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Covid Forces Global Enterprises to Focus on E-Waste

14 October 2021

Redundant hardware and old electronics, what do you do when you upgrade? It’s a growing issue facing many global enterprises. With the rapid expansion of technology and the variety of new devices available, e-waste is a problem that’s here to stay, but businesses that want to continue with an effective IT strategy needn’t worry. FGD offers convenient and cost-effective computer recycling and equipment collection solutions for both local and international companies.

What Is E-Waste?

E-waste refers to electrical or electronic items that are no longer wanted or needed. Goods such as computers, laptops, tablets, phones, and televisions can all be classified as e-waste where they are no longer functional, though equipment can often be repurposed or reused by specialist IT asset disposition companies (ITADs) so that products can be given a second life.

When you think about the sheer number of electronic items an average business or household uses, it’s easy to see why e-waste is the fastest-growing segment within the waste disposal industry. However, the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is having a surprising knock-on effect on the soaring number of electrical and electronic items that need to be disposed of.

How Is COVID Affecting E-Waste?

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a transformative effect on the way we live, forcing businesses to operate in new ways. As offices were abandoned, companies were forced to roll out remote working arrangements swiftly in order to maintain their operations.

To facilitate this, many businesses purchased IT equipment so that employees could access the resources they needed at home. Similarly, millions of consumers bought new electronic equipment such as laptops, webcams, smart TVs and games consoles to access online services or provide entertainment during lengthy lockdowns.

This increase in the sale of electronic goods has inevitably led to a corresponding increase in the number of older items or technologies that are now being disposed of. In particular, large corporate organisations that have embraced remote working on a permanent basis are suddenly finding themselves with hundreds if not thousands of newly redundant devices in their offices as infrastructure needs and usage have changed so rapidly.

While the usual cycle of hardware upgrades leads to a considerable amount of e-waste at any one time, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a surge of purchases and has in turn produced a much larger volume of e-waste. Because of this, both businesses and households must find effective and environmentally-friendly ways to dispose of their e-waste.

Disposing of Business E-Waste

A successful IT strategy ensures that businesses can access the resources they need to optimise their performance and facilitate company growth, but effective IT asset management should always incorporate IT equipment disposal too.

Whether you’re a midsized business or a global enterprise, responsible disposal of e-waste should always be a top priority. To help you navigate this issue, take a look at the things you’ll need to consider when you dispose of IT equipment in the UK:

1. WEEE Regulations

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations set out clear requirements regarding the disposal of e-waste and make reuse or recycling the preferred options. Businesses can face significant financial penalties if they breach these regulations, so it’s vital to ensure that your enterprise IT equipment disposal strategy is compliant with WEEE regulations.

2. Resale or Recycle?

If you own electronic equipment that you no longer need or use, you’ll need to assess whether your company policy will allow for your redundant assets to be resold, or whether all equipment should instead be destroyed and recycled. For the most part, corporations are happy for their assets to be resold, providing data is correctly sanitised or destroyed, full audit reporting and data destruction certification is provided and all company asset tags or identifiers are removed. For this reason, it is imperative that you use a certified ITAD like FGD to correctly dispose of and resell your redundant IT.

FGD’s IT remarketing services make it easier than ever for companies to dispose of IT equipment UK and generate a financial return from the process. With well-established routes to market in place, we have the industry presence to facilitate the resale of IT equipment at optimal value. Furthermore, our experienced team undertakes functionality and electrical testing, as well as data sanitisation by wiping or physical destruction, prior to remarketing and selling your equipment.

3. Data Management

When you are considering which enterprise IT equipment disposal methods are best for your business, you’ll need to take data management into account. Even if IT hardware is no longer being used, it retains the data that was held on it. If this falls into the wrong hands, it could have disastrous consequences, which is why companies must take a proactive approach to securely removing data before IT equipment is resold or recycled.

User-based removal methods are ineffective when it comes to removing all traces of data on a hard drive and commercially available removal tools can present similar problems. As a result, businesses can only truly be confident that they have removed data from hard drives when they use professional-grade solutions that are endorsed by the UK government.

At FGD, we offer a variety of secure data removal options. If you want to resell your IT equipment or get it ready for reuse, our NCSC-approved, HMG Infosec Standard No. 5 compliant data erasure services are exactly what you’re looking for. Alternatively, if your security protocols require physical destruction of data bearing media, our hard drive shredding, crushing or disintegration services provide an efficient and effective way to ensure that data cannot be recovered.

4. Operation Disruption

Disposal of IT equipment should be a priority for businesses, but this doesn’t mean that it needs to impact your operations. By choosing the right service provider, you can ensure that your enterprise IT equipment disposal is hassle-free.

With our computer recycling equipment pickup services, vetted FGD personnel will collect your equipment at a convenient time and provide you with the information you need to track your goods as they move through the recycling process.

Whether your IT equipment is being destroyed on-site, with hard drive crushing, or being prepped for resale, we will ensure that e-waste disposal causes minimal disruption to your business and that you are provided with all of the required audit and data destruction documentation for your records in case of audit.

Arrange E-Waste Disposal with FGD

As businesses continue to adapt to a ‘new normal’ following the COVID-19 pandemic, the amount of e-waste in the UK is expected to rise. Whether you’re upgrading to new tech or rolling out new working arrangements, we’re on hand to provide the professional e-waste disposal services you need.

To find out more, contact FGD now on +44 (0)330 390 7536.