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How to recycle your old IT equipment?

Your equipment is obsolete, you want to renew your computer equipment or you are simply wondering how to manage the end of life of your computer equipment?

A PC, barcode reader or discontinued cash terminal, which is no longer under manufacturer’s warranty, no longer produced by the manufacturer or even no longer functional can still be upgraded.

Whether reconditioning or recycling, you can offer a second, third or even fourth life to your old computer equipment and it is essential for any company to know how to properly manage the end of life of its computer equipment.

Refurbishment or recycling, how do you know which IT end-of-life solution to use?

Once taken over, obsolete equipment is qualified and sorted. Unfortunately, some cannot be reused due to their poor condition and will therefore have to join an official recycling channel.

The sorting of professional IT equipment is thus divided into several categories, relating to the condition of the devices:

  • Those that still work can take advantage of repairs or a computer reconditioning service. Many companies resell their unused computer equipment to refurbished equipment professionals. In this case, we speak of “recovery of computer equipment”. You can also consider donation and charities.
  • Machines and tools that cannot be repaired can be traded in at a lower cost. The equipment will be dismantled as follows:
    • Functional spare parts can be reused for maintenance operations
    • The other parts will be dismantled to recover the components, the spare parts, but also the metals.

Recycling of professional IT equipment: can we recycle everything?

Since 2005, companies have had the obligation to organize the recycling of their professional IT equipment. This obligation falls under the European directive on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).

Recycling some computer equipment can be done easily, by following simple rules. However, recycling a large volume of computer equipment is a challenge.

The very management of the computer park covers both hardware, network resources and software. Recycling computer equipment therefore involves knowing whether computers, routers or cables can be recycled and how.

What are recyclable IT devices?

Many elements of the computer park can be recycled:

  • fixed and portable computers, and in particular their screens;
  • central units;
  • helmets;
  • HDDs ;
  • USB flash drives ;
  • electrical cables and sockets;
  • scanners;
  • touch tablets;
  • mouse ;
  • smartphones;
  • connector accessories;
  • processors;
  • printers;
  • barcode terminals;
  • payment terminals (chip and pin);
  • point-of-sale (POS) terminals.

How to recycle an entire computer park?

The recycling of a complete computer park is rarely supported by the company itself.

Most companies therefore call on a company to take back computer equipment to organize the audit, removal, sorting, reuse and recycling of equipment. The process is generally organized in 3 phases.

1 / Recovery and sorting of computer hardware equipment

First, the service provider assesses your computer equipment to offer you a valuation. The repurchase prices depend on the state of the various materials, depending on whether they are still in working order or defective. Then comes the time to uninstall your equipment. At Codeo, we take over all of your equipment, all ranges and generations included.

The service provider is then responsible for sorting all the computer equipment to be recycled. In particular, it differentiates the machines that are candidates for reconditioning and the media to be sent for recycling.

This sorting must also make it possible to separate electrical and electronic equipment from that with screens. Battery-powered, or main-powered machines don’t require the same cleanup work as laptops or tablets.

2 / Reconditioning

Many companies today choose refurbished equipment to extend the life of their equipment, maintain a homogeneous equipment longer or delay the renewal of their IT equipment. Your obsolete equipment is valuable, so remember to have it appraised to reuse it!

For functional equipment, a series of technical and aesthetic tests are carried out in order to define general condition, necessary repairs/maintenance, and gradation of equipment.

Those that can be are subject to reconditioning. They thus become available for resale under warranty. The others are dismantled to recover the components, the spare parts, but also the metals.

3 / Treatment of computer waste

Computer “waste” turns out to be recyclable, but each with precise specificities. For example :

  • the components are generally crushed then burned by specialized outlets to extract the various metals (we speak of pyro-hydrometallurgy);
  • ferrous and non-ferrous metals – in particular aluminium, steel, copper are recycled;
  • the screens are depolluted because they contain hazardous materials (including mercury) and then partly recycled. The rest is usually cremated;
  • as for the plastic of the equipment, it is also sorted and then recycled if possible (40% on average) .

Do you want to get rid of all or part of your computer equipment as quickly as possible to avoid unnecessary storage costs? Submit your computer park takeover project to us!