Businesses have started taking the green effort more seriously in the past few years. Reduce the waste you produce in your operations, recycle old equipment, start running your client accounts online to cut down on paper from all angles - whatever your business or operation can do, it seems it will reflect well on your company.
A small but easy way we help out is by donating our old computers and electrical equipment. There are two main approaches - recycle and reuse.
Recycling - safe and standards-compliant break-down of the different component materials, some of which can be hazardous.
Reuse - refurbishing better-quality second-hand equipment and re-selling it as a cost-effective solution or donating it to those in need.
It’s easy, but needs a little thought
Each time we need to get rid of our old computers we take a fresh look at the computer recycling market. There are some great computer recycling and refurbishment services around, with more springing up now than ever before. It is, however, time-consuming trawling through all the options to find the best-fit for you. To give you a quick idea of the things you need to consider:
potential security needs
will the company erase sensitive data (if required) and if so, how secure is the process?
free or paid service
some services are free of charge, mid-range companies charge nominal donation fees for some or all items, and corporate solutions charge through their teeth, but provide a top-of-the-line service
suitability of items
many companies wont accept CRT monitors and other difficult-to-manage waste. Older items often attract a fee
delivery or pick-up
pick-up - maximum weight/number of items
delivery - are the opening times and location convenient?
ByteBack - trail initiative in Victoria
Being a Melbourne-based company, we're very interested in a recent computer recycling initiative in Victoria, called ByteBack.
ByteBack is free for any member of the public or small business, and allows you to drop off up to 10 items at various locations around Australia. The initiative is being trialled here in Victoria, and information gathered from the trail will go towards developing a national framework for collecting and disposing of end-of-life computer equipment responsibly.
More information about ByteBack can be found on their website (and at the bottom of this page): http://www.bytebackaustralia.com.au
Melbourne Computer Recycling Services
Once the ByteBack trial is over, we'll need to go back to square one for a while. Here is a quick list, in an attempt to reduce some of the work for you around finding a computer recycler.
If you're reading this in another city, consider yourself tagged - the easier it is to find these services, the more people will use them! I'd love to see more lists like these around.
Free services (or nominal donation charges)
Fees for obsolete items (per item, between $2 - $20)
Pick-up donations of more than 5 working Pentium 4 machines in the Melbourne area, otherwise drop-off to West Melbourne
Fresh linux install/OS software - then they sell computers at very low cost to the needy, or donate them depending on the situation
Business to Community Recyclers
No requirements specified
Drop-offs to Thomastown - $5 donation fee for each monitor/printer/laptop - large volume discounts apply
Pick-ups - $100 min. charge, quote provided first
Provide low-cost PCs to local and overseas communities in need
Pentium IV and above
Pick-up for 20 items or more, less than 20 items drop-off to Abbotsford
Refurbishes computers, gives them to a variety of not-for-profits for distribution
ERNI (Equipment Recycling Network Inc.)
No CRT monitors
Drop-off only, located in Ringwood
Sell refurbished computers at very low cost to people with disabilities
Cash for Computers
Pay for Pentium IV and above
Collect a minimum of 10 items (can do less by agreement)
Obsolete items may have a $10 per item fee.
Re-sell, refurbish working systems, recycle obsolete items
No requirements specified
Free collection from your business/school or free drop-off to Dandenong collection facility
Re-sell working systems, recycle obsolete items
Only Dell products
Free pick-up up to 22kg, then charges apply
Prices vary, most will provide a solid quotation, and will pick up from most areas of Greater Melbourne.
ByteBack – more information
The ByteBack trial program is running in Victoria until mid-2009, and is run by Sustainability Victoria and Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), with partners Apple, Canon, Dell, Epson, Fujitsu, Fuji-Xerox, HP, IBM, Lenovo, and Lexmark.
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