Computer Aid International has launched a new guide to help companies protect corporate data and at the same time stem the tide of e-waste flowing out of the UK’s IT departments into toxic dumps, where it poses a serious environmental hazard. The Guide includes seven questions to ask IT disposal companies to ensure the electrical equipment is dealt with responsibly
The guide can be down downloaded at this link www.computeraid.org/uploads/guide.pdf
We hope it will help IT departments ensure they are not dealing with fraudulent traders posing as legitimate reuse and recycling organisations.
In spite of the WEEE Directive and import bans, thousands of containers of e-waste make their way to dumping grounds in developing countries. According to Tony Roberts, CEO and Founder of Computer Aid:
“UK companies are unwittingly handing over their unwanted IT equipment to unscrupulous illegal traders who are shipping untested and un-wiped e-waste, for profit, to developing countries. Companies can easily help put a stop to this toxic trade by asking some simple questions of IT disposal organisations to guarantee they select a reputable partner. In doing so, they can protect their brand reputation and guarantee legal compliance with environmental and data protection legislation”
The new Computer Aid International publication, “Your Guide to Choosing an IT Disposal Partner” highlights the seven key questions any IT department, organisation or individual, should ask an IT disposal company to ensure their unwanted electronic goods such as PCs, laptops and monitors are disposed of legally and in the most environmentally-friendly way.
The Environment Agency, the main regulator for the WEEE Directive in England and Wales, has raided sites, intercepted containers and has several major investigations on-going into suspected illegal export activities. Adrian Harding, Advisor with the Environment Agency, warns:
“Public bodies and businesses need to be far more questioning and suspicious about the contractors they use. It's not feasible for us to check every single container that leaves the UK so a big part of the solution to illegal export of waste electrical equipment lies in every organisation taking greater interest in what is happening to their used equipment. Don't just rely on assurances from the contractor; look for evidence and audit your arrangements. There are plenty of commercial and not for profit organisations that can deal with IT equipment legally and responsibly. Using these gives you peace of mind and helps to turn off the supply to the organised criminals involved in the illegal export of waste".
Computer Aid has joined forces with The Environment Agency and RDC, Europe’s largest IT asset disposal group, to highlight the importance of putting the e-waste cowboys out of business. In a live debate held in December 2009, the three parties were unanimous in their view that companies have a vital role to play in helping to stop the toxic trade, to protect their brand, reputation and data, as well as the environment.
Gary Griffiths, Head of Sustainability at RDC, adds: “I welcome Computer Aid’s Guide Choosing an IT Disposal Partner guide as a positive contribution to raising awareness of the risks and issues involved. Poor quality reuse exposes former users to data protection risks and developing countries to environmental hazards. Good quality IT reuse offers affordable access to quality used IT and environmentally responsible recycling. Computer Aid and RDC believe doing it right is the only way to do IT reuse"
Click here to download the guide.
Children in Chile having an IT lesson on PCs donated to Computer Aid