Electronics components make up a significant share of the waste that finds its way into landfills and possibly unsafe dumping grounds around the world. That waste poses several risks to the global ecosystem when it’s not properly disposed of, but it also represents a missed opportunity. Metals, plastics, glass and many other components of computing equipment could be recycled, but according to the Environmental Protection Agency, less than 20 percent of IT devices purchased in a year are recycled.
Properly recycling IT assets is an environmental imperative, but it’s also an opportunity for businesses to recapture the value of these materials. So it’s no wonder why some of the world’s biggest corporations are taking IT asset disposition and recycling seriously. We’re not calling these companies by name, but there are lessons to be learned from them.
Optimizing IT disposition practices offers several benefits to companies.
Launch ambitious recycling programs
A company that grew from humble roots into one of the world’s most valuable corporations realizes it bears a great deal of responsibility when it comes to the environment. In the first decade of the 21st century, this firm grew at breakneck speed into a top provider of IT products for businesses and consumers around the world. But critics charged the company with sluggish adoption of better environmental practices. In response, this computer giant has launched numerous initiatives to adopt more sustainable practices, including ambitious recycling programs. As of 2016, all of this company’s manufacturing facilities in China began recycling enough manufacturing waste to have diverted at least 140,000 metric tons of it away from landfills.
Set a sustainability deadline
Another major electronics manufacturer recently announced details of its plans to reach ambitious sustainability targets by 2020. Among those projects is a strengthened recycling program, which the company said recovered 177 million pounds of used electronics from consumers and businesses in its fiscal year that ended in February. This firm has also partnered with other businesses to develop a “closed-loop” plastics supply chain, which involves recovering as much plastic as possible and recycling it for use in new products.
Learn from large cities
While not a publicly traded corporation, New York City’s public infrastructure and management still requires a corporate-like approach, and that includes its e-waste initiatives. In 2015, the city generated around 2 million pounds of electronic waste, but it also set an example for other cities in how they recycle that waste. New York City’s recycling partners operate around the clock to pick up IT waste from businesses and designated drop sites, securely remove any sensitive data they might contain and strip them down for materials that can be repurposed. Each day, that amounts to tens of thousands of flat screen displays and cathode-ray tubes that can be recycled and prevented from leaking toxic chemicals into a landfill. Devices may even be refurbished and sold.
These are just a few examples of how businesses are taking the lead on IT asset recycling. Learn more about how Sipi AR can help your business do the same.