Want to know one of the rapidly expanding streams of waste here in the UK? It’s electronic and electrical equipment. Those pieces of equipment we just can’t seem to do without. Manufacturers have dropped prices to such an extent and improved their advertising that many of us think nothing of discarding these items when the latest model hits the high street. It’s been estimated that nearly 2 million tonnes of waste electrical and electronic equipment are disposed of every year. These are products that either need a battery or to be plugged into an electrical supply.
So what do you need to do when faced with a pile of e-waste you need to dispose of in an environmentally sound way? A question faced by many office managers right across the country. E-waste is another name for computer equipment such as monitors, printers, hard drives and circuit boards. They shouldn’t be thrown into the ordinary waste because they contain substances and materials that are toxic. In other words they’re hazardous waste. A lot of this e-waste ends up in developing countries where the concern is for the pollution the waste materials cause.
In 2007 legislation was introduced for this kind of waste. If you have office equipment you’re getting rid of you need to obtain and keep proof that it was disposed of responsibly. In other words it was given to a waste management company who treated and disposed of it in an environmentally friendly way. But this isn’t the only option when faced with the need to dispose of your old office equipment.
Take it back to the Manufacturer
Many manufacturers of electronic goods now incorporate a recycling program into their waste management and environmental policies. Some even cover the cost of picking up along with transporting to a recycling centre where they are de-manufactured and sorted according to the type of material. Materials such as aluminium, plastic and other metals are made into something new and non-reusable materials are disposed of in a way that doesn’t harm the environment.
Waste Disposal Company
You may have to pay to use this kind of service and you need to check the credentials of the company you use. A professional office clearance company should be licensed and comply with the latest WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) Regulations.
Donate to Charity
There are several not for profit organisations who collect unwanted electrical equipment including computers and printers. The items are either sold on at a discounted rate or taken apart and recycled.
When disposing of old office equipment take care to remove all personal and confidential data from the files. Identity theft is a big problem all over the world and just imagine the damage that can be done if the personal details of your employees falls into the wrong hands.
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