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How to Recycle IT Equipment and Why We Should

Recycling IT Network Equipment

IT networking equipment can be a source of a lot of trouble. It’s expensive to purchase and sometimes challenging to set up. It requires constant maintenance and babysitting, and despite all of your effort and dedication, some of it can still have a short lifespan. (Check out our Lifetime Warranty.)

Any time you end up with IT equipment that you can no longer use, you need a way to dispose of it. You can take electronics to a lot of landfills, but as you will see later, that’s not an optimal idea. Instead, it would probably help if you could recycle your equipment. It would prove good for the environment, and it might even be an efficient way to get rid of equipment you might not want…and make a little money or store credit at the same time.

With that in mind, these are some thoughts on recycling that are worth contemplating. Why should you recycle, really? Assuming you want to recycle, how can you actually do it? Who even takes old IT equipment for recycling?

Why Bother Recycling IT Equipment At All?

There’s always a social element to recycling and “going green”. It’s supposed to be good for the environment and all of that. But are there any direct benefits to doing this?

One comes to mind, and that is data disposal. Electronic devices pretty much all store information, and when you are getting rid of such a device, ensuring that the information cannot be accessed maliciously is important. While you might pull hard drives and smash them with a hammer, recycling is an easy choice. When electronics are recycled, they are completely broken down. No one will ever be able to see your data again, and you don’t have to go to extraordinary lengths to protect it.

Outside of personal gain, recycling has some obvious environmental advantages. Electronic devices regularly have toxic materials in them. Cadmium is the most common, but mercury and beryllium are on the list too. Keeping these materials out of landfills and groundwater is definitely a worthy cause.

There’s also an alternative route that is great for your community. You can donate IT equipment that is still usable. Plenty of individuals and institutions can benefit from these donations, so why not make your part of the world a better place? Many countries around the world are a few steps behind us in needed network technology, being able to supply companies, businesses, and organizations with your old, but functional equipment would be a huge benefit to them.

How to Recycle IT Equipment?

If you’re convinced that IT equipment can and should be recycled, then let’s get into the details. How do you do it?

We can return to that recent point about donating first. Any products that can reasonably be donated should be. Reusing equipment is more environmentally friendly than recycling. Just be sure to adequately erase any data, and you can outfit a school or non-profit with new networking equipment.

When donating isn’t viable, then you need a place to take your equipment to be recycled or be submitted to a “buyback” program. Buyback programs are a great way to help many people at the same time in many ways:

  1. You get rid of equipment, safely, that is taking up space in your data center and network closet.
  2. You can even make some money or store credit for your business…who doesn’t like making money?
  3. You help the businesses doing the buyback by providing jobs to employees to refurbish the equipment and sell the equipment.
  4. You help the other businesses needing the equipment you are getting rid of after it has been refurbished and made “like-new” again.

This is what we call a win…win…win…win!

There are several places that offer to buy back equipment, even if you did not purchase it from them, to begin with. The refurbished equipment market is booming and there are a lot of needs for networking pieces that are a few generations old. If you are interested in this please give one of our Equipment Buyback Experts a call or chat, you can email them at [email protected] to discuss.

If the store doesn’t pan out, or you want to be thorough, you can take your dead electronics directly to a recycling center. Ensure that it handles electronics before you go. If it does, you can drop off your electronics directly.

When nothing else works, you can contact the equipment manufacturer. There are valuable materials in IT equipment, and most manufacturers are keen on getting those materials. Many have recycling programs. Simply contact them and they will explain how to go about recycling with them.

IT equipment really can be recycled. When you participate, you help to prevent the release of toxic chemicals. You help control waste in general, and you can even donate your equipment to help people in need. For the most part, recycling electronics is pretty easy, so you get to be a part of all of these good things at no real cost to yourself, and be a benefit to other companies and the world.

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