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Recycling IT Assets – Optimizing Your Corporate Sustainability Plan

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Editor’s note: if you have servers to sell that you would like a quote on, click here.

It’s no secret that companies are moving toward sustainable, eco-friendly practices for both positive branding and more efficient bottom lines. The Guardian states that businesses committed to eco-friendly practices are more profitable businesses, while the Harvard Business Review argues that sustainability is the driving force of innovation in business. Yet, companies, particularly those with high-density computing data centers, may be missing out on one of the biggest ways to exercise eco-initiatives: recycling IT assets.

If you’re like most corporations, your IT network is the backbone of your business, which means you rely on a substantial fleet of IT assets like servers, hard drives, and memory modules. When it’s time to retire this used IT equipment, you may not realize that 99% of the materials found within these assets can be recycled and turned into reusable materials. Practically every bit of tech within your company or data center can therefore find meaningful use after retirement. Unfortunately, approximately only 20% of all computer products are recycled each year. In other words, 80% of IT assets are thrown away, despite the fact that 99% of asset material can be recycled.

As mentioned, recycling IT assets should also be an attractive option to companies and data centers because it benefits bottom lines. We want technologies that ensure high power and cutting-edge performance, and because new generations of assets like servers are continually released, most competitive companies are re-evaluating their IT assets every two to three years. The benefit? Rather than sending used IT equipment to the trash, recycling these used parts with a recycling company like Ex-It Technologies can earn companies money back. In other words, companies can “be green” in more than one way.

Proper recycling is also important because the reality is that most technologies—your servers, CPUs, and hard drives—aren’t yet built for sustainability with materials that can guarantee eco-friendliness when disposed of. Simply throwing away IT assets further poses a number of environmental risks, as these IT assets include materials like lead, mercury, and flame retardants, which could leak into the surrounding environment and contaminate soil and water. Companies should therefore rely on recyclers with R2 certification like Ex-It Technologies to responsibly recycle used IT assets. We know how to properly disassemble materials like PCB boards, batteries, copper, and aluminum, effectively wipe data from all hard drives, and provide sellers cash back.

States are also cracking down on what types of technologies can be sent to landfills, which means an increasing number of companies are required to recycle many of their assets. As a reference, last year AT&T was fined $52 million for dumping electronics illegally in California. Thus, responsibly recycling IT assets can be a safeguard against hefty fines.

Recycling your Servers & IT Assets

Servers are among the most lucrative IT assets to recycle, as servers contain a host of valuable materials that can be recycled individually. If you have servers that are relatively new—between 1 and 3 generations old—you may find that deciding to sell used servers on the resale market is the best way to repurpose them. There is a thriving market of buyers interested in used servers, and resale can also yield companies greater cash back. Our 5 best-selling servers from top manufacturers Dell PowerEdge, HP, and IBM are: IBM Blade, xSeries & pSeries Servers, HP ProLiant Racks, Blades Dell PowerEdge Racks, Blades DDR3 SuperMicro Servers, and Custom Servers with DDR3 Memory. However, if your server is more than 5 years old (and therefore considered obsolete), recycling for scrap metal value is your best course of action for optimal return on investment.

If you are looking to buy new servers to replace your old ones check out our posts on whether white box servers are right for your needs and Dell vs HPE servers.

Learn more about recycling and selling used servers and other IT assets by visiting Ex-It Technologies online.

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June 12, 2024
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