Around the world, businesses are striving to reduce their environmental impact, keeping in step with their customers’ demands for eco-friendly choices. When it comes to sustainability, New Zealand businesses are firmly overtaking many other parts of the world. After all, the “clean, green Kiwi” ethos is part of our country’s unique culture. That being said, for a lot of local businesses, there simply hasn’t been the infrastructure to support environmentally friendly choices - you’ve had to make do with what’s available.
Recycling your electronic waste is a prime example. While Auckland-based sites have had the benefit of e-waste recycling for years, it’s a relatively new concept for much of the country.
If you’ve never given much thought to how you recycle your business’s e-waste, now is the time. E-waste recycling is more accessible today than ever before, making it easier for businesses of all sizes to safely and securely destroy digital documentation and physical ICT hardware.
Here’s everything you need to know.
What is e-waste recycling?
E-waste recycling is a business recycling solution that deals with electronic waste disposal, both digitally and physically. All data is erased from the hardware to remove any confidential information, and then the device itself is recycled. In some cases, the device may be refurbished and given a new lease on life. Alternatively, the device will be broken down into its parts, reprocessing and reusing them where possible.
From phones and laptops to printers, computers and even whiteware, if it’s an electrical device, it can (and should) be recycled.
Why does electronic waste disposal exist?
If you’ve not used an e-waste recycling facility before, you may well be wondering whether you actually need to. After all, if your local recycling centre accepts electronics, what’s the problem? The truth is that when you hand over your business devices to many refuse or refurb services, you don’t have any visibility of where it ends up.
Computers and their accessories are made up of a diverse range of substances. Some of these, such as mercury, lead, cadmium, chlorine beryllium and bromine, are harmful once dismantled. If your electronics end up in a landfill, these harmful compounds can leach into the soil and harm the local ecology.
The physical process of manually breaking down devices into their parts, such as mechanical shredding and chemical separation, can all release these elements into the atmosphere too. This poses a significant health hazard to those who aren’t working in optimal conditions.
While in New Zealand, we have the facilities to safely carry out these processes, not all countries are so lucky. There have been instances of unusable, outdated technology being illegally sold and exported overseas as “functioning goods" only to become e-waste in the destination country. These electronics may then be recycled in hazardous conditions, putting local workers, communities and the environment at risk.
The business benefits of recycling electronic waste
By far, the most significant benefit to electronic waste disposal is the safeguarding of the environment and human lives, but there are direct benefits to your business too.
By prioritising the safe recycling of your business’s electronic goods, you’re adding to a culture of sustainability in your workplace. Everyone talks about sustainability, but you’re taking tangible steps to put it into action. This is a great way to demonstrate to your employees and customers that your business stands behind its values.
If data protection is at the top of your priority list, you’ll also want to choose a reputable company like Computer Recycling, that offers secure document destruction alongside electronic waste management.
In the wrong hands, an old hard drive could do damage to your company by giving access to sensitive business data. As data protection is a legal obligation, this is a vital consideration that shouldn’t be overlooked. The repercussions of your business leaking private data can be massive, with the financial damages payments driving many into liquidation.
Our trained technicians offer full reporting and certification for erasures. We can collect your electronic equipment or visit you on-site to complete the data erasure process. Your equipment will be cleaned using Blancco HDD erasure software and manually audited, capturing the asset and hard drive serial numbers for your peace of mind.
What types of e-waste can be recycled?
You may be surprised at just how much of your e-waste can be recycled. From batteries to computers, printers and even your office fridge - if it’s electronic, we can find a way to extract the valuable materials for re-use
At Computer Recycling, we receive a steady flow of e-waste - both reusable and recyclable - and have developed sustainable streams for both. Items that still have life in them are wiped of data and refurbished by our team of experts. This allows us to offer discounted electrical goods to the wider community through our TradeMe store.
Items that have reached the end of their lives are broken down into their parts and recycled securely with one of our partner facilities. By recycling your electronics, you keep the circle going.
Business recycling solutions for electronic waste
At Computer Recycling, we aim to make it easy for you to get rid of your electronic waste. We do this by providing various methods for drop-off and collection.
We have e-waste drop-off locations in Auckland, Hamilton and New Plymouth, as well as pop-up locations at various points throughout the year. For businesses in Auckland, we offer business electronic waste collection services.