In the last of our series on the countdown to the new eWaste laws Dell's Jean Cox-Kearns argues that reuse is often as good as recycling
It's just a week to go until the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive comes into full effect and there is one final tip that is critical for all firms if they are to be certain of complying with the new law.
Under the directive, producers are primarily responsible for e-waste disposal. However there may be some instances where end user organisations are responsible for disposal themselves, for example, if the Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) was purchased prior to August 2005 and is not being replaced. In these circumstances business users of electrical equipment must make their own arrangments for safe disposal.
When looking to dispose of EEE, the first thing to do is to consider whether the equipment can be re-used elsewhere in the company. If not, perhaps it can be donated to not-for-profit organisations such as schools and charities, as long as it is still in reasonably good condition and is of adequate specification. There are lots of opportunities for your old equipment to be re-used by organisations within the UK.
Selling the equipment onto other users is another possibility. Whether you choose to donate or sell old EEE, security is still a key concern so, as previously discussed, take the necessary precautions and ensure equipment is wiped clean of any sensitive data and note that reformatting disks does not remove your data. There are a number of organisations that offer data cleaning services on IT equipment .
If the old kit cannot be reused recycling through an approved authorised treatment facility is the final option. There are a number of organisations that can help with recycling and ensure that components and data are disposed of in an environmentally responsible manner.
The business advice website Business Link has a list of such organisations to help you dispose of your equipment.
Disposal of EEE doesn't haven't to be a daunting or difficult process. And if you are in uncertain about how to comply with WEEE simply consult with your IT supplier about whether they offer e-waste disposal, donation or asset recovery programmes. If they do not such a scheme themselves they should be able to put you into contact with an authorised recycling facility.
Jean Cox-Kearns is Dell's take-back and recycling manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa.
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