Computer Waste

How to Dispose of Redundant IT Equipment

IT is a dynamic industry, evolving in days and months, not years. Any IT manager would agree that disposing of outdated items is routine. The redundant IT equipment like outdated smartphones, laptops, and desktops pile up very soon.

Safely disposing of them is critical for the environment. Unsafe disposal techniques wreak havoc on the environment of the planet Earth. Dumping in the ground makes toxic materials reach the soil and underground water. It is equally unhealthy for humans and animals living nearby.

On the other hand, the world generates horrific amounts of IT waste every year. Only the United Kingdom produces 1.45 million tons of electronic waste every year

Electronic waste is an umbrella term that encompasses all unused electronic devices. IT waste is a subcategory that only discusses computer devices. That is why we need to be very clear about what IT equipment is when we say redundant IT equipment or redundant computer equipment.

What is IT equipment?

Indeed, it refers to a broad range. However, let us understand it this way. Any device that is not in use and can store data counts as IT equipment that needs safe disposal.

This includes, but is not limited to:

  1. PCs, Laptops, Tablets and Smartphones. They all have hard drives, motherboards, and general storage components.
  2. Removable storage media, for example, DVDs, CDs, Blu-Ray Disks (BDs), Flash Drives, and USB sticks, etc.
  3. Modern “Smart TVs” with storage capabilities
  4. Telecommunications equipment, photocopiers, printers, and fax machines retain data.

Why safe disposal is necessary

There are two significant reasons:

Environmental concern

Tech waste is not like general waste. Disposal methods like landfilling and acid baths are hazardous to the environment. Then, which is the safe disposal method? Simply put, it is recycling. Computer recycling is the most responsible thing you can do.

Here is a pro tip. Try to find an IT recycler, not just a general e-waste recycler. These companies know all about computer equipment. They not only offer suitable disposal computer services but also address the second primary reason for safe disposal.

Data destruction

Data is a valuable asset for modern businesses and individuals. If you dispose of old equipment unsafely, any unauthorised person can access the data inside it. We all are well aware of the dangers that come with sensitive information going public.

Even if you use the standard delete option, there are still recoverable data traces. It goes for all storage devices, hard drives, mobile phone memory cards, flash drives, etc. Experts recommend proper disk cleaning to remove all information permanently.

Now, it is understandable why you should hire computer recyclers to dispose of redundant IT equipment. They will ensure proper data destruction. 

Five steps to IT disposal

Typically, companies follow the five steps below to dispose of IT equipment safely. If you hire someone for your tech recycling , make sure they follow in these footsteps. 

  1. De-install & catalog IT equipment

It is essential to account for every bit of equipment when you want to dispose of your IT equipment. You have to make sure that no piece of equipment is left behind. Some businesses even look for IT Asset Management programs for this.

No equipment should be left by mistake, and no equipment should miss data destruction processes. Safe de-installation assures you that daily operations keep working as before.

  • Data destruction

Whether you sell, recycle, refurbish, or dispose of your equipment, the importance of this step stays unaffected. You may have sensitive information about your business and customers on your hard drives. There are two methods followed for it. 

Data destruction: This method physically destroys the device by crushing or grinding it. The purpose is to make the data retrieval impossible. 

Data erasure: Reformatting the hard drive deletes the data while leaving recoverable traces. Data erasure assures overwriting all the data to the lowest level. It makes any malicious data-recovery attempts next to impossible. Removing the data provides a level of compliance and regulatory security to protect organisations from the possibility of data breaches.

  • Refurbish equipment & reselling

Resale could be either a profitable or inappropriate decision. The age and condition of your used IT disposals are the decisive factors. If it is beneficial, prepare it for resale in-house. But that is when you buy and sell at scale.

You can also partner with any ITAD (IT Asset Disposition) company that happily purchases equipment from you at a reasonable price. Hereafter, they would refurbish your redundant IT equipment efficiently.

  • Responsible disposal

What if refurbishing and reselling is not an option? Of course, you will go for disposal in that case.

Safe disposal is the very topic of this article, and we have emphasised it throughout. Your recycling partner should be capable enough to dispose of the equipment in an environment-friendly way. Ask them about the processes so your company never gets in trouble related to a breach of regulatory compliance.

  • Certification & reporting

Once you are done with safe disposal, you start proper documentation. Your stakeholders and regulators may ask you about this. You should be able to provide professional documentation of everything. It would not be difficult for you if you followed the proper procedures.


So, it is not so difficult to get rid of your redundant IT equipment. However, you must follow the right procedures, and find the right partner. Safe disposal is good for both the planet and your business. All over the world, organisations that follow green practices earn good reputation and more business.