No, ITAD and e-waste are not the same. Far from it, in fact. Too often in asset management the terms are used interchangeably when corporations are disposing of their old electronic assets. To help you understand, here’s 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 those IT assets – stuff that 14-year-old boys would love to do. There’s a growing environmental concern with just creating scrap metal with old equipment and we want to avoid that.
Don’t get me wrong, recycling has its place, but only when units are non-functional or 15 years past their best before date.
The IT value proposition
This is literally about the corporate bottom line. The average corporate IT replacement life-cycle is between three and five years. The question you need to ask yourself as a corporate leader is: Do I want my IT asset disposition to be a cost centre or a potential revenue driver?
If you just create e-waste, you’re paying to have the assets destroyed. If you use ITAD solution providers like TechReset, you could be looking at a 10 to 20 per cent return on value. We talk more about that here.
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 your equipment to a recycler where they’re doing the smashing and shredding, are they providing you 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 your company can have the peace of mind that you’d pass a risk governance audit. We give you all the documentation we put together in the ITAD process.
No one wants to risk the cost of a data breach these days. So, ask yourself if the cost of doing the right thing is outweighed by the cost of a data breach.
Environmental footprint is dramatically different
If you’ve ever been in a recycling plant, it’s nothing like that of a qualified ITAD operation. It’s noisy, it’s dirty, it’s a power and electricity sponge. ITAD = None of the above. In fact, if I were to ballpark it, ITAD has between 1/8 to 1/10 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 straight up e-waste and recycling and the responsible disposition of your 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 is 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.