We spell out the details on common corporate electronics recycling terms and what they mean for your business.

Pop quiz: Do you know the following industry terms? ITAD, e waste, reverse supply chain. We’re here to help you navigate these — and other — common corporate electronics recycling terms. 

Corporate Electronics Recycling Terms (and Their Definitions)

Business owners or associates may occasionally come across language or terminology in our blog or on our website that might not already be familiar. For these instances, we’ve put together a handy resource to reference of a few terms you’ll need to know when working with an electronics recycler. 

Below you’ll find some common corporate recycling terms we use regularly at Global Electronics Recycling, and what they mean for your business.

Asset life cycle

An “asset” is a broad term that refers to property owned by a person or company. In our specific line of work, an asset is generally a physical piece of technology equipment used in a personal or office setting (i.e., a laptop or monitor). 

An asset life cycle refers to everything that happens in an asset’s lifetime, from the initial decision of an asset’s need to asset disposal or recycling. This cycle usually includes five main stages: Planning, Acquiring, Using, Maintaining and Disposing. 

Successful asset life cycle management strategies can help your company extend product lifespans and reduce costs, either during the asset’s use or end of life. 

Corporate electronics recycling

As information technology has expanded over the past few decades, so has the amount — and cost — of electronic devices. More and more businesses are searching for environmentally responsible ways to reuse or dispose of used IT assets. 

Corporate electronics recycling means partnering with an electronics recycler to process e waste and data in a manner in which your reputation and brand is protected. With corporate electronics recycling, your equipment is either salvaged or responsibly recycled, often offering some cost savings in the process.

Secure data destruction

Once an asset has reached the end of its life cycle, businesses are faced with the task of securely destroying proprietary data that may be stored on that device. This data may include confidential or financial information, intellectual property, sales lists, or trade secrets that might cause irreparable harm or legal consequences to a company if not destroyed properly.

Secure data destruction refers to recycling solutions that may include destroying digital data for assets being reused or physical destruction of data for everything that cannot be safely erased. A corporate electronics recycler will partner with you on solutions that fit your specific needs and budget.

E waste

E waste includes any electronic product that is nearing end-of-life. The increase in production of electronics and recent technological advancements have caused environmental concerns. These include a rise in contaminated or toxic landfills, water pollution, atmospheric damage and health harm. 

Assets can often be reused, refurbished, donated or recycled depending on their status. Recycling your electronics is one environmentally responsible solution that helps to slow some of this impact. 


The term ITAD is an acronym for IT asset disposition. ITAD is the practice of properly reusing or disposing of electronic products and hardware. 

When reusing spent IT assets, companies must ensure that data is completely sanitized for legal and compliance purposes. If responsibly disposing of electronic equipment, companies must ensure compliance with local, state and federal regulations. 

Reverse supply chain

The reverse supply chain is, essentially, the reverse of a normal supply chain. Instead of a product moving from a retailer to a customer, as in a traditional supply chain, a reverse supply chain moves from a customer back to a retailer.

Using reverse supply chain logistics can help a company with value recovery, cost reduction, and streamlining of assets. For example, a customer or associate may return a malfunctioning computer to a retailer, who then repairs the computer to its original working condition.

Value recovery

Electronics often require costly investment for companies and business owners. If those IT assets are simply thrown away, you can’t recover those costs. However, if you can salvage or reuse that equipment in some capacity, your business may be able to recover some of your initial cost.

In relation to corporate electronics recycling, value recovery references the recycling and reuse of electronics past end-of-life. This method is the “golden standard” within ITAD solutions. It minimizes waste and extends the lifespan of an IT asset. 

If you’re new to the concept, we hope this resource on corporate electronics recycling terms helped you learn some valuable information. Our helpful Global Electronic Recycling professionals are always available to answer your questions about electronics recycling solutions for your business. 

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