Once the EU’s Waste and Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) 2003 Directive comes into force in August 2004, it will require that redundant electrical equipment is re-used or recycled and not dumped. Building an environmental disposal strategy into IT purchasing is now essential for all businesses, wishing to operate within the law.
Many companies, organizations and small businesses are now keen to start recycling their old and redundant computer equipment but are unsure how to start. With this step-by-step guide, we will explain what needs to be done to prepare your equipment for recycling and provide a brief summary of what options are available for recycling.
Step One – Identify Equipment to be Collected
This sounds like a very obvious and basic step, but you would be amazed at how many organizations have no idea which departments have redundant IT equipment, or even the amount of equipment they have in store. A quick phone call or email to each department asking them for the amount of items they have would normally save you a lot of time and hassle later on.
Step Two – Identify Services Required
Once you have identified the quantity, and perhaps even the age and quality of computer equipment which is to be recycled, you will need to decide which services you require.
(a)Collections – Are you able to deliver the equipment to the recycling site or will you require them to collect? Please remember that most companies will charge you for collection. Some may charge you a one-off fee while others may charge by the item. Depending on how many items you have, you should decide which is the most cost-effective.
(b)Equipment Tracking and Certification – Do you require a full breakdown of all equipment disposed of and a certification of discharged liability? Some companies require these and other documentation for auditing and other corporate responsibility purposes.
(c)Sensitive Data Removal – Most companies hesitate to send their computers for recycling or reuse because of the fear that the sensitive data in their PCs may be extracted and used for unscrupulous purposes. Your reputable recycling/reuse organization should be able to offer you a solution in certified drive wiping or else, you can ask your IT department to remove all data before the PCs go out. Remember that removing the data will take time, and allow at least 1 week for this to take place, or more if you have a large number of PCs.
(d)Broken and Hazardous Materials – Certain electronic items are considered hazardous if broken. Monitors are obviously one example, with broken glass. However, other items can also be hazardous if they have leaking parts, or have been left in the rain, or are rusty. You have to ensure that your chosen recycling/reuse organization are licensed waste carriers to take these broken materials away. Because of the hazardous nature of these items, you will most likely be charged higher disposal costs to take them away and dispose of them through an authorized specialist.
(e)Employee Schemes and Charitable Donations – Some companies would like their equipment sold to employees or donated to charities, but do not want to deal with the administrative hassle of doing so. Certain recycling organizations such as Maxitech.co.uk will collect your equipment and set up these schemes for you. Please note that charities may not always accept equipment if they are older than their current PCs.
Step Three – Select a Recycling Organization
After deciding which services your company requires, you should select a recycling organization which will meet all your needs. If you have a large number of items, it would be better to deal with a company that charges per collection rather than per item. If you require certification, you should check that the company is authorized by the Environment Agency to carry waste. Once you have selected a recycling organization and set a date for collection, remember to collate all your redundant equipment into one place. Also ensure that the front staff are aware of the of collection details.
Maxitech.co.uk Limited is a reuse and recycling organization dedicated to reuse and recycling of redundant IT and electronic equipment. Maxitech.co.uk are based in London but can provide nationwide collections of IT and electronic equipment at a low cost. Our priority is to ensure that equipment we receive is re-used, thus prolonging their lifespan and reducing waste. All services as mentioned above can be provided by us. We are also providing training to local unemployed and unskilled youths. Maxitech.co.uk is licensed by the Environment Agency Act as Waste Carrier and Broker.
If you would like Maxitech.co.uk to help you organise a recycling event for your company or your community please contact us.
Further information is available on www.maxitech.co.uk
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