E-waste, or electronic waste, can be defined as obsolete, unrepairable, or even unwanted electronic devices or equipment. According to the EPA, it is the fastest growing municipal waste stream in America. E-waste can include desktops/laptops, servers, switches, routers, and most other common networking gear used for businesses. These kinds of equipment can be difficult to remove at the end of their working lives, or at the time of an upgrade. Refurbishing/recycling companies have processes designed specifically to help businesses like yours.
A process known as IT Asset Disposition (ITAD), provides the full spectrum of end-of-life options for IT equipment. When old or unwanted equipment is discarded, an ITAD company will decide if it is still useable for resale or refurbishment. If not, it will be broken down for functioning parts, and the rest will be recycled. ITAD is a great option for businesses for a number of reasons:
1. It saves time. De-installation and removal of networking gear can be a difficult and time-consuming process for businesses. Most ITAD companies can decommission, de-install, remove sensitive data, and ensure that product is used to its fullest or is properly recycled.
2. It saves money. What is often overlooked is the cost of old IT equipment. Storage and maintenance of old hardware is an expense for any business. Furthermore, as IT gear ages, it becomes less efficient in its performance which can lead to very expensive downtime. ITAD is an effective way to replace old equipment with upgrades before it become too costly with upkeep.
3. It is great for the environment. Extending the life of a product or recycling parts helps to keep E-waste out of landfills. E-waste represents 2% of America’s trash in landfills, but it equals 70% of overall toxic waste. Electronics contain harmful contaminants such as, lead, mercury, cadmium, manganese, arsenic, beryllium, barium, chromium, and other toxic chemicals and compounds. Exposure to these metals can cause damage to the cardiovascular, respiratory, nervous and excretory systems. Properly disposing e-waste keeps these toxins out of groundwater and is critical for the health and safety of citizens and wildlife.
A large percentage of what is labeled as “e-waste” is actually not waste at all. Often times, it is whole electronic equipment or parts that are readily marketable for reuse or can be recycled for materials recovery. ITAD companies are one of the most effective ways to ensure that you are properly disposing of your old gear. They will strive to resell as much equipment as possible and recycle what is unusable.
Not only does IT Asset Disposition save time and money, it can also be profitable. Most ITAD companies will audit your equipment and give you a credit for its estimated value. This is a great way to cut the cost of upgrades or even just add benefit to your decision of proper disposal.
If you have old or unwanted IT equipment, contact your local electronic-waste recycler. For more information, check out our ITAD Service page.
11 facts About E-Waste. (n.d.). Retrieved January, 2017, from https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-e-waste
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