Computer mice are subject to a lot of wear and tear. They often last the longest when compared to other computer peripherals. Don’t toss an old or damaged computer mouse. You can reuse the mouse to reduce the amount of e-waste that is growing worldwide.
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These are five ways to recycle an old mouse.
What can you do with an old mouse?
There are many creative ways you can recycle and repurpose an old computer mouse. These ideas range from the easiest, which requires basic skills, to the most difficult (which requires technical skills).
Make a Geeky Christmas Tree ornament
A Christmas tree with an oval orb can be a geeky delight. To make your Christmas tree ornament, use the mouse as a base and cover it with bright fabric or red felt. Use the wire to attach the mouse to the tree if it is wired.
It can be used as a Toothbrush/Soap Holder in your Washroom
A computer mouse’s unique shape is very similar to soap. Both have a slick design that makes it easy to hold. The electronics in the computer mouse can be removed and the hollow used as a travel soap case. You can also cut a hole in the front to use it as a toothbrush holder.
You can dress it up as a children’s toy with paint and craft supplies
DIY bottle art is something you must have heard of. Use the same supplies to decorate a mouse. This can be used as a hobby or school project. Mix and match paint with other crafting materials. Amazon and other online stores sell complete kits for many different projects.
To build a working drone, use the mouse case
Do you have the electronic skills to support the availability of inexpensive components? This working drone is made using a computer mouse. You can find inspiration from the THANG Engineer project on YouTube.
Create a Counterfeit Coin Detector
This paper is open-access and shows how to combine a programmed microprocessor with an optical mouse sensor to create a cheap fake currency detector. Although the experiment was done using Euro coins, the hack can be applied to any electronic project that uses the inexpensive image acquisition property of an optical mouse sensor.
For endless inspiration, browse Pinterest or Instructables.
Can a Computer Mouse be Recycled?
A computer mouse is made up of a printed circuit board and other electronic components. It also contains recyclable metals and plastic. Non-optical mice’ rubber trackballs can be salvaged for other uses. Some electronics contain hazardous metals such as lead or cadmium. Instead of throwing away a computer mouse, repurpose it.
A local recycling centre is the best way to get rid of an old mouse. You can also search the manufacturer’s website for information about recycling programs.
Logitech, for example, has a global recycle program that aims to reduce e-waste. There are mail-back programs offered by Dell and partnerships with Goodwill locations throughout the United States that accept any computer or accessories.
Is your mouse still in good working order? Freecycling offers a sustainable alternative to recycling. Find a freecycling group in your area or a website that will help you find a new user.
Electronic Recyclers shows you some parts that can be salvaged from a mouse.
These ideas are just a starting point for you to explore other ways to reuse your mouse. You can make a cat toy with the trackballs of non-optical mice or the plastic case as a soap mould. It is a good rule of thumb to try creative recycling ideas before throwing away an old computer mouse.