If you’re like most people, then you sometimes replace devices when they’re still in good working condition. It’s true that some people (and companies) work their equipment to the breaking point and finally upgrade, but it’s far more common to upgrade before a device has become completely obsolete.
So what do you do with a device you don’t need anymore?
If your electronics can be traded in, great. But many people aren’t interested in buying a computer that’s a few years old, even if it’s in good condition. That doesn’t mean those electronics need to head for a recycling center, however. Donation is a great way to offload excess equipment in a meaningful way, whether you’ve got one computer you don’t need, or your company has hundreds.
Click here for solutions to large scale it asset disposition projects!
Why Donate Electronics?
Lots of individuals and community programs need equipment, but simply don’t have the resources to get brand new models. That outdated laptop could be a good fit for a senior with just simple browsing needs, or for community after-school programs. Responsibly disposing of your old equipment isn’t always easy, but donation is a win-win for you, your community, and the environment.
Of course, the main reason that donation is better than recycling is the benefit to your community from the old electronics. A boxy computer from the early 2000s won’t be helpful for community programs, but a newer machine could be a great asset to an underfunded service helping the community.
Read about the benefits of reducing e-waste!
Keep in mind, not all non-profits take electronics, so it could take a little work to find one that will accept your donation. Not sure where to turn? Here’s a resource for finding organizations that take electronics donations. Retailers and manufacturers also have take-back programs for refurbishing equipment.
Electronics that end up in the landfill are dangerous to both the environment and human health, leaching out heavy metals and toxins, and often disassembled in unsafe ways.
On top of keeping electronics out of landfills, donation decreases the need for more devices to be manufactured—a process that involves the use of a lot of fossil fuels and other resources.
Knowing what to do with your old electronics can be tough for an individual. More programs are popping up all the time to help people dispose of old devices in responsible ways, but they’re still few and far between. Donation gives you the peace of mind that your devices are being put to good use, and have a second life where they’re needed the most.
Do you understand the compliance requirements of disposing old IT equipment?
For companies, donation can help you engage with the community and give back. It definitely doesn’t hurt your reputation to become a positive presence in your community, and the good press you will get can help create awareness for your service or product. Depending on the situation, you may also be able to claim the donation on your taxes.
Investigate the compliance aspects of IT asset disposal.
Just Remember: Protect Your Data
You don’t want your personal information left on your machine after the device has been donated, but simply deleting your files isn’t enough. You should use disk-cleaning software to ensure that no one can access your files in the future.
Also—don’t forget to include any necessary accessories in your donation.
So how about you? Have you ever thought about donating your old electronics?
At ICT, we’re all for anything that keeps electronics out of landfills. That’s why we tailor our electronics recycling solutions to fit each company’s unique needs.
Susannah Bruck is a freelance blogger, editor, and ghostwriter. She has been putting her skills to use for clients since 2010, and enjoys working on formats ranging from blog posts to short stories and plays. You can find her at World Adventures