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IT Recycling: How to Recycle your Business Computers

Published on 09 June 2020

IT Recycling: How to Recycle your Business Computers

There can be many reasons why a business needs to get rid of their computer equipment.

This can be when a business is expanding and needs to replace their older computer equipment, plus buy in extra IT equipment to meet their growing needs.

A business may be downsizing and wants to run on a more lean system with minimal equipment, so will have a surplus of IT equipment to dispose of.

It is sad to say, but many companies go out of business each year, and when winding down their operation they need to safely dispose of their IT assets.

For any business with a stock of computer equipment, when it's no longer needed it cannot simply be thrown out with the rubbish. Under current Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment recycling (WEEE) guidelines, the recycling of your WEEE assets is an important part of your compliance duties.


What is WEEE?

The implementation of the original WEEE Directive in the UK by the WEEE Regulations act 2006, saw UK business owners issued with a new set of regulations to follow with regard to the safe disposal of their IT assets.

The WEEE directive became law in the UK on the 1st of January 2014 and replaced the earlier 2006 version of the regulations. The newer regulations were again amended to cover a wider range of electronic products now more commonly in use in the UK and came into effect in January 2019.

The regulations were drawn up to address the estimated 2 million tonnes of WEEE products that are thrown away by consumers and businesses each year in the UK. To save confusion about what electronic products fall into the WEEE category, most products that are supplied with a plug or run from a battery are classed as WEEE products.

However, if you want to go into greater detail there are ten broad categories of WEEE currently covered by the regulations, and these regulations may be subject to change over time as more electrical assets are created and used, as already seen in previous updates.


Telecommunications and IT recycling

For business owners, they need to adhere to WEEE regulations when they want to get rid of their IT assets and telecommunications equipment, including desktop and laptop computers, tablets, scanners, printers and photocopying equipment, telephones and pocket calculators.

There may be other equipment used in your business that is also covered by WEEE regulations, such as televisions, radio equipment, video cameras and lighting equipment such as fluorescent tubes.

For manufacturing businesses, this will also apply to tools and machinery used in your processes, such as electric drills, saws, sewing machines etc. as well as other service machines such as hot drink dispensers, fridges and freezers.

With very large volumes of IT equipment disposed of each year by businesses, it is what these items contain that causes concern. For example, IT equipment contains a wide variety of material, such as glass, metal, plastics, ceramics and precious metals.

As some of these mixed materials are hazardous to health, such as arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury and certain flame retardants, the WEEE regulations were set up to make sure that all WEEE equipment is carefully recycled to reduce the risk to health and the environment.


WEEE specialist recycling services

Performing your own businesses IT recycling isn't advised. There are a number of health risks involved with WEEE recycling, so attempting to break down your own business IT assets by hand could expose you to toxic substances that can be released during the operation.

It cannot be overstressed that you need to protect yourself or your staff from exposure to lead and mercury or other hazardous materials, and this is why it makes sense to put your business IT recycling into the safe hands of a WEEE specialist company, such as Restore Technology.

We specialise in end of life IT disposal and will be able to deal with your redundant IT assets in the safest possible manner in complete compliance with current WEEE guidelines.


How Restore Technology deals with your WEEE assets

An average business can have many different pieces of IT equipment and we will use the most appropriate method necessary for the disassembly process.

Our IT destruction facilities comply with Guidance on Best Available Treatment Recovery and Recycling Techniques (BATRRT) and treatment of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations.

Our disassembly processes will safely remove and dispose of harmful materials in a way that poses no health threat to our staff or the environment.

A lot of business IT assets will have hard drives that contain very sensitive company data. We would recommend our data shredding service for the complete destruction of your computer hard drives and data-carrying IT assets.

By destroying your computer hard drives and data storage devices you will be preventing any personal or business data being lifted from your hard drive after disposal. Having Restore handle the safe disposal of your hard-drives will prove your chain of custody and will help you to meet with your compliance with the current Data Protection Act.

You will be issued with a certificate of destruction that details the exact time, date, location and the name of the supervising officer overseeing the destruction. This can be used as proof of your compliance in the event of a business audit.


Restore Technology IT recycling options

Restore Technology offers an IT recycling scheme for UK businesses. This involves us collecting your old business computer equipment directly from your business premises and disposing of it on your behalf in an environmentally friendly way.

