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Global electronic recycling highlights the key benefits of recycling end-of-life assets

Grasping the importance and value of recycling end-of-life assets is refreshingly simple and straightforward.

recycle bin
Image: IntoWindows

On the business landscape, it is only a matter of time before today’s leading-edge, state-of-the-art technologies — everything from servers to laptops to storage devices, and the list goes on — become tomorrow’s redundant, obsolete, or just plain unusable e-waste.

However, while this impermeant lifespan is welcome news for technology manufacturers and vendors since it means more sales, it poses a challenge for businesses that need to get rid of the old and make way for the new. Fortunately, that is where recycling end-of-life assets enter the picture.

According to Global Electronic Recycling — a leading firm that provides a full range of end-to-end IT asset disposal (ITAD) solutions — the key benefits of recycling end-of-life-assets include generating revenue, recovering office and storage space, demonstrating environmental leadership, and supporting the economy. Each of these notable benefits is further explored below.

Generating Revenue

Many businesses that choose to recycle their end-of-life assets are pleasantly surprised to discover that their shelves — or in some cases, piles and heaps — of unused, obsolete, and non-functioning technology generate revenue. Naturally, the amount is based on the condition and prevailing market value of each item. However, the bottom line remains the same: businesses make money from their end-of-life assets, instead of losing money trying to properly and responsibly get rid of them.

Global Electronic Recycling adds that in order to monetize end-of-life assets, it is critically important for businesses to work with a qualified IT asset disposal firm that provides complete and transparent brand protection and security, and has the tools and policies in place to safeguard assets and sensitive information.

This includes securely destroying electronic storage devices and other media, using multiple types of shredding and pulverizing machines, and totally wiping all data from removable memory devices and hard drives in compliance with the Department of Defense Standards. Businesses also need to know that there are absolutely no gaps in the supply chain from when assets leave their premises when they are ultimately resolved and re-marketed.

Recovering Office and Storage Space

Many businesses are housing a growing mountain of e-waste, which is not just a potential safety and fire hazard but is also a major waste of office space. Furthermore, storing e-waste in an off-site facility is certainly not an ideal solution given the ongoing costs and the fact that sooner or later the assets will have to be properly resolved one way or another. Unfortunately, out-dated IT equipment does not sometimes organically come back in vogue and enjoy a second (or sometimes third) life. 

Recycling end-of-life assets frees up office space, so that it can be used for productive and profitable purposes such as housing operating (as opposed to dormant or offline) equipment, providing employees with more workspace, and so on. It also eliminates the need to store e-waste at an off-site facility.

Global Electronic Recycling comments that commercial space is at a premium in many areas of the country. For example, according to LoopNet, in Phoenix, where GER’s firm is headquartered, the average asking rental rate for office properties is around $20 a year per square foot, and the average asking lease rate is around $8 a year per square foot. Both of these costs have been steadily rising since about 2013 and are expected to continue increasing in the years ahead.

Businesses that reclaim a mere 100 square feet due to recycling end-of-life assets essentially stand to recover up to thousands of dollars worth of office space per year. For larger organizations that have a much larger e-waste footprint can easily reclaim five or even six figures worth of office space from recycling electronic assets.

Demonstrating Environmental Leadership

When electronic items end up in landfills, harmful toxins like mercury, cadmium, beryllium and lead leach into the soil and water. Yet despite these known hazards, according to estimates, less than a quarter of e-waste in the U.S. is recycled. This is not just an environmental problem but rather it is emerging into a full-blown crisis; especially in areas that do not have state regulations that ban electronics from regular trash. 

Recycling end-of-life assets helps alleviate the problem on two levels. First, as noted above, many assets can be scrubbed of data, repaired or re-engineered, and ultimately re-marketed. Second, items that cannot be re-marketed are disposed of properly through responsible recycling practices, which include conserving metals, plastic, and other non-renewable resources.

In addition, businesses that demonstrate environmental leadership in this way are not just helping the planet; they are impressing the current and future customers, and setting themselves apart in a crowded, competitive marketplace. For example, the Conference Board Global Consumer Confidence Survey revealed that more than 80 percent of customers strongly feel that businesses should strive to improve the environment. Research by Unilever found that 33 percent of customers buy products and services from brands that they feel are helping the environment.  

Supporting the Economy

Last but certainly not least, recycling end-of-life assets creates quality, permanent, local jobs and supports the economy. It also helps small businesses with limited IT budgets to establish themselves and grow, while proving to be highly beneficial to non-profit organizations that would otherwise be unable to afford and access advanced technology. 

Global Electronic Recycling says the idea is to drive what is called the “circular economy,” which is when items and assets that were previously discarded as waste are re-vitalized and re-used. It is a powerful concept and one that has multiple ongoing direct and indirect benefits.

Final Thoughts

While the technology behind today’s advanced IT assets is complex and typically requires a degree in computer science — or make that several degrees — to fully understand, grasping the importance and value of recycling end-of-life assets is refreshingly simple and straightforward for all of the reasons highlighted by Global Electronic Recycling: it generates revenue, recovers office and storage space, demonstrates environmental leadership, and supports the economy.  

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