Standard office equipment is only the beginning. Is your business sitting on other ideal candidates for ITAD service?

What electronic assets can be recycled or resold? It’s a question that we naturally have answered more than once. 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 — many desk phones, insulated wires, light fixtures, cameras — actually do not belong on our list (however, that’s not to say they cannot be recycled). 

Most businesses, though, are in possession of assets that are either:

  • in good enough condition to recoup value in resale markets as intact units, or;
  • can be broken down and harvested for components and parts that will be resold or recycled.

Recovering value: Let’s get started

Whether your business is a multi-billion dollar organization with a global footprint or a growing company branching into more states, you know the routine. Eventually, you will need to upgrade, move, or liquidate your IT assets. When that moment arrives, enlisting the right ITAD service is important. Environmental and regulatory compliance aside, you need a partner with certified experience and a long record of effectively recovering value in secondary markets. 

3 revenue streams to consider

There are primarily three categories of revenue streams that your business can reap the benefits from (our own CEO Kristina Picciotti explained this in a recent interview with American Recycler): 


Electronics that still have a useful life get a second chance in resale markets such as eBay and Amazon Marketplace. Following refurbishment and data wiping, the pieces enter resale. Some pieces of equipment are in particularly high demand. Test and lab equipment, for instance, retain value over time and are excellent candidates for resale. Laptops, similarly, have been in high demand as parts shortages and work-from-home demands have buoyed resale markets. In short, one business’s trash becomes another person’s (or business’s) treasure.

Precious Metal Recovery

Circuit boards and other components contain tiny amounts of gold, silver, platinum and palladium. These precious metals, although small on a single device, add up over multiple devices and help drive revenues.

Base Metal Recovery

Copper, lead, nickel, tin, aluminum and zinc. These base metals are recycled and then used to make new electronics or other goods for the world.

The list

So, what items exactly qualify for ITAD service? As you can see, the variety of assets that make the list is quite large. 

  • Cell phones, mobile phones
  • Desktop computers, iPads, tablets, laptops, PCs
  • Firewalls
  • Lab equipment, test equipment 
  • Servers
  • Memory, motherboards, hard drives
  • Network equipment, modems, routers, switches 
  • Processors
  • Transformers, power supplies

Protect your assets

A final word of advice: you can actively protect the value of your assets. The level of care they receive while in use directly affects their value when they are no longer needed. 

Here are a few points to keep in mind (also, read 6 Ways to Increase IT Asset Value Recovery):

  • Maintain and update. Updated hardware retains more value. With a policy to regularly inventory, maintain, and replace hardware, you lay the groundwork for successful resale. 
  • Don’t store old electronics: Newer is practically always better. If you let a backroom turn into a graveyard for retired electronic assets, they will unnecessarily age — and lose value — before they reach secondary markets. 
  • Keep it like new: Handle assets with care. Unmarked and, most of all, intact equipment garners far more interest than something that arrives broken. This also applies to the last phase of the equipment’s journey. In other words, learn the packaging techniques to protect your retired assets from damage during shipping. (We created this video on E-Waste Recycling Best Practices, including packaging, for a reason)
  • Use asset tags: A clear chain of custody for every piece of equipment is crucial during the valuation process. That’s when asset tags come in. They also help keep track of maintenance cycles and replacement schedules. 
  • Refrain from shredding and degaussing: If optimal value recovery is the goal, neither method is advisable. Both destroy the memory storage, taking it out of the running for resale. Consult with your ITAD service partner about the most appropriate method based on your business needs. And, finally, let your certified partner sanitize to the NIST 800-88 standard. Then, you protect your data as well as the value of your assets. (Want to learn more? Read For Optimal IT Asset Recovery, Consider Alternatives to Degaussing)
  • Find the right ITAD service partner: This is a returning topic on our blog. In addition to industry certifications, primarily R2, don’t overlook resale ratings. Does your prospect actually back up any claims of resale acumen with thousands of 5-star reviews in the relevant marketplaces? (Keep reading: In a Crowded Market, How Do You Find the Right ITAD Partner)

Did we answer your questions about what assets qualify for ITAD service? Please don’t hesitate to reach out.

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