Farewell old friend! How to say a smarter goodbye to your IT device and save the planet

The delight of switching on a new digital device for the first time comes with responsibility: deciding what happens to the old one. Both individual users and businesses large and small increasingly need to ensure that older equipment is responsibly managed at the end of its electronic life.

First, the bad news: according to the Global E-waste Monitor 2020, the world produced 53.6 metric megatons of e-waste in 2019, but only 17 percent was collected and recycled.

However, the good news is that options have dramatically improved for handling older electronic devices — including professional Asset Recovery Services. And there are CO2 offset services that help offset carbon footprint. Here are five reasons to take a second look:     

  • It’s now acknowledged that managing the data residing inside the device at end-of-life is as important as managing the hardware.

There is enormous value in data, and ensuring it is securely destroyed can be a complex process. Companies and individuals have varying standards for data destruction, and many need to comply with specific governmental requirements and relevant privacy laws for each location. For this reason, people and companies were concerned about the best way to manage the data in an older device. Now, however, a professional partner can ensure that the data is securely sanitized in compliance with all relevant standards and that the process is documented. 

  • Choosing a green solution can also uncover hidden gold.

Inside every electronic device, multiple materials are waiting to be separated and turned into resources for newly manufactured equipment. These include plastic, ferrous metals, cobalt, and even gold. For machines that are no longer usable at a component level, asset recovery helps by the process of reclaiming materials to go back into the circular economy. With a professional solution like Asset Recovery Services, the value of the melted-down precious metals can be recaptured and returned to the owner, to offset the cost of processing the older devices, or even lower the total ownership costs for the new ones.  

  • Choosing a responsible solution is not just for big corporations.

To discard devices professionally and safely may seem like something only large corporations embark upon, however, size does not matter, product end-of-life management programs can be used by organizations with as few as 50 devices. Smaller businesses and individuals must work with licensed partners who gather end-of-life devices under asset recovery services. 

  • There are options other than landfill or recycling.

There are times when some of the devices that come through the asset recovery process are still operating at an acceptable level. There is therefore often the opportunity to give them a second lease on life, going back into the economy as a second-hand device or reclaiming some of their parts for refurbishment and repairing of other machines.  This is only possible after the data in the device is securely sanitized.

  • Purchasing new devices made from recycled materials helps create a “virtuous cycle” of material recovery and reuse.

Professionally recovered assets will be broken down into excellent raw materials, which can then be confidently used by manufacturers to produce high-quality new devices. With the increasing demand for products that contain recycled materials, the value and market for these materials are also growing.

A service provider that fits well with a business should know the ins and outs of device disposal in the company’s location while also offering options for recycling, possible remarketing, and donation. Having a plan in place to smoothly transition between devices can help boost the daily operations of a business.

So do your bit and say a smarter goodbye to your computer. 



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Disclaimer

Views expressed above are the author’s own.



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