26 Mar 2019

IT Asset Disposal Going Green

Is it easy for IT Companies to be green?

We say Yes!

Straightforward IT asset disposal is certainly not the ‘greenest’ route; energy is used both in creating the equipment, and then destroying it, without all the benefits associated with re-use. The Environment Agency’s primary driver is to promote re-use of IT equipment wherever possible, but the guidelines can be a little confusing, and the process for declaring waste contradictory.

There is some confusion as to exactly when an item becomes ‘waste’. Your redundant equipment is not classified as WEEE until you, or someone acting on your behalf, deems it as such and at this point a Waste Transfer Note is required.

Although your redundant equipment is ‘no longer required by you’, it may stiII be of use to someone else. In our experience the majority of current practices either remove the viability of re-use, or actively discourage it, since it is often viewed as easier to destroy the equipment, thus increasing the amount of waste and the impact on your carbon footprint.

This is unfortunate, since the sale of reusable IT equipment can be a valuable, often underestimated, income stream. Destroying data on multiples of tens or hundreds of hard disks alone can be a time-consuming, and thus an expensive, process. However, under GDPR, you are responsible for what happens to that data, so this should be top priority no matter what.

Selling on that equipment, even non-working equipment, wherever possible will recoup some, or even all, of the costs.

Beware of ‘free recycling’ services. Reputable service providers will recycle redundant equipment, or sell it on for re­ use, and any value realised, can be offset against the costs of data destruction and disposal.

So, in fact, the process can be free, or can even generate a small profit, but each case is different. An unconditionally free service begs several questions: where is your proof of duty of care and due diligence, and how can a free service be properly legislated and contracted?

Would you know if your old equipment ended up in landfill or exported to a third world country to end up in landfill there instead?

There is no reason any IT equipment should go to landfill as every server or pc can be broken down into component parts and separated into raw materials to be re-used or sold on to be further treated or refined.

If you want to see if we can get you a return on your investment before you dispose of your redundant equipment just give us a call on 0113 8805 430

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