Need for IT hardware recycling and benefits

In today’s world, recycling outdated servers and other unused pieces of hardware is one of the smartest things a business can do. It contributes to the circular economy and improve its sustainability scores. Let’s explore the further need for IT hardware recycling and benefits.

Every organization must maintain a sustainable waste strategy. IT hardware recycling and refurbishing should play a very important role in it. Government regulations and WEEE directives are specially designed to deal with hazardous waste and dispose of IT equipment in an environmentally responsible manner. From computer monitors to all types of devices.

The need for recycling computers

The process of recycling IT hardware offers four main benefits for businesses:

  1. e-waste reduction
  2. environmental good practice to reduce the volume of illegally dumped e-waste material.

  3. raw material reduction
  4. environmental good practice to reduce the amount of raw materials used for new product manufacturing.

  5. greenhouse gas emissions reduction
  6. environmental good practice to limit greenhouse gas emissions released during manufacturing.

  7. Budget optimization
  8. business strategy to help organizations to optimize their IT budgets and increase ROI.

What is the e-waste in your hardware?

First of all, we need to understand what constitutes e-waste.

E-waste stands for “electronic products nearing the end of their useful life”. Many of these products can be “reused, refurbished, or recycled.”

Complex mixture of materials

The materials found in a piece of data center IT equipment include:

  • plastic (23%)
  • ferrous metals (32%)
  • non-ferrous metals (18%)
  • electronic boards (12%)
  • and glass (15%).

A single piece of IT equipment may contain up to 2kg of lead, cadmium, mercury and chromium. These highly toxic and hazardous elements can do harm to the environment, human and animal life, if thrown away. This complex mixture of materials found in the components can make IT hardware very difficult to recycle.

In February 2003, the European Law “Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment directive”(WEEE) became official. This directive sets collection, recycling and recovery targets for all types of electrical goods. Since then, it is advisable to hire service companies that follow the WEEE directive for any type of electronic recycling. For example: recycling a computer server or old electronics. In this light, IT recycling should focus on disposal of unused/unwanted IT equipment item in an environmentally sustainable way.
This includes:

  • prevent IT assets from ending up in a landfill.
  • reuse valuable materials.
  • prevent harm of the environment, human and animal life.
  • prevent filling up the world with additional waste.

How to recycle your IT hardware as a business?

The best way to recycle your IT hardware as a business is to engage with the services of an enterprise that specializes in recycling, refurbishing and reusing IT equipment. As it ensures compliance with the local and global environmental regulations in place in the country where the company is located.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) advises companies to contact a certified disposal specialist. Such a disposal specialist helps companies to:

  • carefully dismantle reusable IT hardware.
  • sort out IT hardware equipment according to type.
  • separate all useful metals.
  • recycle steel and aluminum materials for car parts or engineering purposes.
  • dispose non-reusable substances in an environmentally responsible manner.

Laws that deal with IT hardware recycling

There are two main laws that deal with recycling & IT waste management:

  1. WAC
  2. DTI’s waste acceptance criteria (WAC)

  3. WEEE
  4. The European Recycling Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) directive. This WEEE-directives mainly focuses on the need for a specialist handling and disposal of IT hardware. They impose responsibility for the disposal of IT hardware. And make it possible to return the hardware to the market in a cost effective way.

Why use a WEEE certified company for the job?

The European WEEE Directive implements the principle of “extended responsibility”. Specifically, when IT hardware goes out of use, it seeks to reduce the amount of IT waste that ends up in landfills.
It does so, via

  • encouraging IT collection
  • re-use, recovery, recycling
  • and environmental-friendly disposal.

The WEEE Directive targets:

  • Recycling: 65% of the IT equipment weight
  • Reuse & Recovery: 75% of the IT equipment weight from e-waste stream.

Evernex tracks recycling activity and enables 100% percent recovery with zero IT waste disposed of in a landfill.

Safe and environmental-friendly disposal

A last concern is the safe and environmental-friendly disposal of unused IT equipment. According to the 1998 Data Protection Act, it is essential for businesses dealing with sensitive data to keep it backed up and secure. So that the information the IT equipment contains cannot be retrieved once disposed of the hardware.
Formatting may not completely destroy the data on a hard drive.

Asset Recovery Services and solutions

In other words, businesses need to take professional advice, from specialist such as Evernex, on how to dispose their data correctly, before reformatting the hard drive. Our Asset Recovery Services and solutions help business customers to manage their redundant information technology hardware. We therefore provide solutions that exceed the WEEE Directive.

Conclusion

To summarize, recycling IT hardware is not only a good idea from a strategic point of view. For sure, it can lead to optimized budgets when a company partners with a recycling specialist. But it is also a matter of compliance with the law. And a great way to improve the sustainability score of a business. Furthermore, working with a company that specializes in this task ensures data security and frees up resources that can be better devoted elsewhere.

Are you in the process of issuing an Request For Quotation (RFQ) for the handling and recycling of obsolete electronic equipment? Are you interested in finding out how reusing materials can benefit your company?

 Contact us and submit your details and requests. We will be happy to discuss how we can best help your business to meet its environmental, compliance and business goals.

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