The Circular Economy: Redefining IT Disposal for a Sustainable Future

It may be easy for people and corporations of all sizes to see something like technology recycling as a tedious task. Upgrading the devices throughout your office, and moving the newly redundant older models into storage, is not directly harming the environment. Nonetheless, with time, these older models could get dust and moisture damage. These computers may eventually be discarded. 

As we look to a sustainable future, one of the leading steps to consider is the role of recycling in IT disposal. This helps companies and individuals smoothly switch to new devices by guiding them on how to incorporate their old devices into a new cycle. The devices can be sent overseas to support large communities without access to technology or used to help a small local school with a lack of devices and resources. These steps refine IT disposal by adding new chapters to the story.

The best part is that this does not have to be difficult. Organisations like Computer Aid offer a model that equips companies with a straightforward process to recycle and dispose of technology sustainably.

Why is sustainability specifically important for businesses?

Sustainability matters to businesses because sustainability matters to their customers and clients.

Virtually all companies and corporations today have sustainability goals and practices. They widely disclose and share insight into the steps they take to minimise emissions and support a greener future.

Businesses are more in touch with the values of their customers and clients than ever before. The existence of CSR goals across all industries puts environmental goals front and centre, alongside economic goals and social responsibility.

What is the circular economy?

Enter the circular economy. This framework is widely used to explore the direct link between the world’s greatest natural challenges. It explores the benefits of eliminating waste, circulating products, and regenerating nature as part of this framework.

The aim is to make the IT industry more sustainable and efficient. To reuse and recycle both devices and/or their components to prolong their lifespan and minimise the demand for new resources. This is achievable with the use of sustainable IT practices such as IT recycling, reassessing the way IT waste is managed, and refurbishment of tech devices.

How does IT disposal contribute towards a circular economy?

To understand the role of IT disposal or IT recycling in the circular economy framework, we need to compare what happens when a computer is thrown away versus when that same device is recycled. We need to evaluate the kind of impact that organisations like Computer Aid have. 

Devices that are thrown away, more often than not end up in a landfill. There, the devices are left to disintegrate. Toxins and hazardous chemicals leak out into the surrounding soil and waterways, polluting habitats and destroying the environment.

This damage is two-fold. Not only does the action of discarding technological devices directly harm the environment, but it also feeds the need for continued manufacturing of new devices. Discarding that piece of equipment means that new devices will continue to be manufactured to plug the gaps. Yet another blow to the environment.

Conversely, a process of IT recycling and reuse interjects before those devices reach landfills. Working alongside charities both locally and overseas, organisations that focus on IT recycling take unwanted devices from individual consumers and businesses and refurbish them to be suitable for reuse. This contributes to the reduction in manufacturing. This prolongs the lifecycle of a single device circulating the resource to another user. Moreover, it also helps bridge the digital device which is becoming more and more prominent giving those without access to technology the devices that they need to thrive.  

In cases where a device cannot be reused, the process of waste management is sustainably defined. The device can be stripped of all its different parts and disposed of safely to minimise hazardous damage.

How can businesses help achieve a circular economy?

The overall aim of the circular economy model is to find ways of ensuring that IT is not used, abused, and discarded by modern businesses but handled sensitively. This ensures that once the company no longer needs the device, the device can be recycled and passed on to a secondary user.

By prolonging the lifespan of devices, businesses have a positive impact on their own CSR goals. The wider environmental benefits from the targets laid out by their industry.

A company such as Computer Aid is primed and ready to help. The whole process couldn’t be easier. All companies, businesses, and even individual donors need to do is connect with Computer Aid, who will assess the donation and pick up usable devices that can be passed on to new homes. Our team will then strip the device of all data, before refurbishing it and delivering it to those who need it in collaboration with our partners.

Get in touch with Computer Aid to out more, and play your role in the circular economy.