Recycling and/or Disposing of Your Tech Hardware

Article by – Marti Lawrence, Digital Doorway

With technology frequently changing the equipment needs of small businesses, you will probably find yourself with a glut of old equipment that you must dispose of. One way to get rid of that equipment, do a good deed and secure a tax write-off all at the same time, is to donate that equipment to nonprofit organizations that can put it to good use.
Computer manufacturers will also help you recycle old equipment. Hewlett Packard’s computer hardware recycling service aims to cut down on computer waste and put those raw materials to good use. The cost of the automated, online service ranges from $13 to $34 per item, depending upon the type and quantity of hardware returned. For more information visit: HP’s recycling page.
Lenovo participates in the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation’s (RBRC) “Call2Recycle” program. Rechargeable batteries from Lenovo products such as lithium ion batteries in laptops can be recycled free of charge. For more information and to locate a battery recycling location near you, visit the RBRC Web site.
Dell Inc. has launched a new online recycling program for small businesses with fewer than 10 pieces of computer equipment to recycle. The fee for the service is $25 per item and covers the period from the product purchase and set-up through the end of its use. For more information, visit here.
A Dell spokesperson explained to me that while Dell has offered recycling and asset recovery services for several years, the new offering simplifies the process for small business customers with fewer than 10 pieces of computer. The Dell spokesperson said, “Regardless of size, we believe every business can safeguard sensitive data, protect the environment and take advantage of simple and efficient asset recovery. With the new service, customers also have the option of ordering a box for use in returning their equipment.” There’s a video overview at Studio Dell here.
Other key differences between Dell”s commercial offering and consumer (free) offering are 1) reporting – for commercial customers, Dell provides a comprehensive report of how a functional system’s data was cleansed and how the system was recycled and 2) value recovery – if an organization chooses to resell functional equipment, Dell will return the proceeds to the customer along with a detailed settlement report.
Before disposing of a computer or any piece of office equipment that stores files, be sure to transfer records to your new equipment so that no data is lost. Then erase any private information from the equipment you are getting rid of.
The National Cristina Foundation matches donors with recipients. You let the organization know what type of equipment you’re looking to get rid of and it will find an organization that needs it. You can also rest assured that your equipment will be making a difference in somebody’s life.
Another nonprofit organization that matches company donors with needy recipients is Gifts In Kind International. Not only does this organization secure unused computers and office equipment, but it also solicits excess products that may help needy organizations and give small businesses something to do with excess inventory in the process.
If you are interested in helping people across the globe, you can donate your equipment through the World Computer Exchange. The organization fields donations and delivers them to partner organizations in more than 50 countries in such parts of the world as Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
You might prefer that your old computers and office equipment be donated to local organizations. You can always contact local schools to see if your equipment can be of service. The Salvation Army and The American Red Cross might also be on the lookout for donated equipment.
By taking the time to dispose of your equipment in a charitable manner, you’re not only making room for new equipment to run your business, but you’re making someone’s life a little better in the process.
Author Bio – Marti Lawrence
Marti Lawrence has done freelance writing for several years, and runs her own Internet business, Digital Doorway, which is a local area business directory on the Internet. She helps local businesses to understand how technology can improve their business, and offers them website design and webpage copy. She has written and published two books, and several newspaper articles. She works with the latest business technologies and applications, and has networked with some of the Internet’s leading engineers and application designers.