IT waste is becoming a huge issue both for the environment and for the sustainability goals of businesses, organisations, and whole countries around the world. What most consumers don’t realise is that whenever they switch an outdated device out for a newer model, the very production of that newer model uses up more than half of the energy output for that device’s entire life – making the manufacturing process particularly bad for the environment.
One solution is ceasing to upgrade devices and hardware as often – in other words, practising better IT recycling and extending the amount of time that we use devices for. This idea becomes evermore ingrained in the world of modern business – with companies of all sizes embracing solutions which allow them to combat their carbon footprint and change their team’s attitude to IT.
What is IT recycling?
IT recycling involves the recycling of any devices and components which are used in relation to your IT set-up and infrastructure. This could include laptops, hard drives, monitors, screens, keyboards, and more – with the one uniting factor being that they are all electronic and used as part of the digital revolution across businesses and beyond.
To recycle your IT hardware means to first wipe the device of all the data it stores, before utilising one of two services:
· Recycling and reusing
· Recycling and disposal
The former breathes new life into devices, while the latter works to break the device down into its individual components and then dispose of them or donate them to new devices accordingly.
What is IT disposal?
IT disposal is more complex than it sounds – after all, you can’t simply throw an unwanted laptop or mobile device in the bin. IT disposal involves a specialist centre which works to remove any and all toxic and hazardous substances, before the device can be split into the different materials safely.
Why is it important to recycle?
We have already touched on the environmental impact that comes from the modern affinity for new and updated gadgets and devices – however that’s not the only reason why recycling is important. Not only does recycling unwanted devices reduce your carbon footprint and demonstrate a commitment to a greener future, but it is also a highly effective way to channel your company's approach to philanthropy and economic development – donating unwanted goods to those communities, countries, and schools that need them.
To look more closely at IT recycling for charity, organisations like Computer Aid offer an end-to-end service whereby devices are collected from your site, wiped of all data and information, and then refurbished to ensure that they are in optimum working order.
From there, devices are shipped to communities that need them via the groundwork of partner organisations, empowering local entrepreneurs to access online tools to grow their business, and giving communities in development countries much-needed access to information and opportunity.
Companies that donate their unwanted devices to charity via our recycling program receive reports on the difference that their donation is making.
The other way that your unwanted devices could help others through the process of recycling, is in schools. Particularly during the pandemic, the huge gap between those that could and those that could not afford computers for schools became even wider – creating demand for devices that could connect and enable students and teachers to get online and access resources, teaching tools, and more.
From laptops for home learning to more computers in school for students and staff to access, devices that are worked into school settings expand learning opportunities tenfold.
How can computers be recycled?
This is the easy bit – because many of the organisations that offer these services will do the hard work for you. Recycling your unwanted IT equipment enables you to do your bit for the environment and bolster your corporate and economic responsibility – with the Computer Aid team able to advise and support as required.