We can offer you our IT Recycling essential service or our IT recycling blue box service as detailed below:


Our IT Recycling Essential Service

You can choose this option if you have more than 20 IT assets to collect and recycle. We will collect them free of charge from your place of work and will provide you with an itemised inventory for your assets as well as appropriate certification to show how we processed it.

This option provides you with an essential service to safely dispose of your end of life IT assets that fully complies with current WEEE compliance guidelines. You will have great peace of mind knowing that your spent IT assets have been safely disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner.

Your collection can include many IT assets, including all electronic office equipment such as mobile phone handsets, desktop computers, laptops, tablets and other equipment covered by WEEE regulations that use a battery or is fitted with a plug.

You can engage our IT Recycling Essential Service on a regular basis, or at your convenience. We will collect your IT assets and ensure that all data is destroyed from your computer hard-drives and data storage devices before we process them any further.

Any IT equipment that is still usable will be refurbished and entered into the circular economy to prevent them from going to landfill. Any broken IT equipment will be broken down into their raw materials and components for re-use or will be melted down to make brand-new components or products.

Restore Technology has a zero-landfill policy, which means that absolutely zero waste will go to landfill. As long as you have more than 20 pieces of IT equipment, we will arrange for free collection from your business premises. Under 20 item collections can be arranged for a small collection fee.


IT recycling blue box service

Our IT Recycling Blue Box Service offers you the use of a blue plastic box which can be filled up with your spent IT assets over time. Once the box is full you simply give us a quick call and arrange for a collection date.

Our Blue Box IT recycling service is a great solution for smaller offices that need a safe and tidy place to keep their spent IT equipment.

You can place many items of redundant IT assets in this box, including laptops, tablets, mobile phone handsets, electrical appliances, office machines such as printers, copiers and scanners, as well as spare electrical cables, extension cords and plugs.

Don't worry about the risk of security. The box has a lid that can be padlocked to keep the contents safe. The box is a great space-saver and can be placed in a convenient spot within an office or workshop/warehouse where space is tight.

The box offers 1m³ of space, which will comfortably fit approximately 10 computer set-ups, including printers, cabling and keyboards. We can arrange for data destruction to take place to safely destroy hard drives and data storage devices.

We will supply you with a complete inventory of equipment taken and appropriate reports and certification to show how your assets were disposed of.

Our IT Recycling Blue Box service comes with a small delivery cost for the deposit of your Blue Box. Once the box is full you can simply give us a call to arrange the emptying of your box. We will securely collect the contents, leaving the empty box in place ready for you to fill up again.


The benefits of our IT recycling services

Our IT Recycling Essential Service and our IT Recycling Blue Box service are both designed to make managing your IT assets as easy as possible. Depending on the size of your company and the rate you turnover your IT equipment, you can choose which service is best suited to your needs.

For smaller businesses or where space is limited, our Blue Box service makes it really easy for you to stay on top of your IT asset recycling as we can collect your equipment each time the box is full. This will save you having to fill up precious storerooms or filing cabinets with old equipment that has no designated collection area.

This makes it easier to keep tabs on your redundant IT equipment instead of having it strewn around your business premises in nooks and crannies where it can be easily forgotten about.

Our space-saving services help you to free up a significant amount of floor space and storage space within your business premises. Our regular IT asset collections mean you will also prevent a large build-up of IT equipment that contain sensitive company and personal data.

Both of our IT recycling options help to reduce the risk of your company suffering from a serious data-breach and negate any government financial penalties for non-compliance to your GDPR duties.


Meeting your WEEE compliance

Restore Technology makes sure that all of our services are fully compliant with current government regulations with regard to WEEE and GDPR. Both of our IT recycling services help to ensure that you remain GDPR compliant.

When you use either of our IT recycling services you will be issued with the correct certification to show you have met with your duties for both sets of regulations and will give you a full audit trail for every single one of your IT assets.


Environmentally-friendly services

Restore Technology is proud to hold numerous environmental certifications through operating our strict zero-landfill policy. Choosing to work with Restore Technology for your business IT recycling, you will be helping to do your bit to save the environment.

Find out more about our environmentally friendly business IT recycling services, or contact our friendly team at Restore Technology to discuss your needs and which option would be the best for your circumstances.