What to do with that ageing IT equipment? Recycling and other options
“Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is currently considered to be one of the fastest growing waste streams in the EU, growing at 3-5 % per year”– epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu
It’s no secret that IT equipment has a finite lifespan, and in the corporate world, this is illustrated by the almost constant creation of waste electrical and electronic equipment. From screens and desktops, to printers and servers; equipment is reaching the end of its life daily.
To comply with the government’s scheme to reduce the amount of electronic waste, old electrical equipment must be recycled using a qualified recycling company that will ensure the equipment is disposed of correctly. But what if there was another alternative?
In the corporate space, IT equipment that no longer meets your needs may not necessarily be ready for the skip. A slow computer is still a functioning computer and that means there could be some value in it. Firstly, carry out a wellness check on all equipment that is apparently ‘no longer working’. Separate the stuff that is actually broken from the items that are just no longer functioning at an optimum level.
Re-use within your business
Start by reviewing the needs within your business. Why let other teams and departments spend their budget allowance on new IT equipment if yours will easily meet their needs. For example, if your PC is running very slow, instead of recycling it, consider offering it to another area of the business that simply needs a storage device to be used less frequently.
Once you’ve separated the functioning from the non-functioning, there’s the option to potentially sell your IT assets that still work. Just because the equipment doesn’t meet your requirements, doesn’t mean it can’t meet someone else’s. This is an opportunity to unlock the value and revenue in your equipment and help you generate some returns. Either offer the equipment for sale via your website, through classified ads or even using online auction sites. If you’d like to do something commendable, consider donating the IT equipment to a local community group or charity.
Just be sure that all of your valuable data has been wiped before the equipment leaves your premises in order to protect your corporate security.
Re-use or sell components
Just because your PC is running slow or the plugs at the back have broken, doesn’t mean that the hard drive and disc drives are broken. By carrying out an in-depth review of the equipment that no longer meets your needs, you may be able to remove the still-functioning components. Once these have been removed you can carry out the steps above and either re-use the parts somewhere else in your business or sell them to generate a small income.
Be clear on your financing
The options mentioned above are dependent on the financing option you have in place. For example if you have you opted to use a lease to procure your IT equipment then the leasing company may well be the rightful owners (and you are unable to sell the goods). The upside to this though is that if you have leased your IT equipment, then the information above won’t matter. The reason is because when your equipment reaches the end of its life or needs to be replaced, you simply update your lease for the latest IT tools and the leasing company takes away your old equipment… easy as that.
To find out more about managing your IT equipment when it no longer meets your needs, download our latest tip sheet: IT equipment end-of-life management