If you’ve been following our last three posts outlining the risks of tossing out old electronic equipment without a solid compliance plan, then you may be getting pretty worried about what your company is doing with its broken, outdated, or otherwise unwanted servers, hard drives, and other electronic equipment.
Your concern is a good first step on the road to a more compliant and responsible company!
Minimize Your E-waste Risks
As we’ve discussed over the last few weeks, there are three major risks to dumping old IT equipment: E-waste compliance risk, E-waste environmental risk, and E-waste data security risk. All of these are good reasons to make responsible recycling an item on the top of your company’s to-do list.
We’ve been talking a lot about the risks of improper e-waste disposal, but the good news is that there are a lot of positives associated with taking action as well.
Looking at the Positives of Compliant E-waste Recycling
There are a lot of benefits to developing a solid e-waste disposal plan that works for your business. Don’t think of it as yet another expense that cuts down on profits—think of IT recycling as an investment in your company’s future, and the future of society as a whole. Here are some ways compliance with e-waste regulations can benefit your business.
Protect Your Clients
Clients have every reason to be worried about the safety of their personal data in this day and age. There are serious repercussions for companies that don’t take the proper steps to protect sensitive information, especially data on retired assets. Only responsible businesses that protect client data with up-to-date data wiping will enjoy lasting success. A company that takes the security of client data seriously will be able to earn and retain their trust.
Improve Your Brand Image
Given the choice, consumers will almost always support a company that follows the same or similar values that they hold. Many people are very concerned about the environment and public health, and will reward companies that strive to serve these goals as well. Conscientious efforts to recycle old IT equipment can only help a company’s image over time.
Save Money & Remove Liability
While it may seem like recycling programs cost more money than they save, this is often not true. Companies that act responsibly and work compliant solutions into their budgets often save money in the long run? Why? There is no risk for costly fines, cleanup costs, and legal fees that can result from non-compliance with state and federal regulations.
Lower Landfill Levels
Our current solution for much of the waste generated worldwide is to simply toss it into giant piles and forget about it. Unfortunately, waste that doesn’t break down over time, such as e-waste, simply never goes away. Companies that recycle can help ensure landfill levels don’t grow to absurd proportions. In 2012, 50 million tons of e-waste was produced worldwide, a staggering amount that will only grow over time.
Contribute to a Greener Planet
The planet does not have infinite resources, and by being responsible about e-waste disposal, companies can help contribute to maintaining a greener planet. In addition to keeping waste out of landfill, recycled electronic components help reduce the need for environmentally harmful mining and harvesting of new raw materials.
Prevent Public Health Risks
Lead, mercury, cadmium, chemicals, and other substances are often part of the components that make up electronic equipment. When these components are allowed to languish in the landfill, they can contaminate the soil, water, and air, posing a threat to public health. Cancer, birth defects, and neurological problems are just a few of the negative consequences this kind of contamination can have. By disposing of e-waste properly, these risks are greatly reduced.
Help Developing Countries
Unfortunately, tons of e-waste is illegally exported to developing countries each year, according to the United Nations, with tremendous cost to the health and well-being of residents in these areas. Contamination of the environment with heavy metals, plastics, and other components are especially dangerous in low-income areas. Sometimes, the e-waste is dismantled by hand in unsafe conditions, representing further risk to the population of these developing countries.
Many companies view outdated equipment as worthless, and throw potential value out with the trash. Asset recovery doesn’t mean seizing assets when it comes to IT equipment, it means re-purposing or reselling old equipment to minimize profit loss from these items. Companies throw out thousands of dollars in potentially valuable equipment each year in this way. By viewing the equipment in a new way, old electronics can gain new life.
Tossing out old equipment just sends them to the landfill and does nothing to help create jobs and stimulate the economy. Recycling facilities need a skilled workforce, and the growing industry of e-waste compliance adds to the available jobs as well.
Stay on the Cutting Edge
Technology has been evolving at a lightning-fast pace over the last few decades, and so have methods for disposing of all the gadgets that inevitably become obsolete. By salvaging equipment value and staying on top of the latest developments in IT recycling, companies can help themselves stay at the cutting edge of technology.
Creating an E-Waste Recycling Plan for Your Business
Because of the ever-changing regulations surrounding e-waste, creating a plan from scratch for salvaging and recycling old electronic equipment is simply not realistic for most companies to accomplish on their own. There are many facets to compliance, and it’s often best to turn to a company with expertise in the field to handle your IT recycling needs and keep up with the latest in best practices.
ICT is a growing player in the IT recycling and asset recovery field, taking a unique approach by customizing a plan for each client to maximize value from a compliance approach.
If you’d like to learn more about how ICT can help your business develop an e-waste disposal plan, fill out one of these forms to get started.
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