What should you do with obsolete IT equipment at your workplace?

If your business is still holding on to outdated IT equipment, you’re not alone. All over the country, storage rooms, stationary cupboards and back offices have become a cemetery for office equipment of yesteryear.  

Business waste recycling is a fantastic tool for tackling this problem and has also become a vital process for helping to protect our environment. Unfortunately, many organisations either don’t realise that business recycling solutions exist or aren’t bothering to get rid of their equipment responsibly. In fact, research suggests that only 15% of businesses recycle their IT assets correctly.

Managing your unused equipment needn’t be an expensive or arduous task. In this article, we’ll explain why your organisation should dispose of IT equipment properly, what that involves, and how to make the process simple.

When does IT equipment need to be replaced?

“Out with the old and in with the new” seems to be a popular adage when it comes to technology. And while you don’t need to buy the latest release of every new device, you certainly shouldn’t hang on to obsolete equipment. 

A few examples include:

  • Old PCs & laptops
  • Flash drives
  • Wired landlines
  • BlackBerrys and other old cellphones
  • Fax machines

As technology advances, your IT equipment quickly becomes outdated and risks creating unexpected problems for your business.

The risks of keeping outdated IT equipment

As technology continues to advance at breakneck speed, it can seem daunting to update your IT equipment. After all, at the pace things are moving, it could be outdated in five years - right?

Well, the reality is that although hardware usually has a shelf life of around ten years, the experts suggest businesses update their equipment every 3-5 years. While it may be a fairly thankless expense, it’s a crucial investment for any organisation concerned with efficiency.   

Maintenance and repair costs can quickly add up - not to mention that sourcing replacements may become practically impossible when models are obsolete or antiquated.

Furthermore, as your hardware ages, you’re more likely to experience system failures or compatibility issues with newer software, which can create operational disruptions and expensive downtime. 

Ultimately, there comes a point in every business where outdated IT equipment becomes inefficient, potentially costing you time and money. By staying ahead of the curve, you can proactively prevent these issues from occurring.

Why business waste recycling matters

When IT equipment reaches the end of its life in your business, it’s essential that it is disposed of thoughtfully. Throwing your old devices into the nearest skip bin is both a legal and environmental disaster and one which is easily avoided by following the proper processes. 

IT equipment drastically increases pollution in global landfills, leaching toxic byproducts that can contaminate soil and groundwater. The most effective way to reduce this source of pollution is to stop them from getting there in the first place - recycling used electronic items instead of disposing of them.

And it’s not just the environmental aspect of e-waste recycling that businesses should consider, there’s a potential legal and organisational impact too. For example, the disposal of computers without proper destruction of their hard drive carries a significant risk to confidential data. So, it’s essential that data is wiped by expert personnel who have a comprehensive knowledge of recommended protocols as well as currently accepted laws and regulations. 

Safe and secure IT asset disposal

Secure document destruction is essential to preventing sensitive data or documents from getting into the wrong hands. One small data leak could enable cybercriminals to access sensitive information, leave your system open to breaches or even result in identity theft. For this reason, we recommend carrying out an IT asset audit as part of the IT asset disposal process.

If you have an in-house IT team, they should assess data security and privacy policies to ensure that confidential data is wiped clean before any assets are retired or recycled. Or, if your team doesn’t have the equipment or know-how to undertake the process of secure document destruction, a professional electronics recycling company can help.  

Learn more in, What is an IT data destruction service and why do you need it?

Recycle your obsolete IT equipment

One of the best ways to dispose of an outdated computer or other electronic device is to take them to a trustworthy electronics recycling company, like Computer Recycling

When it comes to protecting your privacy, you can rest assured that we take great care in securely removing and disposing of all data-containing hard drives so that no confidential information is ever compromised. 

The trained technicians at Computer Recycling can come to your workplace to collect your equipment or, if you prefer, can perform the data erasure process on-site. Using Blancco HDD erasure software, we can ensure that all your sensitive information is wiped clean. As an added bonus, we also provide certification and full reporting, so you have records to reflect that your equipment was destroyed safely and securely. 

If there is still life left in your equipment, we will refurbish it, allowing someone else to benefit from low-cost IT gear. However, if it is well and truly past its prime, we will break down the equipment and harvest any salvageable materials before sending the waste to our partners for recycling.

Eco-friendly business recycling solutions

At Computer Recycling, we take our role as eco-friendly e-waste disposal experts seriously. We’re proud to be a responsible business recycling solution, providing a wide range of disposal services that share a focus on environmentally friendly ethics.

Through commitment and dedication, Computer Recycling strives to ensure that every piece of e-waste is removed and recycled safely, securely, and responsibly. As part of our mission to follow the three R’s - reduce, reuse and recycle - we ensure that no IT equipment goes to waste. 

We reduce the creation of new equipment by refurbishing laptops and PCs for additional usage, reuse any IT components that can be saved, and recycle anything else in a way that is kind to the planet. 

Whether you need support undertaking an audit of your IT assets or you simply want to arrange a collection of outdated equipment, give us a call today.

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Contact us today, and a member of the team will be in touch to discuss solutions for your business.

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