February 2, 2015
Each year in the UK, close to a million tonnes of electronic equipment is thrown away. Much of this comes from companies replacing their old IT equipment, and simply disposing of the unwanted devices into a skip.
When you throw away old electronic equipment, however, you are exposing the environment to the risk of chemicals in the materials. In addition, you are also preventing the electronic components, which are often still usable, from being recycled.
Next time you replace your old IT equipment, you should take advantage of schemes to recover and reuse unwanted electronic devices.
The first way that you can recycle your old equipment is by reusing it in your business. Computers can be updated, and your IT department may be able to offer ways to improve the computers and electronic devices so that they can still be used in your offices. Even if you have to replace the main IT equipment with something new, you may be able to use the older pieces in another way.
If you do want to get rid of it, then you may choose to give it to employees who don’t have computers, giving them the chance to work from home or to benefit from greater experience with your IT equipment.
If you can’t reuse the computers in your own building, then you may consider using the Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment rules from the EU. This allows retailers to offer ‘take back’ for old equipment from customers. This must be done on an exchange basis, but retailers with larger stores may have to take appliances in a range of sizes. Local councils may also offer WEEE collection for a cost, so that the devices can be recycled for their component parts.