Recycling sooner rather than later

The progress and advancements in computers over the past 30 years has grown at a rate that nobody could have foreseen. Just over 25 years since the first website went live you can now have email delivered directly to your wrist.

Since their inception, computers have played a major part in business with most organisations now relying on, at the very least, one or two machines to conduct operations. At the other end of the scale, companies with thousands of employees issuing each one with a PC or desktop to conduct their work. We are also now entering the cloud era with huge data centres opening every day.

This exponential progression serves generally to improve efficiency, revenues and connectivity for all of us but does bring new challenges straight to the desk of those that work in IT; How do we keep up?

Every year PCs become smaller, faster, more energy efficient and many large organisations now find themselves in the situation of new IT equipment being purchased and installed on a weekly (if not daily) basis, to ensure employees have the latest and greatest computing tools at their disposal.

It is no secret that IT department budgets must often be utilised in full on an annual basis to ensure they are allocated similar funds the following year. With a constant stream of incoming equipment one would think that any redundant hardware would be disposed of in an equally regular fashion, this is not always the case.

Many organisations fall into the trap of the dreaded storage cupboard. Stacks of PCs, TFTs and Laptops being held ‘just in case’ and for parts etc. Whilst this practice may seem logical at the time, IT devices are assets. Their residual value, as well as ability to perform in a continuously advancing environment, depletes with every passing day.

IT Recycling is now an industry in itself, with companies such as Innovent providing a service that collects redundant equipment, sanitises hard drives and ensures hardware is recycled correctly. Documentation and certification is then provided to state correct recycling and data destruction.

There are two destinations for a recycled computer; refurbishment or base recycling. Most machines that are deemed end of life in many organisations are still more than capable for personal or light business use (I’m writing this on a 10 year old PC that does me just fine!).

If a PC is used by a department for 2-5 years and then stored for a further 2-5, by the time it is disposed of, it will be practically an antique. Like trying to use a Pentium 3/4 machine today (believe it or not we still recycle many of these every single week), they just can’t cut it with the latest operating systems and web technologies. They are subsequently broken down into raw parts which, whilst better than going to landfill (we operate a 0% landfill policy at Innovent), seems an awful waste.

Those Core 2 Duo machines from 2008 in the back of your store cupboard will face a similar fate in a few years’ time. The energy put into the design and manufacture of these systems reversed when they are dismantled.

The ‘hoarding’ culture still plaguing many IT departments is not only wasting money but energy also. Like the inward stream of new equipment, a regular stream of redundant equipment leaving the department can be very beneficial in more ways than one. The ‘newer’ a PC is when it is disposed of (i.e. further from being base recycled), the more suitable a PC is for refurbishment as opposed to dismantling.

What does this mean? Those PC’s being stored indefinitely in your store cupboard could be used by start-up businesses or personal users on a low budget. This 2nd life use is not only better for the environment but can provide a revenue return to your department!

Generally, PC’s less than 5 years old carry enough residual value for IT Recycling companies to offer money back for working, recycled systems. This could ‘top up’ a tightened IT budget and is certainly a more considered approach than leaving equipment to lose value and usability and accumulate nothing else but dust.

On top of all of this, the older the equipment you have to dispose of, the more it will cost you. For example at Innovent we operate on a cost-neutral basis. We use the residual value held in equipment we collect to cover our own costs. This means for the majority of our clients we can offer a free service (and in some cases money back).

When asked to collect Pentium 3 machines that have been in storage since the early 2000s, we cannot cover our Transport, Labour, Processing and Data Sanitation costs as these PCs are worth a small amount in scrap metal and plastic. Subsequently the client is charged a small amount for the disposal and I can’t help but think how different the situation would be if the equipment had been recycled shortly after it hit the shelf in the IT store cupboard.

Recycle sooner rather than later.

The lifecycle of a Business PC

Refreshing your IT equipment every three years will save you money.
This is definitely worth a read for any IT professionals
“A three-year refresh cycle shows the lowest total cost of ownership as support and out of warranty repair costs increase in years four and five to such an extent that they outweigh the benefit of amortizing the acquisition cost over more years.”

Working in partnership with Innovent Technologies will make sure your old equipment is disposed of securely and efficiently, whilst reducing costs even further.

Questions for Data Professionals

Where does your data go?

Are you confident in your data security? In the age where the day to day workings of your business are digital, you need to be sure your redundant IT equipment does not carry confidential information about your business and clients. When Innovent Technologies sanitise data carrying devices, you be sure the data is irretrievable, certified and insured.


Does your policy for IT disposal consider the environmental impact of your redundant equipment?

IT equipment may contain lead, chromium, cadmium, mercury and other dangerous materials. Correct handling and disposal of these materials is essential for the protection of our environment and our client’s reputations.

Innovent Technologies operate a 0% landfill policy on all IT equipment. Roughly 80% of equipment collected is refurbished and re-used in whole form, with the outstanding 20% base recycled and re-introduced in to manufacturing.


Are you operating within the law?

Our clients receive a complete Systems Audit and Transfer of Liability documentation for all disposed and recycled units plus Certificates of Destruction for all equipment that is  broken down to its base forms. We deliver full compliance with all WEEE, Duty of Care, RoHS, Data Protection, Landfill, Waste Management, UK, and EU Legislation.


How do you account for equipment disposal in your budget?

Our Asset reporting system provides serial numbers, asset tags and system details for every PC, Laptop and Server we collect. This can be used to update client’s asset databases and the destination of each item is clearly visible. We also aim to offset collection costs and arrange free-of-charge collections wherever possible.


Are you insured if anything goes wrong?

Innovent Technologies has a 100% success rate with every one of our clients; in partnership with the Finsbury Insurance Group, we also insure our clients against any risk when dealing with collection on site, third party asset disposal and data destruction.


Does your company receive revenue from the disposal of IT equipment with significant residual value?

In many cases our clients have end of life equipment that has significant residual value. In order to ensure our clients recoup residual values held within equipment we collect, Innovent Technologies are one of a small amount of companies who operate a generous Asset Release Scheme for equipment up to 5 years old.

If you are not confident in answering any of the points above, Innovent can provide a tailored solution to ensure your business remains safe, legal and environmentally friendly.