Jan 24, 2021

How To Recycle Your Electronics Waste At Work

Words by First Mile

Technology has been good to us. It’s helped our businesses thrive, improved our quality of life and become part of our homes. Tech and its electronics are continuously evolving and improving and, in the commercial world, companies need to keep ahead of the trend to stay competitive in their industry.

This means that when the new tech comes in, the old stuff has got to go out.

Cue: a massive waste problem.

What is Electronic Waste?

WEEE stands for Waste Electronic and Electronic Equipment. Think: batteries, laptops, computers, keyboards, fridges, kettles. Basically, anything that needs a plug or a battery to power it —including its cables —needs somewhere to go when it’s made redundant (or inevitably breaks).

Discarding electronic waste is not as simple as chucking it in the bin. Many electronics and appliances can cause serious health threats if they are not disposed of properly. They contain nasty chemicals and substances that, if thrown haphazardly into landfill, risk escaping and polluting us, as well as our planet.

That’s why electronic recycling is the best way to remove your old tech, thus clearing space for that shiny new computer.

Still unsure? Let’s look at the facts:

  • In 2019, a whopping 53.6 million metric tonnes of e-waste (electronic waste) was generated around the world. This is a new record.
  • The Global E-Waste Monitor predicts that by 2030, e-waste will reach 74 million metric tonnes.
  • It’s estimated that 98 million metric tonnes of CO2 equivalents polluted the atmosphere in 2019 due to e-waste disposal.
  • E-waste generation releases toxic substances including mercury, a chemical that is proven to damage the human brain and nervous system.
  • In 2019, only 17.4% of e-waste was documented as being collected and recycled.
  • It’s the law. In the UK, you could be prosecuted if you don’t get your e-waste properly disposed of.

This is scary stuff, but don’t panic — there is a solution. Getting your electronics properly recycled will not only give you peace of mind, but it’ll save dangerous chemicals from damaging the environment and the people who live in it. Oh, and they can be made into new materials and products. It’s a no-brainer!

How Can I Recycle Commercial Electronics?

Businesses have a responsibility to recycle their unwanted electronics. With offices, shops and warehouses constantly replacing and upgrading their technology and appliances, it’s not good enough to simply throw your e-waste into landfill.

We understand that this responsibility can feel overwhelming, so that’s why we make it as easy as possible for you to recycle your electronics. We have a fool-proof, step-by-step process that ensures your waste is reused and repurposed. And, even better, if your old electronics still have value, we’ll give you cash for it.

Step 1

We’ll send one of our drivers to collect your unwanted or broken electronics for free. We use carbon-neutral trucks, so even our delivery methods have as little impact on the environment as possible. We’ll pick up the following items:

  • Small and large electronic appliances
  • Wires, cables and plugs
  • IT and telecommunications equipment
  • Laptops
  • Keyboards
  • Computers
  • We will not take toners and cartridges, light bulbs or batteries. Please see our other services if you want to remove these.

Step 2

We’ll take your electronic waste to our award-winning sorting factory, aka, The Sacktory. Here, we sort your items and prepare them for the next stage of their journey.

Step 3

We take them to a specialist WEEE (waste electronic and electronic equipment) factory. Here, the e-waste is sorted into different categories such as printers, monitors and screens.

Step 4

All items are recycled or repurposed. For the electronics that absolutely cannot be saved, we’ll shred them down and use the separated plastic and metals to create new materials.

Electronic Recycling in the Workplace

As a business, you want to stay at the top of your industry and, for many organisations, this means keeping on ahead of the new technology. Whether that’s a set of new super-fast laptops for your employees, a new luxury kettle for the staff room or a glitzy new coffee machine for your café, it’s understandable that you don’t want to be left behind.

If you’re a business owner or you’re responsible for dealing with the waste that your company produces, then it’s time to put electronics recycling into practice. By making an active effort to recycle your old equipment, you won’t just be doing your part for the environment, but you’ll be setting a good example to your employees and your fellow business associates.

So, why not go that extra step and be an environmental leader in your industry? Educate both your staff and your customers by showing them how you deal with your electronic waste. By minimising the effect that your technology and appliances have on the environment, it will show that your company cares about the future and is prepared to go that extra mile.

At work, make sure to implement a clear and easy recycling system that signposts where and how your employees should discard their old equipment. Each department head will need to understand the importance of recycling to ensure the whole organisation can become a slick and effective recycling machine. We have lots of useful resources such as guides and posters that you can pin up in your workplace that’ll keep recycling at the forefront of your employee’s minds. Click here to have a browse of our posters.

And, lastly, you don’t need to stress if you’ve got a billion other things on your plate because we’ll do all the hard work for you. Not only will we collect your e-waste for free, but we provide a ‘zero to landfill’ policy which means absolutely nothing gets thrown in the bin. There’s enough rubbish that gets discarded on a regular basis — don’t let your old electronics provide fuel for the problem.

By First Mile


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