If your business is like most, you go through laptops pretty quickly due to the dizzying pace of technological change. You probably upgrade to newer models with better features and performance every few years.
And before you know it, your company is stuck with a fleet of outdated laptops. What can you do with all those old laptops? One option is to recycle them so they don’t add to the increasing volume of e-waste, making up 2% of America’s landfill trash.
But recycling laptops is a little more complicated than recycling other items or simple gadgets. Can you recycle a laptop if you have never done it before? You’ll recycle your old laptops easily and responsibly if you follow these tips.
Wipe All Data From the Laptops
If you’re planning to recycle business laptops, you’ll need to remove any data from the hard drive. This includes any sensitive business data and any personal information such as passwords and logins.
Erasing your data from the laptop is vital because it will prevent someone else from accessing your confidential business information. It will also ensure that you destroy any sensitive customer data that criminals may use to defraud your clients. Such scenarios are possible because your drive will most likely end up in someone else’s hands.
You can use various methods to destroy the data. But, the most reliable way is to use special software that will overwrite all the data on the hard drive multiple times, making it impossible to retrieve. Trusting another organization to erase it for you may cause costly data leakage.
Once you have erased the data, you can move on to physically preparing the laptops for recycling. This means removing any batteries or power cords and external drives or peripherals.
You should also remove any SIM cards, card readers, and software CDs or DVDs. If you can’t remove any attached storage, disable it so someone else can’t use it to access your data.
Choose the Best Recycling Option
When thinking about how to recycle a laptop, you have a few different options. You can let recycling companies recycle the entire laptop.
This is the best option from an environmental standpoint. The recycler will disassemble the laptop and recycle the various components, including plastics, metals, and circuit boards.
You can also let the tech company that sold you the laptop recycle it. Many electronic retailers and tech firms will take back your old laptops and recycle them. Some will even give you incentives to recycle, such as discounts on new purchases or cash when you return your obsolete laptops.
If your laptops are still in good working condition, you can sell them or donate them to charity. From a financial standpoint, selling is better than recycling. You can either sell the laptops outright or trade them in for a discount on new purchases.
You can donate your old laptops to a school or nonprofit organization. This is a great way to get some use out of your old laptops while supporting a worthy cause.
Just make sure to wipe the data from the hard drive first, so you don’t inadvertently donate sensitive business information. You should also check with the organization to see if it accepts laptops that are more than a few years old.
Identify a Responsible E-recycler
If you decide to surrender your laptops to an e-recycler, you need to find a reputable one. This step is vital because many so-called recyclers ship electronic waste to developing countries where it’s dismantled in primitive and often dangerous ways.
The best way to find a responsible e-recycler is to look for one certified by e-Stewards. Another option is an e-recycler who meets the R2 Standard for Responsible Recycling.
These are the most rigorous standards for e-recycling, and they ensure that your laptops will be recycled in an environmentally friendly way. The certifications mean the recycler adheres to strict standards for handling and recycling electronic waste.
You can also check with your local waste management department or search online for other certified electronics recyclers near you.
Find a Recycler that Accepts Business Laptops
Many recyclers only accept laptops from consumers, not businesses. They may not have the capacity to handle larger quantities of laptops, or they may not want to deal with the data-wiping process.
So, if you have many old laptops to recycle, you may need to find a specialty recycler that accepts business laptops. E-Waste, LLC is one example of a recycler who will accept your laptops. You can check out more details about this company at https://www.e-wasteonline.com/services/asset-recovery/.
Be sure to check with the recycler in advance to make sure they accept laptops from businesses. Ensure there are no special requirements for business electronics. You don’t want to prepare your laptops for recycling only to find out that the recycler won’t accept them.
Drop Off or Schedule a Pick-Up
Once you’ve decided how to recycle your laptops, you need to get them to the recycler or the organization you’re donating them to. Many e-recyclers will pick up large quantities of electronics for recycling. So, if you have a lot of laptops, this may be the best option.
You can also drop off your laptops at the recycler’s facility. This is usually free, but some recyclers may charge a small fee. Find the most convenient location where it won’t take long to drive or a recycling center with more opening hours.
Once you’ve found a reputable recycling center, drop off the laptops and let the recyclers handle the rest.
Recycling Laptops Made Easy
Are you wondering what to do with business laptops that have become outdated? Our article has all the tips that will help you handle your corporate laptop recycling like a pro.
With these tips in mind, recycling laptops your business no longer uses will be a walk in the park, and you’ll do it more responsibly to protect your sensitive business information.
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