Electronic devices support your company and remain vital to daily operations. What happens, though, when your computer, fax machine, printer, or tablets become outdated? Take these steps before you replace any electronic devices and dispose of your e-waste.
The information stored on your computer or phone contains important information you need, so back it up. Use a Cloud-based storage option, USB thumb drive or external hard drive to help you with this task.
Wipe or Remove the Hard Drive
The heart of your computer, phone or printer, the hard drive stores tons of information you do not want a thief to access. Wipe the hard drive clean or remove it from the device.
You may use DVDs, CDs, webcams, or USB drives that contain valuable information. Because these media objects are easy to overlook, double check that you eject them before you dispose of your electronic devices.
Avoid Storing Devices
Because you paid good money for your electronic devices, you may be tempted to store them in an empty office or closet with the intention of tossing or repairing them in the future. Most likely, the devices will sit around and take up valuable space. Resolve to remove the clutter and dispose of your electronics in a responsible way before they become so outdated they can’t be used.
Rethink the Trash
You may decide to throw your electronics in the dumpster out back. The Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) and other electronic components contain toxic substances, including mercury, lead, and cadmium that damage the environment, so consider a more eco-friendly alternative like recycling through an organization like e-Stewards.
Contact Your Sanitation Department
The sanitation department that handles your company’s trash disposal may be able to process or recycle electronics. Contact them to verify their rules and regulations about which electronics they can accept. Also, ask if they charge an extra disposal fee, especially for larger devices like desktops or printers.
Visit a Retailer
Numerous stores buy gently used electronics or operate recycling programs. Contact Staples, Best Buy, Amazon, or a similar store for details about which devices they can buy and if they offer a product credit for the items you recycle.
Donate to Charity
If your devices still work, donate them to a local charity. Homeless shelters, job training sites and recreational centers can use your electronics in their programs or sell them for cash. You could also sell your usable electronic devices and donate the money to charity.
Your company’s electronic devices won’t last forever. When you’re ready to replace them, follow these steps and protect the environment while making a difference in the world.