The Lifecycle of Electronics: Unveiling the Journey from Purchase to Ethical Disposal

What does the lifecycle of an electronic device look like?

Most corporate buyers and company members of staff are given a laptop or computer, work phone, and other technologies that support their role and enable them to do their job effectively.

Sometimes, those devices will be upgraded during your time at a company. The old and subsequently redundant devices are most likely left in storage. What happens to them after they leave storage? 

In this blog, we’re uncovering the two potential journeys for a device which is no longer used by a company or business and how to ensure that all of your devices are disposed of ethically.

What happens when an electronic device is thrown away?

When an electronic device is no longer needed by a company, it can sometimes be considered e-waste and disposed of accordingly.

Did you know that tons and tons of e-waste are funnelled into landfill sites every year? They disintegrate gradually and cause irreversible damage to the surrounding ecosystems and habitats in the local area.

The hazardous chemicals and toxic components within a computer or electronic device are not designed to be left out under the elements, nor will they melt away over time. Instead, they break down and leak waste material into the grounds and waterways.

The impact this has on the environment is detrimental. That’s without considering that upgrading devices feeds a process whereby we continue to strip our planet of its natural resources without recycling or reusing the components we already have.

What is IT recycling and how is it ethical?

This is the second path that an electronic device can follow when it is no longer in use. IT recycling benefits charities, the environment, global social goals, and the data security of the donor company’s customers and clients.

A device that is recycled can be sold, donated locally by the company itself, or sent to an organisation like Computer Aid where it is securely wiped of all data according to company regulations, and then donated via one of our many charity partners located around the world.

The idea of this is to refurbish devices that are still in good condition and make them useful to new users around the world. We want to bridge the digital divide in places where access to technology is not as seamless. We work with local charity partners that take donated devices and deliver them to schools and other community projects in need of computers laptops and other devices. This enhances access to resources and connectivity.

Beyond this, IT recycling also addresses the issue of e-waste polluting landfill sites, by removing devices from that journey and instead giving them a new lease of life somewhere where they are needed. This balances the demand for resources to produce new electronics. The items that cannot be refurbished and reused can still be stripped for parts that help create new devices or repair other recycled ones.

In short, IT recycling offers a journey through which electronics can have their lifecycle extended for the benefit of both the environment and those in need of technology.

 Donating computers via Computer Aid couldn’t be easier, We provide comprehensive reports and impact statements relating to donations.

Get in touch with us to find out more.