Disposing of electronic waste, or e-waste, is one thing if it's for your household. There are many avenues for disposing of old cell phones, e-readers, batteries, and TVs. A quick internet search will show you where you can take such items in your area, and some manufacturers and retailers will even pay you a small amount to bring in specific devices.
However, it's more complicated on a corporate level. Old tech past its useful life can fill desk drawers, closets, and even full floors. Particularly for the financial sector, a plan with more forethought is vital to ensure easy recycling – not just for the sake of safety and the environment, but for data security.
When you have an ITAD (information technology asset disposition) plan in place, a Certified e-Steward® partner will offer you several options for how to implement e-waste recycling into your business.
1. Flat Rate Lockbox
For simple ITAD needs, many recyclers offer large, secure lockbox systems. Usually, a flat rate covers the lockbox, delivery, and pickup contents. This option is especially great for one-shot or special projects, electronics recycling, and quick turnarounds as the lockbox can typically be delivered to you in just a few days and picked up once it's full.
2. Flat Rate Bin
Bins are ideal for a smaller quantity of data-bearing devices or ongoing rotation with systematic delivery and pickup plans. Locked bin systems are secure, meaning no one from outside your company will be able to access the contents. A flat rate means one price covers all contents, delivery, and pickup.
For large amounts of e-waste recycling, look for weight- and freight-based pallet pricing. Pallets are a simple and easy way to manage large quantities of e-waste, but are best for only non-data-bearing devices.
When in doubt, the right ITAD partner will offer flexible options that meet your precise needs. These should involve à la carte or per-pound pricing with options for data- and non-data-bearing devices.
What exactly can be recycled?
Talk to your ITAD partner for details about the variety of devices that they can recycle and how to best safely and securely handle these items. Typically, you can recycle the following e-waste items:
- Desktop computers/CPUs
- Screens and monitors
- Test and measurement equipment
- Storage devices
- Telecom equipment
- Landline phones
- Mobile devices
- Small electronics
- Copy/Fax machines
- Multifunction printers
- Cords and cables
- Medical carts
- Keyboards and mice
How to find an e-waste partner
- Research recyclers in your area. Make sure they specialize in e-waste and are Certified eStewards.
- Be aware of environmental laws in your state or region. In the U.S., 28 states and the District of Columbia have some regulations dealing with electronics recycling.
- Understand the basics of data security. Removing parts of a hard drive and damaging them will NOT destroy all of the sensitive information. A good recycler has an iron-clad process.
- Ask about remarketing and reselling. Quality e-waste recyclers will recognize items that they can refurbish on your behalf. Many will credit a portion of the proceeds back to your organization to help offset recycling costs.