Computer Disposal & IT Recycling: How to Do It Properly

Taking care of your IT assets can be a tedious subject to grasp since it’s often perceived as a dry and unsexy part of work. Once you make the move to replace those old slow computers that everyone complains about around the office, how do you properly recycle their old IT assets?

According to Microsoft, the average lifespan of a business computer before it is replaced it 3-5 years. There can be a variety of reasons why a company may look to upgrade its hardware, their age could be hampering workplace productivity, they could have reached end-of-life so are vulnerable to cyber threats, or it could be to upgrade hardware to suit new business needs.

A few companies may look to keep the PCs in storage in the event of a large intake of new staff, or if they need a replacement computer in case one of the newer machines need long-term repair. However, the rest of the time companies will look to dispose of or recycle them.

Why you shouldn’t just throw old PCs in the bin

After the long painstaking process of implementing a new IT system, it can be tempting to take all of the old computers and servers to a public waste site to dump there for a local authority to dispose of. 

There are a couple of important reasons not to do this, these are:

Environmental reasons

According to eWaste, at least 12.5 million computers in the UK were dumped in landfills since 2013, and only 25% of Brits properly recycle their computer waste

Landfill sites are a huge environmental issue in the UK, with materials polluting the area while they very slowly decompose. Electronic waste can take anywhere between 50-500 years to naturally decompose in a landfill, depending on if it is made of steel, copper, or a more durable material like aluminium.

Security Risks

What some people don’t realise or forget is that computers still contain data in their hard drives that can still be recovered unless they have been properly disposed of. 

Information such as internal documents, passwords and confidential client data is extremely valuable to cybercriminals. It is not unheard of for assets that haven’t been disposed of properly to be stolen, hacked into and the confidential data breached.

If the stolen data is client data, you will be at risk of breaching data protection laws, which could result in a massive fine and a black mark on your company’s reputation. Make sure that when choosing a secure data sanitation and secure physical destruction service, that it is in full compliance with UK data protection laws.

Steps to take for proper computer recycling 

  1. Carry out an IT asset audit 

Before you do anything, it is vital that you have an understanding of what assets your organisation possesses. The audit should be thorough enough that every computer, hard drive, and USB is accounted for and uniquely identifiable. This will allow you to gain an accurate understanding of what assets you need to dispose of.

  1. Choose the Right Computer Disposal & IT Recycling Service

There is more to disposing of IT assets than just paying anyone to haul them away, never to be seen again. You need trusted experts who understand your IT recycling and asset disposal needs.

When choosing an IT recycling company that you can trust with the secure physical destruction of your assets, you need to ensure that they fit these criteria:

  • The IT recycling service is compliant with GDPR and other data protection regulations
  • They provide a service where they collect your assets to make your job simpler.
  • They have their own secure asset disposal facilities
  • They use methods that ensure physical destruction or complete data wipe, such as hard-drive shredding or secure erase
  • They provide you with a data destruction certificate upon completion to prove you have properly recycled your assets

Remarketing of your disposed assets

In order to keep your organisation running at maximum efficiency, you should be using the latest technology but the cost often limits when companies can upgrading their IT systems. Using dated computers and server infrastructure can have a huge impact on staff productivity.

What some companies don’t realise is that data-wiped computer assets are still valuable. IT Remarketing is a great way to make asset disposal more cost-effective and be environmentally friendly.

We provide all of the services you just read about above. If you’re looking for a way to properly dispose of your assets, speak to a member of our team to find out more.