Has your Electrical Equipment come to the end of it’s life?
We’ve all heard in the news about that impact that single use plastics such as drinks bottles and plastic bags are having on our environment.
When your electrical equipment breaks or you upgrade, do you know what to do with your old items? With regard to electrical equipment, especially those containing plastics, many of the components can be stripped down and recycled.
When discarding electrical items, do you know what to do? Does your business know how to comply with the WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronics Equipment) Regulations?
Take a moment to think about the broken or redundant electronics you store in your home. Can you estimate what is hiding in the garage or loft, no longer needed, that could be used by someone else or recycled and used to make a different product? They’ll surely be an ancient mobile phone lurking somewhere in the bottom of the kitchen drawer gathering dust!
Can you repair it?
What can you do in the office or workplace to handle your WEEE waste? If an electrical item is no longer working, what do you do next? The obvious answer is to have it repaired. Could the machine be salvaged? Often, machines simply need more RAM, a replacement screen or even just a new battery to still work to full capacity. Providing all the software is up to date, the equipment could have a few more years life left in it.
When it’s Time to Buy New
If the cost of repair outweighs the cost of buying a new model, what do you do with this redundant piece of equipment? Technology is moving at an incredible speed, so it’s now seen as commonplace for businesses to have to replace machines every few years. Depending on the size of your business, that’s a lot of potential redundant electronic waste.
How to dispose of responsibly
To comply with WEEE regulations it’s best practice to first transfer all information you may need in the future from the hard drive, then restore the machine back to factory settings. The hard drive must then be destroyed by a legitimate data destruction company to ensure complete data security. Don’t forget that photocopiers and printers also have a hard drive that will also need destroying securely. Your shredding service provider will be able to take these items along with your general paper shredding to a secure unit for safe disposal.
Why dispose responsibly?
PC’s are usually made up of around 23% plastic. The rest of the equipment is comprised of metals such as steel, and precious metals such as copper, silver and gold. Valuable elements that can be used again! It’s also surprising to learn that almost all the components in a mobile phone can be sorted and recycled. Electronic equipment only makes up a very small percentage of the waste in landfill, but the amount could still be less, and laws are being enforced to combat irresponsible disposal. It’s in all our interests to prevent harmful chemicals seeping into the earth. It’s good for your business to recognise it’s best practice to ensure anything that can be broken down and used again by legitimate waste disposal company is done so.