The Global Impact of Circular IT and Electronics Recycling
Now is a time of drastic change when it comes to the world’s climate. Although variations in temperature and weather have been recorded over the years, present-day changes to climate patterns can be directly attributed to human influence.
By now we know that reducing our demands on the environment in practical ways can lessen our impact — for the good of the planet. This not only includes manufacturers of devices, but also those of us who use them!
The lifecycle of IT assets and electronics varies from device to device. Here are a few of the most common devices for business use and their typical lifespan:
- Mobile phones – 2 to 4 years
- Tablets – 4 to 5 years
- Laptops and desktop computers – 5 to 6 years
- Monitors and TV Displays – 5 to 6 years
Your organization’s own technology refresh cycle may be shorter than the typical lifespan above, meaning that electronic devices are often being retired and brought out of use while they still have life left.
What does this mean for your business?
You need to be confident that your process includes proper disposition, including your responsibility to deal with data left on your devices. It should also have a plan to recycle and securely refurbish items when possible, so devices can find use outside of your organization thus extending their life cycle.
Whether you’re planning on a wide-scale system refresh or are dealing with items one-by-one, you need to ensure confidential data is thoroughly destroyed. Certified data erasure and certified shred are two services offered by Greentec that guarantee proper data destruction to leave the device data-free. Read about our different services here.
Does electronic recycling put my data at risk?
Proper recycling by a NAID and R2 certified company like Greentec ensures your organization’s safety in every step. Providing a certificate of destruction as well as chain-of-custody documentation, you’ll know exactly what is happening to your device during the data disposal process. When appropriate, the device can be recycled and securely refurbished for resale to extend its use and lifecycle.
What about the impact on our planet?
Not planning on recycling your devices can actually increase the strain on our resources. Manufacturers still require raw materials for production, including the rare earth materials and precious metals that make these electronics work properly. Instead of recovering previously sourced commodities from outdated computers, phones or tablets, manufacturers would have to mine for more to produce replacements.
These materials are either limited in number or potentially hazardous to extract, meaning that using what has already been sourced is the better option — for the environment and a manufacturer’s bottom line.
Circular IT is the answer
IT asset recovery — and using the devices already in circulation — is the best option for reducing the demand on our planet and avoiding potentially environmental hazards.
It needs to be done properly, of course. Make sure your solution includes:
- Secure storage of devices after decommissioning
- Certified data destruction
- Environmental considerations for dealing with any hazardous materials
- Plans for devices post-data destruction, either refurbishment or redeployment
- High rates of material recovery as well as commodity recycling
When recycling electronic devices like old data center equipment, networking gear and end-point devices such as desktop computers and laptops, you’ll also need to consider the environmental impact. Hazardous materials within these devices like batteries, circuit boards and other internal components can be potentially hazardous. LCD screens on laptops can contain mercury, requiring special processing for environmentally responsible recycling and safe disposal.
Make sure you look for a recycling solution that accounts for both environmental safety while keeping your data secure. Greentec takes pride in both safely and securely processing each device we are responsible for recycling, while passing on this assurance to our clients.
We also care about altering practices that may negatively impact our planet’s future by encouraging sustainable choices. Organizations can ensure decommissioned devices are used for the rest of their life cycle through our data destruction and refurbishment services. Or, at end-of-life, Greentec will recycle devices with the intent of recovering as much precious metals and other valuable commodities while safely managing any hazardous materials.
Working with a company that is as dedicated to data protection as it is to environmental responsibility just makes sense in the wake of our changing climate.
Contact us for more information about how we can help your organization collect and store, recycle or dispose of electronic devices at end-of-life. Make sure to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to learn more about our services and stay up to date with our mission.