03-09-2018 at 14:37
Electronic waste (e-waste) from businesses and households in the UK is helping fuel a global rise in toxic e-waste which is forecast to reach around 50 million by the end of 2018. Much of this e-waste ends up being transported via black market means to developing countries, where there are less stringent waste disposal regulations in place.
The UN Environment Programme has said that the incorrect disposal of this e-waste causes soil and water pollution, emission of toxic greenhouse gases and thinning of the ozone layer, alongside impacts on marine and forest systems by way of ultraviolet radiation. Some of the dangerous materials released into the environment and disposed of via landfill sites include cadmium, nickel, lead and mercury. What's more, many of the third world workers, in places like Ghana, China and India, who have to strip heavy and precious metals from e-waste are putting their own health at risk due to respiratory and internal organ damage. Some of the metals commonly found in e-waste include copper, gold, aluminium, silver and zinc, and workers will generally burn off the plastic wire coatings to extract these materials.
UK regulations on e-waste disposal
The UK has stringent regulations on the disposal of e-waste, currently covered by the EU's Waste, Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive. Currently, around 45% of waste electrical equipment in the UK is recycled and 80% of this total is sent overseas for handling. By the year 2020 there is a target in place for 85% of electrical waste to be recycled.
It's surprising that e-waste is not currently recycled at a great level in the UK, as it can contain up to 50 times more precious metals than can be extracted from mining ores, with an estimated total value of around £43bn.
The UK Environment Agency does monitor e-waste and has invested huge sums into tracking down informal collections within the UK. An official spokesperson commented: "Waste crime is a serious issue diverting as much as £1billion per annum from legitimate business and the Treasury." At this moment in time it's widely believed that only around 10% of e-waste is correctly recycled and handled. The illegal trade in e-waste is estimated to be a £14bn industry, as it's easy to send overseas marked up as secondhand goods. For example, a used computer that's still in working order can be transported under existing laws, as it is not classified as hazardous waste.
Of course, businesses and organisations need to be extremely careful about the disposal of defunct IT equipment due to the fact that so much sensitive data can be stored on hard drives. It's not just computers either, tablets, smartphones and laptops can also contain a wealth of confidential information. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which came into force in May 2018 does require all businesses to maintain the confidentiality of personal data and this means all IT and electronic equipment should be disposed of via professional providers, with certification that all data has been destroyed and security measures have been in place throughout the procedure.
So, how can you ensure responsible recycling of your old IT equipment and benefit from cash payments?
Asset Re-marketing has been in the business of recycling used IT equipment for a number of years. We have dealt with hundreds of public sector organisations and large business clients during this time, and have a successful track record in the confidential collection of redundant IT equipment and destruction of all data, whether on hard drives, servers or personal devices. We are certified by the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) and follow ethical disposal practices with all equipment we handle.
Our new cash for used IT equipment strategy means any business can benefit from the disposal of used IT equipment, and it's an easy process to value all the redundant electronic equipment you possess. You can simply log into our website today and enter the details of the IT equipment you wish to sell. If you're disposing of your entire IT infrastructure and associated equipment, just paste a list of all your redundant machinery and you'll receive an instant online valuation of its worth.
If you're happy with the sale price, you just need to speak with our knowledgeable customer service team to arrange for the confidential collection of all your equipment and it will be transported to our secure Manchester site.
All the IT equipment we collect is either recycled or prepared for re-marketing, following our secure data wiping service. You will be supplied with certification to confirm all business and personal data has been completely wiped or destroyed, for your records. And your cash payment for all IT equipment we purchase will soon be transferred to your bank, too.
You can rest assured that our service is compliant with all UK and EU WEEE Directive waste legislation, so your equipment is disposed of in an ethical, transparent manner.
Browse our website today to find out more. It only takes a couple of minutes to list your redundant IT equipment and you benefit from cash payments and the knowledge your equipment will be handled by professionals.