Too often in asset management, the terms ITAD and e-waste are used interchangeably when corporations are disposing of their old electronic assets, however, ITAD and e-waste are not the same.
To provide clarity, here are four key differences between IT asset disposition (ITAD) and e-waste.
Repurpose versus destruction
When working with a company like TechReset, we aim to repurpose or redeploy 90 per cent of the serialized IT assets that come through our facility. E-waste is all about smashing, crushing or shredding IT assets – and there is growing environmental concern with creating scrap metal with old equipment and we want to avoid that.
Recycling has its place, but only when units are non-functional or past their best before date. If it is still operational, repurposing can help a company realize a return on the initial asset investment. Recyling won’t.
The IT value proposition
This is about the corporate bottom line. The average corporate IT replacement life-cycle is between three and five years. The question corporate leaders need to ask is: Do I want my IT asset disposition to be a cost centre or a potential revenue driver?
If companies just create e-waste, they’re paying to have the assets destroyed. Instead, by using an ITAD solution provider, a company may receive up to a 15 per cent return on value. We discuss more about that in our blog “Are You Sitting on a Corporate Gold Mine.”
E-waste means you get no reporting and no services
We’re in a changing world, where the protection of personal data is critical. If you send IT equipment to a recycler where they’re doing the smashing and shredding, are they providing documentation of their work and ensuring the data contained on that IT equipment is wiped? At TechReset, we document the process from start to finish so companies can have the peace of mind that will pass a risk governance audit. We provide all the required documentation in the ITAD process.
Because no one wants to risk the cost of a data breach, companies need to ask if the cost of doing the right thing is outweighed by the cost of a data breach.
Environmental footprint is dramatically different
An e-waste recycling plant is nothing like a qualified ITAD operation. It’s noisy, dirty, and is a power and electricity sponge. ITAD = None of the above. On average, ITAD facilities use roughly 1/8 to 1/10th of the power needs of a recycling facility. When environment is a consideration for your company – even through the asset management process – the environmental responsibility of your partners is just as important as your own.
If you drill down even further, there are more differences between e-waste and recycling and the responsible disposition of IT assets. Yet recycling seems to be the preferred option. The percentage of what is being recycled and what should be recycled is way off kilter. In fact, according to the Global E-Waste monitor, the total value of all raw materials in e-waste was estimated at 55 Billion Euros in 2016.
It’s less costly and more environmentally friendly to choose ITAD over recycling. Those differences alone make the decision well worth the investment.