If you run a company, you will certainly have a computer for every employee that you have hired. And then, there are the tablets & cellphones as well. Technology changes so fast that we just cannot stop getting rid of our older electronic goods and buying entirely new ones. While this might be an attractive thing to do, it does not bode well for the environment.
Each time you buy a new computer or a cellphone, you probably get rid of it in unsafe methods. The larger your company is, the larger your electronic waste will be too. If you do not dispose electronic waste responsibly, you will be directly responsible for exposing soil and water to carcinogenic & extremely hazardous and toxic materials. Many of the cathode rays in our computers are so toxic that they can cause serious disorders after a short exposure.
It is in our best interests to make sure that electronic waste is discarded in a safe and responsible manner. What is important is, you need to be aware of all your options, when it comes to recycling. Of course, it is not easy to find reliable people who will recycle but then, nothing in this world is easy. Moreover, it is your responsibility to get rid of your garbage in a responsible and safe manner. In this article, let us take a look at the various methods in which you can safely get rid of your e-waste.
Upgrade your computers and cellphones
Most of the times, all that we need to do is upgrade our computers and cellphones, instead of buying new ones. If your computer is slow and is not efficient enough, ask people to fix it. All the office computers can be backed up in the cloud and then, reformatted so that they become spiffy & fast to use. Companies have a tendency to purchase new computers using corporate purchasing plans. While it might be more attractive to purchase new computers every once in a while, it is a better idea to actually go ahead and upgrade existing hardware, instead of purchasing new ones.
There are a number of options with which you can easily upgrade your hardware. Whether it is the monitor or the RAM, you can always do something to make sure that your computer is as good as a new one. If that doesn’t work, probably new software programs will fix whatever problems you might be having. All in all, it is not usually necessary to purchase new computer parts. Existing ones can simply be upgraded. This not only helps in reduction of waste generation but will also save you money in the long run, instead of investing in new computers and tablets, which you will again feel tempted to get rid of.
Donate your electronic items
If you do not feel like using your computers, you can also give it away to someone who needs them more than you. Even if you want to get rid of a number of computers, you can always find an NGO or a community school, which needs computers and tablets. Many of these schools and NGOs are so cash-strapped that they just cannot afford to buy new computers. Kids who study in disadvantaged schools come from disadvantaged families. They probably never have had access to high-speed Internet connections and good computers.
By donating your hardware to those who need it the most, you will make sure that you are also being altruistic and the community school or NGO will remember you for your donations. That also builds goodwill and might earn you a blurb or two in local newspapers. Getting rid of your computer waste can actually become a PR exercise! Make a list of all the organizations nearby and choose the ones that are most disadvantaged. Most of them will be ready to accept your hardware gifts and even agree to dispose them off in a responsible manner, when they have to.
Keep them for a rainy day
Just because you want to get rid of your computers and cellphones does not mean you do not need them. You can always keep them in a spare room or storehouse where they can be unplugged, and kept for a rainy day. There are days when you might need a separate computer or you might not have enough money to purchase an entire set of computers for an expansion or a new branch. Instead of spending more money on new computers and tablets, you can choose to use older computers that were left unused. There is nothing wrong in keeping old computers that are not being used in a spare room so that they can be used on a different day.
People have a tendency to purchase new goods even when they do not need to do so. This is especially true of corporations and companies because hardware is usually subsidized & easily available to companies. When you feel tempted to buy new computers, cellphones and tablets, consider your options. If you are not able to donate them or upgrade them for using, try and keep them for a rainy day. This is a good way of making sure that you are not leaving a heavy carbon footprint.
Sell them for profit
Most computers, tablets and cellphones fetch a good price in the second hand market. If you have a sizeable number of computers and cellphones, try and contact other businesses who might want to purchase them. A number of start-ups cannot afford to buy new computers, cellphones and tablets. They would happily purchase your electronic gadgets for a small price. You can get a written declaration from them that you will be contacted when they want to dispose those gadgets. So that, you will know if they are disposing it off responsibly or not.
There is nothing better than making sure that you not only got rid of what you didn’t want but also made some money doing so. You can speak to small businesses in your area or invite them for an auction. Whoever bids the highest gets to walk away with all the computers that you want to get rid of. It might sound manipulative but at least you are not harming the environment. Moreover, they know what they are buying and they will be happy to do so. But there is nothing worse than just throwing your computers away at a dump so that it can be ‘recycled’. That recycling will never happen.
Contact reputed recycling companies
When nothing works, it is time to contact reputed recycling agencies. If you have bought Macs and iPhones, Apple takes them all back and recycles its products in a responsible manner. Dell and a few other companies do this as well. If you have purchased from companies that do not have a recycling plan, you will need to hire professional recycling companies who are registered and certified. Unscrupulous recyclers send all the computers and cellphone parts to African countries, India & China where hazardous cathode rays are used too, at the cost of environment. When you hire a reputed and reliable recycling company, you will know how they will dispose electronic waste. Once you are sure that they are going to do it in a responsible manner, you can go ahead and get rid of all the computer parts without worrying about leaving toxic waste behind.
It is your world and you will need to care for it more than anyone else. The fact that you run a business and have access to social & financial capital makes it all the more important for you to be responsible and get rid of your electronic waste responsibly. It is never too late to recycle and ensure that your waste is not harming the world. Learning to feel guilty about electronic waste is one of the first steps towards going green. Regularly teach your employees to recycle as well and most importantly, reuse and donate whenever it is possible. Recycling should be your last option.
When you upgrade existing hardware, you will not have to spend a lot of money either and will be able to reduce expenses while also being environment-friendly. When that doesn’t work, you can choose to donate top needy organizations or sell it away to new start-ups that cannot afford new computers. Whatever you do, dispose your computers, cellphones and tablets in a responsible manner.