According to the Environment agency, redundant EEE (electrical and electronic equipment) is the fastest growing waste stream in the UK. Whilst The WEEE Directive regulates the collection and treatment of waste EEE, every year thousands of tonnes are still sent to landfill.
Such volumes are largely unnecessary because much of it is perfectly repairable or re-usable. Yet we live in a society where it’s easier to discard and replace. What’s worse, many users are completely unaware of their obligations to ensure that EEE is disposed of responsibly, which means that tonnes of environmentally hazardous metals are incorrectly disposed of and end up in landfill.
Business users in particular have the potential to make the biggest contributions towards making environmentally ethical choices to bring about positive change.
This culture of abandoning old items is quite literally destroying our planet, not just because of the environmental impact of waste, but also the ethics and sustainability issues that’s arise from manufacture:
Many electrical components are highly toxic (mercury, lead and cadmium for example) making them some of the most dangerous items to end up in landfill. These toxins affect ecosystems and water.
The manufacturing process of new products creates mass volumes of carbon, importing these gadgets from abroad further adds to that footprint and then shipping around the UK even more. Transporting electrical products around the country accounts for about 3% or all carbon emissions we create.
Minerals such as gold, silver and palladium are used in most hard drives, these natural raw materials are in limited supply, imagine how much of each needs to be mined to keep up with world demand and how much devastation is caused to the natural world in the process.
The materials used in electronics are often mined in parts of the developing world where unethical labour is used meaning there are a human rights issue as well as an environmental.
In addition to the humanitarian and environmental cost, the financial cost is quite staggering! While manufacturers get rich from consumer buying behaviours, consumers complain about the costs of living and/or running a business.
What can we do?
Our overall objective should be to maximise the life span of equipment. We know that technology changes rapidly but that doesn’t always mean that your existing kit has become redundant.
Working with Ecom Management means that not only can we assess your existing equipment and recommend repairs and upgrades, but we can also match and supply replacement units for un-repairable items, meaning you don’t have to fork out for a whole new roll out!
What’s more, when items really are beyond repair, we will break down and use components for spares where possible and ensure that any truly unusable electronics and parts are disposed of in full compliance to the WEE directive.
If your equipment isn’t faulty, but it quite frankly just isn’t meeting the demands of your growing business you may genuinely need a full replacement. In this case do re-deploy your hardware to someone who can use it. If you don’t have the resources to do this then let us help, we can either offer you a buy back or market the equipment on your behalf. We work with companies and charities of all different sizes and can make sure your redundant equipment is put to best use.
A note on data security
One of the most significant worries businesses have when letting go of EEE is data security. Ecom Management will ensure that all data is erased and provide you with a certificate of data destruction for your records.