Things that cannot be refurbished are sorted for recovery of precious metals and other materials.
Before all of the old junk can be destroyed, it all has to be sorted in a very specific way. Not all gadgets are the same. The circuit boards inside them are made of varying amounts of plastics and metals. We use a certain grading system to determine the categories in which things are placed. Once that’s done, everything is ready to be shipped off for processing.
Some parts of computers and IT equipment are made of steel, aluminum and copper such as the outer casings and cooling systems. These are sorted and handled separately from circuit boards.