Whoever said the best things in life are for free was not definitely referring to free computer recycling. Then again, the computer must have been this futuristic device that could only have been the stuff of Star Trek.
To most folks, ‘free’ is a keyword that leads to the release of dopamine in the system, but as with most things free, there is always a catch. One way or another.
When it comes to electronics recycling, the catch might not be obvious to the person tasked with the responsibility of disposing office electronics. See, office moves are inevitable (in a good number of cases), and the logistics and organizational responsibilities may be assigned to someone with no vague idea of what disposition of IT assets entails. Unknown to many though, a simple office move may end up being a calamity to the company.
When businesses move house or close down a facility, often they unearth a lot of stuff that nobody wants. A lot of organizations have closets (warehouses even), that are packed with broken or obsolete tech equipment (and probably you can be accused of the same too). When it comes to vacating time, dealing with the assets turns out to be someone’s big problem.
To circumvent the headache that comes with this task, particularly when solving the problem in-house, the manager in charge hires the services of anyone who can solve the conundrum for them. Just about anyone.
Frying Pan into the Fire
What many don’t seem to realize is that if you don’t pay for ‘by-the-book’ disposal (proper, documented disposal), chances are that the disposal firm handling matters for you won’t want to go out of their way to do what is morally right. Instead, they will want to maximize their profits by dumping your old equipment with a third-party scrap business which carries out little (if any at all) processing.
Up until that point, your space may have freed and the disposal headache disappeared. But it could signify the start of your problems.
For starters, there is the data that may just end up in unscrupulous hands. And mind you, this is not the stuff of fiction – a lot of companies are getting caught up in it. You may be forgiven for thinking your broken devices are no longer useable, but just because you can’t immediately read the data doesn’t mean it can’t be accessed.
Point is, whenever you offload your IT assets, make it a point of working with a professional and honest electronic waste recycling firm who can guarantee the destruction of your data – not just erasure.
Then comes the other issue of brand. Usually, IT equipment can be traced back to their owner, so regardless of how many countries away the equipment ends up in, if you weren’t diligent about your data security, it may – and can – be traced back to you. What will then ensue is your company will be exposed for dumping electronic waste, and your brand will take a hit.
Nobody said handling electronics in a responsible way does not cost money. There is the issue of paying employees a livable wage to contend with, you have to step up efforts to ensure your workers are protected with health and safety measures as required by law, and you need to comply with industry standards as well. These are all things that cost money.
In other words, if you don’t find yourself paying for these services during e-waste recycling drills at your company, it could well mean you are not getting the above services. And you may be contravening the organization’s agreements and code of conducts that touch on your workforce. And it is not for free.
Whenever you are faced with the issue of e recycling, it pays to work with honest and trustworthy companies that will watch your back and ensure you don’t leave anything to chance which could come back to haunt you later. Nobody wants to be caught up in one of those negative situations. And definitely don’t let it be you.