These days, most organisations actively seek to reduce usage and recycle items such as paper, bottles and cans however few organisations consider what happens to their broken or obsolete IT and electrical equipment such as computers, laptops and hard drives. Following are examples of the options available for the responsible disposal or recycling of this equipment.
All major components of a PC must be responsibly recycled in accordance with the UK's WEEE directive. This means they will be broken down and into their basic materials and recycled individually. However it is often the case that broken PC's are the result of one or two damaged parts, in which case the remaining components can be removed, refurbished and either sold as spares or used to build new machines.
Hard Disk Drives
When a hard drive becomes faulty or corrupted people often make the mistake of simply throwing them away as ordinary waste, however this is one of the easiest way in which sensitive information can be stolen by an identity thief. Fully licenced hard drive disposal companies will be able to permanently wipe data from the hard disk before they are re-used or destroyed.
This is much the same as computer disposal, laptops are broken down into their constituent parts before being recycled as plastics and metals. Furthermore some may have the potential to be refurbished and reused. Working parts can be used to repair other laptops to avoid sending parts to landfill which can drastically reduce a business's carbon footprint.
Batteries are among some of the most hazardous items sent to landfill sites; however in 2012 just fewer than 10% were recycled in the UK. EU directives mean that 45% must be recycled by 2016.
Fluorescent Lighting Tubes
Also known as Gas Discharge Lights (GDL) these are classed as hazardous waste, and should be disposed of responsibly by a professional disposal company. Often disposal firms will offer specially made cases to store used tubes to prevent them from breaking during transportation.
All these above items can be recycled and disposed of in an environmentally considerate way, by a specialised disposal firm, which can vastly reduce any business's carbon footprint and increase their green credentials. In fact, many have potential to be refurbished and reused, thereby reducing the levels of waste in your organisation in line with the Waste Hierarchy; Reduce, Reuse, And Recycle.
When selecting a disposal company remember to check their environmental responsibility policies and ethical considerations. This can be done by ensuring that they possess the correct recycling and disposal certificates which are issued and enforced by the Environment Agency.