No matter what, your company will eventually need to pursue computer recycling. Here are 3 facts to keep in mind.
Are the backrooms of your company turning into a computer junkyard? Whether your equipment has gone obsolete after a companywide upgrade or needs to be disposed of following a merger, the question of what should happen to your e waste needs to be tackled before that pile becomes a permanent fixture.
Large or small. Local or multinational. Every business does at some point need to part with their computers. If you are just starting to set up a computer recycling program or evaluating your current process, your level of success rests partly on three important facts.
1. Computer recycling is not a DIY job
Decommissioning computer equipment and other IT assets is not a job for a novice. Although it may seem tempting and financially advantageous to circumvent third-party experts, a do-it-yourself approach not only brings significant financial risk. It also consumes resources that you’d be better off devoting to core business tasks. More than likely, your computer junkyard will grow as your attention is drawn elsewhere.
In such a strictly regulated environment as electronics recycling, haphazard handling of data and careless disposition of toxic materials leaves your organization vulnerable to fines and reputation-shattering events.
Meeting all applicable laws as well as industry, data, and environmental regulations is important. It requires the establishment of an audit trail. The audit trails meticulously shows the tracking, decommissioning, transportation, and sanitization of your IT assets. Without the right expertise in-house and secure facilities for data destruction at your disposal, would your DIY computer recycling program pass a regulatory checkup?
2. It requires (at minimum) a certified professional partner
E-Scrap News recently made a great point: IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) is about partnering and problem-solving. Your company is unlike any other and so is the computer recycling job that you’re about to entrust to a third party.
If all jobs looked the same, the need for problem-solving would become moot. So, for an optimal match, you may want to extend your criteria beyond searching for “electronics recyclers near me.” As we discussed in this blog post, there are many reasons to look beyond cost and location when selecting an e-recycling partner.
- Cost: Recycling costs tend to correlate with the rigorousness of asset disposition — and data cleansing in particular. Although it certainly does not mean the highest quote automatically equals superior service, be on the alert. It is wise to beware of quotes that come in way below the competition.
- Location: As convenient as it may be to enlist the nearest electronics recycler, you run the risk of working with someone who does not live up to far more important criteria. The fact is location is less of a prohibitive factor than in the past. The cost of palletized shipping is typically not a budget-buster and worth it when the receiver is just the type of trusted partner that you’ve been searching for. Your partner may even offer logistics services that make pick up and transportation easy.
Look for more than certifications
Once you have removed candidates without the right industry certifications (R2, NIST SP 800-88, DoD 5220.22-M) the real work begins. Certifications are, after all, only the beginning. Depending on what goals your organization is trying to achieve, it helps to understand your prospects’ depth of knowledge, process, and commitment to accountability.
Consider company culture
Another, often overlooked factor, that we’ve stressed in previous blog posts is the company culture of the candidates. An electronics recycler may seem to have it all but high employee turnover could tell a different story.
Happy employees stick around longer, develop better in-depth knowledge, are more productive, and show higher levels of engagement. But the benefits are not only counted in the individual wellbeing of employees and performance impact. It’s also good news for anyone the company does business with. If your e-recycling partner has created an environment in which team members can be their best, chances are that culture also permeates customer relationships.
3. It should be hassle-free
It’s easy to think that computer recycling by definition has to be riddled with challenges. And while stringent regulations certainly add layers of complexity, professional recyclers know how to help you take the hassle out of electronics recycling.
Packing, pickup, shipping, logistics, data destruction, audits – it can all be handled with relative ease in partnership with a verifiable expert. Our recent case study on a global OEM shows just how much the right processes matter to an effective and hassle-free experience, from tailored pickup forms to establishing clear lines of communication.
Do you have computers or other IT assets that we can take off your hands? Please don’t hesitate to reach out. Computer recycling is just what your junkyard needs.