Wondering what to do with your old IT assets in the new year, and if they hold any value? You may be surprised at how many of your electronic assets qualify for IT asset recycling. 

Learn more about which items qualify for IT asset recycling vs. ITAD service and how an electronics recycler can help you recover value in your retired electronics.

How to dispose of old electronics

Unfortunately, e-waste is the fastest growing waste stream on the planet. The EPA estimates that only 15-20% of all e-waste is recycled, while the rest of the electronics go into landfills and incinerators, or are illegally exported. This has become a major environmental issue, and it continues to grow as the volume of electronics continues to rise. In light of this, it is important to consider other options for your used electronics once they reach the end of their useful life. 

When you are facing the question of how to dispose of your electronics, your general options are: store, trash, recycle or resell. 

Storing electronics is not an ideal solution for electronic disposal. Not only does it only delay taking action, but it can lead to depreciation and even be dangerous to an environment if the electronics are not stored properly or include corrosive elements. Throwing your old electronics in the trash can also be an irresponsible decision, as it may violate environmental laws, wastes resources that could otherwise be reused, and can pollute and leach toxic chemicals such as lead, mercury, and cadmium into soil and groundwater.

That leaves two responsible ways to dispose of your old electronics—recycling or reselling. Professional electronics recyclers can take your used electronics and mine them for their valuable inside components, such as copper, palladium and other precious metals. Depending on the condition of your electronics, an expert electronics recycler may also be able to recover value for your business by fixing and reselling them to another user. 

Which electronics can be resold vs. recycled?

When assessing your collection of retired IT assets, it’s important to note that there are some limits to what can (or can’t) be recycled, as well as limits on what can be resold. 

If your electronics are in total disrepair and deemed unqualified for refurbishment, electronics recycling may be your best option. Almost all electronics with a cord, cable or battery are fully, or at least partially recyclable, because metal is a component that can be recycled itself. However, anything considered to include hazardous waste such as mercury or lead—old televisions for instance—requires an experienced recycler to handle.

Here are just a few items that can be recycled:

  • Cell phones/mobile phones
  • Desktop computers, iPads, tablets, laptops, PCs
  • Television or computer monitors
  • Firewalls
  • A/V equipment
  • Cameras
  • Lab equipment, test equipment 
  • Servers
  • Memory, motherboards, hard drives
  • Network equipment, modems, routers, switches 
  • Processors
  • Transformers, power supplies
  • Electronic toys

If your electronics are good candidates for resale (i.e., not too outdated, not extremely damaged and still functioning), your spent electronics can be repaired, restored, cleaned, wiped of data, and posted for sale. Electronics recyclers such as Global Electronics Recycling know the ins and outs of how to professionally repair and sanitize data on your devices, as well as having industry connections to help you get the best value and profit for your resold electronics. 

Business-tailored IT asset disposition spans a much wider range than your standard office equipment. Processors, components, network equipment, test and lab equipment, and much more all qualify for ITAD service. Other items that some may think would qualify — such as desk phones, insulated wires, light fixtures, cameras — actually do not belong on the list (however, that’s not to say they cannot be recycled). 

Sorting through piles of old electronics and determining value can be an overwhelming task if you don’t have experience in electronics recycling or resale. If you need assistance in determining if your used electronics are eligible for recycling or resale, contact us today for an evaluation of your retired IT assets. 

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