E-waste or electronic waste is an informal name for electronic products which have reached or are nearing the end of their useful life. deveices include laptops, computer, phones, radios, televisions and others.Ewaste is a generic term embracing various forms of electrical and electronic equipment that have ceased to be of any significant value to their users.
“End-of-life” (EOL) is a term used with respect to a product supplied to customers, indicating that the product is in the end of its useful life (from the vendor’s point of view), and a vendor stops marketing, selling, or rework sustaining it.
Electronics require some of the rarest minerals and materials available in a world with finite resources, making landfills a bad choice. In addition, dumping old products eliminates the chance of seeing any financial return from handling the waste in a more effective manner.
Some ways on how to manage your ewaste.
There are four ways that companies can manage e-waste, increase a commitment to sustainability and even save money (because putting things into a landfill isn’t cheap).
1. Repair and Upgrade
Just because a device is older doesn’t mean it’s worthless. Ask your information technology (IT) department or technician for a cost-benefit analysis for repairing or upgrading old gear. It might be that some equipment could get a face-lift with easy improvements such as additional memory, a larger hard drive or even the latest version of software. Some IT equipment can gain new capabilities with a firmware upgrade, which means replacing the lowest level of software with a new version. Reconditioned products might let you equip employees at a lower cost, helping eliminate financial waste.
2. Sell or Swap
Old computers don’t necessarily have a lot of value to many people, although you can check eBay and other sites that allow individuals and companies to sell used products. It may be that what no longer has worth to you might be helpful to someone else. However, be sure that the IT department wipes any equipment being sold or swapped to prevent the loss of confidential information. That can include customer data in addition to proprietary corporate material.
When it comes to mobile electronics, the chance of reclaiming value is even better. Companies such as OLX and local repair shops are marketplaces to buy, sell and trade in old smartphones and tablets. In some cases, the devices may not even have to work.
Another possibility is to donate electronics. You don’t get cash, but your accounting department and lawyers can tell you whether there could be a tax deduction available. A variety of charities accept old electronics. Some send computers, phones or tablets to classrooms in developing countries. Others provide products to hospitalized children, or resell items through a third party and only take a portion of the proceeds to run their operations. As with selling or swapping, be sure there is no confidential or personal information left on the devices.
The final option is to recycle products. Depending on the volume, you might be able to use free services offered by manufacturers and specialty retailers, or use commercial services that can handle bulk recycling. However, this option can be tricky. Recycling companies vary in how stringently they do their work.
Electronic waste presents an opportunity for organizations to get back some of their investment and even demonstrate a commitment to environmental conscientiousness. Just be sure you’re using the proper outlets, and that your services of choice operate in an eco-friendly, responsible manner.
Has your company ever discarded a large amount of electronic waste? How did you do it, and what outlets did you use? Did you have any concerns regarding a service’s environmental responsibility? Tell us by commenting below.