back programs

Many manufacturers across the US offer a voluntary take-back program. 

This means they will take back the device for recycling so you don’t have to worry about it. 

Some of the top electronics brands in the US have partnered with locations to accept electronics for take-back. (source)

Final thoughts

Have you ever wondered how to properly dispose of an AIO? You should keep your old AIO out of the garbage bin and look into what recycling programs for electronics are in your area.

If the AIO is still useable, you may even be able to get some money or a gift card for the exchange. 

This is the easiest way to dispose of an AIO so it doesn’t end up in a landfill.

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