Seven Horrible Mistakes you’re making with Recycling your old IT

June 13, 2019

recycling, IT, computers

When it comes time to get rid of your old IT equipment, whether you have replaced the models or you simply don’t need them anymore, it’s important to dispose of them in a way that’s safe and that is environmentally friendly. If you are still not sure take a look here to find out further details about our services.

So, what are the 7 main mistakes that people are making with recycling their old IT equipment?

1. Not clearing the data properly

Following on from the above point, if you dispose of a computer and don’t correctly wipe the data (deleting the data doesn’t thoroughly get rid of it), anyone can see it. It’s easy to recover deleted data and this can be used for many different illegal activities. For example, if you have financial information left on your computer, people can use this for identity fraud. Not only is this damaging to your company in this way, but you could also be breaking a Data Protection law – the penalties of which are incredibly harsh.

2. Not recycling it through a responsible recycling company

Many recycling companies will ship the computer equipment overseas to developing nations. This is incredibly irresponsible and is adding to the horrific waste that exists in these countries. In order to avoid this, ensure that the company that you are using are following high standards (such as the WEEE certification) and will give you a proof of destruction certificate.

3. Recycling when elements can be reused

Often, people recycle their IT equipment without knowing that elements of it can be saved. If you are working within a company that you can make use of this hardware elsewhere, use it instead of purchasing a brand new one. This will save you money and will help to cut down waste.

4. Not tracking the IT equipment

Once you have sent your equipment to be recycled, it’s essential that you track how it’s being recycled. This isn’t only because of the risks that come with recycling such hardware (i.e. data which is explored above), but it can also help with your overall IT asset management process. If you are unaware of how many computers are coming in and out of your business, you will undeniably lose money.

5. If you are not sure if you are compliant or not

Following on from the data point, there is an array of regulations that affect data destruction and hardware disposal. If you want to prevent any sanctions or fines from occurring, you need to know that the way you are disposing of the IT equipment is legitimate and compliant with the laws that exist.

6. Sell your equipment instead of recycling it

Similar to point 3, if you want to get rid of your old IT equipment and you don’t have a use for it within your business, donate it. What might seem like rubbish to you is not always rubbish to others. This is meant in the sense that people could upcycle your equipment and find a use for it – whether it be to benefit from it by using it for education or simply within their workplace. Many recycling companies can also find use for these reusable components.

7. Not disposing of it correctly

A computer has many toxic elements (such as cadmium and arsenic) to it that can make it incredibly harmful to the environment. These materials can have a huge environmental impact, from damaging animal life to other elements of the ecosystem. Therefore, you need to use a recycling company that knows how to dispose of these correctly.