It’s Global Recycling Day – here’s how to safely dispose of your old tech
On this Global Recycling Day, we’re encouraging you to recycle your old tech. As businesses upgrade computers and phones to the latest models, many don’t know what to do with the kit they no longer use.
Plus, fears about valuable information getting into the wrong hands means people are more likely to hang on to old devices, which leads to clutter around the office and potential hazards if there are loose wires and cables around.
Here’s our advice on how to recycle old IT kit safely, responsibly and legally.
Consider WEEE legislation
There are two important issues to consider when you want to get rid of your e-waste – complying with environmental legislation and ensuring that your data is safely disposed of.
Legislation covering waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) means you must deal with old WEEE items separately. And, under this legislation, you may have to prove that these items were disposed of properly.
This includes desktop and laptop computers, tablets, scanners, printers, phones and even pocket calculators!
Your IT provider should be able to advise you on how to deal with this efficiently and may be able to take the equipment off your hands themselves. If not, you may want to look into the following:
Send back to the manufacturer
Today many of the leading companies in tech have recycling schemes as part of their commitment to the environment. You can return your old PCs to Dell, HP, Apple and Lenovo where your equipment will be ‘de-manufactured’ so parts can be recycled and reused. Anything that can’t be used will be disposed of in a compliant and environmentally friendly way.
Use a specialist service
If you’re unsure of how to dispose of your tech safely, it makes sense to put your business IT recycling into the safe hands of a WEEE specialist company.
As well as safely disposing and making sure no harmful materials are exposed to people or the environment, a specialist company often has a data shredding service for the complete destruction of your computer hard drives and anything else that may carry sensitive data.
There are also many non-profit organisations that collect IT equipment for reuse or recycle.
Recycle business phones
Old business phones can be recycled in return for cash, and some handsets can fetch over £300 each. This extra cash could go towards new hardware for your team. There are many companies out there offering this service such as Mazuma Mobile, Envirofone and WeBuyAnyPhone.com.
But don’t forget that your employees’ phones will have as much sensitive data on them as their computers, so wiping any data is essential before you send them off.
Don’t forget about data
If you are not using a specialist waste firm, you need to be sure that your data has been permanently deleted, both for your security and to ensure you comply with GDPR.
If you are selling a phone, make sure the user has logged out of iCloud/android before resetting the phone back to factory settings.
You cannot rely on just deleting files on your PCs and laptops, believe it or not, it is possible for someone to retrieve data from deleted files. For this reason, choosing a data destruction service may be the way to go, they can erase data and shred your hard drives before the equipment is recycled.
For further advice on what to do with your old IT equipment, get in touch with our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.