Electronic waste, or e-waste, is one of the fastest-growing waste streams in the United States. Broken, outdated, or retired electronic equipment is often thrown out, becoming an environmental hazard. Many organizations don’t realize old equipment often finds its way into the world’s waste streams. As technology advances, people want the latest gadgets, and landfills are accumulating more electronics than ever before.
Metals, plastics, and glass are adding to issues of e-waste management. The presence of hazardous materials such as lead, nickel, lithium, and mercury in some electronics make safe disposal particularly important. The EPA says e-waste represents two percent of America’s trash in landfills, but it equals 70 percent of overall toxic waste.
In 2016, all the countries in the world combined generated an estimated 49.2 million tons of e-waste annually. That’s close to 4,500 Eiffel Towers each year.
How Your Organization Can Help
The production of one desktop computer takes at least 530 pounds of fossil fuels, 48 pounds of chemicals, and 1.5 tons of water. So, reuse where you can, refurbish wherever possible and recycle the rest. Think green and be green. Recovering materials through recycling uses a fraction of the energy needed to mine new metals. Many devices can be resold or broken down for parts. It’s a better choice for your organization and the environment.
IT recycling is an excellent way to:
1) Protect the environment
Electronic disposal is incredibly helpful in keeping the planet clean and safe. Approximately 40 percent of the heavy metals found in U.S. landfills are from electronic devices.
2) Protect sensitive information
Companies have sensitive material on electronics, including data from customers and employees. This information needs to be correctly transferred to your new technology and safely secured.
3) Protect your financial investment
Improper disposal creates a large amount of e-waste that can lead to significant fines and loss of brand trust for a company.
You Don’t Have to Go it Alone
Getting rid of old electronics in an environmentally responsible way that also protects your organization’s security is complicated. That’s where bringing on a partner with a team of employees dedicated to your organization's recycling goals can help. For example, CompuCom’s IT Asset Disposition Program (ITAD) removes risks while reducing the e-waste associated with outdated technology. Our ITAD services include the careful tracking of devices with a full chain of custody and the certificate of recycling and data destruction. For the last 20 years, we’ve managed over 3.5 million devices per year, recycled over 3 million pounds of e-waste, and donated over 2,000 assets to philanthropic programs.
Saving money on disposal costs, reducing legal risks, and enhancing business services is critical to ITAD partners like CompuCom. The “soup to nuts” offering helps:
- Provide a single point of contact for your assets’ full disposition process
- Reduce total cost of ownership
- Minimize risk of loss of intellectual capital through secure processing, with a detailed chain of custody
- Ensure compliance with local, national, and vertical regulatory bodies including HIPAA and PCI
- Fulfill corporate sustainability goals
- Reap the Benefits of Going Green
Disposing of outdated electronics properly is more than a feel-good measure. You get:
1) Secure hard drive destruction
Establish a defensible, documented, and repeatable process. It is essential to transport and destroy hard drives, backup tapes, and other e-waste onsite or in a secure offsite destruction facility.
2) IT asset reselling (enterprise-level)
Convert your legacy laptops, PCs, and other hardware into a new revenue stream while maintaining your information privacy and helping the planet. Resell proceeds (70 percent to the customer on average) are credited to your ITAD account, making sure the full value of your hardware is realized while potential e-waste is reduced. Full asset lifecycle through CompuCom (procurement, services, and disposition) increases operational efficiency and drives significant savings through the reduction in freight and handling costs, improved cycle time, increased asset tracking efficiency, and reduced associate hours spent on multiple vendor management.
3) Eco-friendly brand building
Develop a custom program designed for your organization that maximizes value recovery. You really can’t put a price tag on the benefits that come with IT recycling, and you’ll feel secure knowing that e-stewards follow the strictest guidelines, including a no-overseas and no-landfill policy.
Align Your IT with Your Green Corporate Culture
We all know that “going green” is more than a trend nowadays. Healthy living, longevity, sustainability, and environmental awareness are now the norm in eco-friendly business practices. It’s time to start managing your electronic devices with the same philosophy.