Computer Aid International offers a complete service to companies replacing their IT hardware. We are experts in end-of life IT asset management, including data destruction, computer refurbishment, reuse, and recycling.
If you are a business and would like to talk to someone about Computer Aid's decommissioning services in more detail, or book in a collection, please contact Darren (email@example.com), or call 020 8361 5540.
We also accept donations from individuals, please visit the individual PC donations page for more information on donating a single PC, monitors or laptop.
Organisations have an obligation under the Data Protection Act 1998 to ensure that confidential data about employees or customers is not disclosed without the consent of the individual concerned. Computer Aid is registered in accordance with the requirements of the UK Data Protection Act 1998.
Computer Aid uses Kroll Ontrack Eraser data wiping software, which guarantees the unrecoverable removal of 100% of data. This free-of-charge service means companies can be sure that none of their data can be retrieved and that they are fully compliant with the Data Protection Act. Hard disks that are faulty or that cannot be wiped of data are destroyed.
• Computer Aid is an Authorised Waste Carrier, please see licence here
• Computer Aid will provide you with a Waste Transfer Note for every collection of unwanted IT equipment. Please see a blank example here
• Computer Aid is an Approved Authorised Treatment Facility (AATF), please see approval certificate here
• In all of our activities, we are committed to continually improving our environmental performance and minimising our impacts wherever we can. A downloadable version of our current Environmental Policy is available here
• We will send you a letter of disposal following each delivery/collection of IT equipment. This includes our Duty of Care certificate stating your equipment has been wiped to CESG approved standards. Please see a sample letter here
• Computer Aid accept all legal liability for data and hardware from when it is collected by one of our drivers or, if you are delivering it to us, as soon as it is dropped off at our warehouse. Please see insurance certificate here
• We can provide you with a contract should you need it. Please see here for a template contract - we are open to amends and additions to suit the needs of your company.
• We are only able to reuse PCs, laptops and monitors which meet our minimum specifications - please see our updated minimum specifications for reuse here
* Our IT decommissioning service is free, if you deliver reusable equipment to our north London workshop.
* We use Kroll Ontrack Eraser software, which meets all recognised international data destruction standards.
* We assume full legal liability for equipment we receive and are compliant with the WEEE directive and Data Protection Act.
* We use recycling facilities that have the highest standards of environmentally friendly disposal
* 100% of donated computers and monitors that pass our stringent quality tests are provided to not-for-profit organisations in the developing world.
* We fully asset track all equipment donated to us, through to where it goes in a developing country.
* We offer unrivalled CSR and PR benefits and can provide you with stories and photos for internal or external publicity.
Ask yourself the following questions about your current IT decommissioning process:
* Is your IT decommissioning service cost-effective?
* Are you using cutting-edge software that guarantees the destruction of all confidential data?
* Are you meeting all environmental and data protection legislation?
* Are you sure that none of your IT equipment is ending up in landfill?
* What proportion of your computers and monitors are going to charity?
* Are you getting any Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) or publicity benefits?
See our Best Practice Guide for IT Disposal for more information.
Empirical research proves beyond doubt that when upgrading to the newest version, reusing computers is far better for the environment than recycling them. Reusing a computer is 20 times more effective at saving life cycle energy use than recycling it. Given the substantial environmental cost of production, it is imperative we recover the full productive value of every PC through reuse before eventually recycling it to recover parts and materials at its true end-of-life.
It is also essential that organisations and individuals ensure that their IT equipment is sent to a professional and legitimate refurbisher, approved by the Environment Agency, to ensure that it is handled in a responsible way. Computer Aid only distributes computer equipment through responsible partner organisations that meet our stringent requirements.
1. Do they have the right permits to deal with e-waste?
Organisations that process e-waste must hold a relevant permit or a registered WEEE refurbishers exemption; in England and Wales these are issued and monitored by the Environment Agency. In Scotland this is carried out by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). Sites that process e-waste are sometimes referred to as Authorised Treatment Facilities (ATFs). The Environment Agency or SEPA can confirm whether a particular operator is allowed to treat e-waste. Operators of ATFs who want to be able to issues evidence under the WEEE Regulations apply for approval to the Environment Agency or SEPA. If approved, they are known as Approved Authorised Treatment Facilities (AATFs).
The Environment Agency publishes a list of AATFs which is freely available on their website. Check that a company is approved by visiting http://www.environmentagency.gov.uk/business/topics/waste/32086.aspx and downloading the list.
2. Can they provide you with a certificate of data destruction?
Organisations have an obligation under the Data Protection Act 1998 to ensure that confidential data about employees or customers is not disclosed without the consent of the individual concerned. Therefore, it’s imperative that if you’re handing over your PC or laptop to a third party you are confident all data on the machines will be completely removed. Make sure the IT disposal company can provide a certificate of data destruction and guarantee 100% destruction of all data.
3. Will they provide copies of data wiping insurance?
Make sure the IT disposal company has public liability insurance that covers all your equipment as soon as it goes into their possession, as well as data wiping insurance. Ask for copies of these documents so you can be confident that they can accept full legal responsibility for your kit.
4. Can they provide a written guarantee of 0% landfill of nonreusable
It is a requirement of the WEEE Directive that any equipment that is recycled is done so through a company with an appropriate permit issued by the Environment Agency. Look for organisations that can guarantee 0% landfill, so your waste has minimal impact on the environment.
5. Can they show documentation of their waste stream and that of
Can you be confident that none of your equipment will end up being photographed on an e-waste dump somewhere in Africa? Make sure your IT disposal partner can provide documentary evidence of what happened to your equipment – where it was sent to, which parts were reused and which were recycled. Take references from their previous clients to show that they did in fact provide documentation. Some organisations will also asset-track working equipment that is refurbished for reuse, bar-coding the PC or laptop so it can be followed to the exact project it is sent to.
6. Are they a legally registered company?
The WebCHeck service on the Companies House website offers a searchable Company Names and Address Index free of charge, so you can search for information on over two million companies: http://wck2.companieshouse.gov.uk. It’s also worth visiting the IT disposal company’s website and ringing the landline details they provide to check it’s a legitimate telephone number. If they don’t have a landline and operate through a PO Box then it’s wise to give them a wide berth.
7. Do they prioritise reuse over recycling?
It is a requirement of the WEEE Directive that the reuse of whole appliances is prioritised over recycling. Responsible IT disposal companies will make sure any working equipment can go on to provide further use to another person or organisation, and will test your PC or laptop to ensure it’s safe and fit for purpose.
Research has shown it is twenty times better for the environment to reuse a PC rather then recycle it, as 80% of the fossil fuels used over its entire lifecycle have already been consumed before the computer is even switched on for the very first time. When professionally refurbished, an unwanted PC could go on to have a further productive life of three to four years, significantly reducing its impact on the environment.
There are many issues to consider when choosing an IT disposal partner, from data disposal and WEEE regulations, to cost and avoiding landfill.
As the world’s largest IT reuse charity, Computer Aid has drafted a guide to help companies understand and adopt best practice IT disposal procedures. We hope that this information will help companies meet current regulatory requirements around e-waste, increase the amount of IT sent for reuse and improve the environmental and reputational impact of their IT disposal strategies.
You can download a free copy here