The mere fact that a company is in the electronics disposal business does not necessarily make it a good environmental steward. Because for an entity - whether individual or group - to be considered an environmental steward, they have to foster sustainable practices and have them woven into their cloth.
The overall objective is to curb (or at least dilute) the impact the manufacturer of new products bears on our natural resources. One method that seems intuitive enough to realize this objective is recycling, a drill that recovers material that will be used in the manufacture of new items to ensure natural resources are not depleted.
Contrary to what many believe though, the actual effect of the environmental impact of e-waste recycling is more than meets the eye.
When Recycling is no Longer Good for the Environment
To a good number, 'recycling' and 'bad for environment' are phrases that can't be used in the same sentence.
However, the sad truth is that a substantial chunk of the world's electronic waste ends up illegally in some developing nations where the old equipment is scrapped in crude, life-threatening conditions.
Often, employees in rudimentary recycling centers will be hard at work as they try to recover the valuable materials from the equipment, which later end up in the hands of manufacturing plants in exchange for peanuts.
To paraphrase this, recycling of useful materials is happening but the toll taken on both the workers and local environment is simply abominable.
Responsible Recycling of IT Equipment is Key
The hard to digest image of illegal e waste notwithstanding, recycling IT assets is not the hardest thing when done in an ethical and environmentally-responsible manner. The key lies in working with an established and reputable electronic waste recycling firm who has been certified with e-Stewards or the R2 Standard.
Because it is these certifications that see to it that recyclers enforce environmental stewardship on a local, national and global scale. Companies that have been certified by these two in a manner that accounts for the final destination of the recycled debris means that they play their part in countering illegal exploitation, and ultimately, landfill disposal.
Going Green doesn't have to be Costly
Ensuring your company is a responsible steward of your retired IT assets doesn't have to cost you. And it particularly rings true if you get into a partnership with an IT disposal firm.
Instead of having to pay each time for recycling services, an asset disposal company purchases your surplus equipment, which ensures that you recover funds from your old technology.
In addition, a good number provide the same certified recycling services which typically isn't charged independently, i.e. no extra costs. A lot will hinge upon the services offered by the computer recycling company of your choice.
Make it a point of establishing whether they possess R2 or e-Stewards. That in mind, you can rest easy knowing that your company's IT assets will undergo ethical and responsible recycling without having to incur unnecessary fees for it.