How to Implement E-Waste Management - Computer Disposal Limited
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How to Implement E-Waste Management

Since its beginnings in the mid-1960s, the management and recycling of e-waste has come a long way. With awareness increasing and legislation making recycling practices iron-clad, e-waste is no longer something that businesses can simply sweep under the rug.

In order to curb e-waste emissions, remain compliant with relevant environmental protections, and avoid both financial and reputational damages, businesses must have an established e-waste management process.

But how can you begin to implement a proper process of e-waste management? To help your business stay on the right side of compliance, we’ll take a closer look at the steps involved, as well as how to dispose of different types of e-waste below.

Establishing a process of e-waste management

Since new technologies can very quickly replace older, obsolete devices, the issue of e-waste is ever-increasing. Therefore, a business must decide how to approach its management of e-waste.

Rather than contributing to the growing pile of e-waste, a business might decide to:

recycling electrics

By far the most environmentally friendly approach to dealing with unwanted IT assets is to give them a new life. If the assets can’t be used elsewhere in your own business, then a good ITAD provider can offer a number of services to give the assets a new life elsewhere.

These services begin with the collection of your unwanted assets, the secure erasure of their data and refurbishment. Subsequently, the assets can be remarketed, and depending on their residual value, the ITAD provider may be able to offer a rebate back to you following the successful sale.

Alternatively, the ITAD business may offer a charitable donation service, in which they can distribute your unwanted assets to schools and charities, so you can rest assured that the assets are going to people who need them, rather than the scrap heap.

If the assets are not reusable, then E-waste recycling must be carried out at a high standard. E-waste recycling involves dismantling equipment, recovering certain valuable resources, selling dismantled parts, and exporting the processed waste for precious metal recovery. As a result, should a business decide to recycle, then it must familiarise itself with collection, sorting and transportation – the three major components of e-waste management.

Collection and transportation

There are a few options available to businesses when it comes to e-waste collection. Certain recycling plants have their own fleet of vehicles that will collect e-waste from your business. When a company can’t send e-waste back to the manufacturers to recycle, such services can be very helpful.

When using recyclers that take e-waste away from your business, ensuring it’s properly disposed of is imperative. You’ll often find that companies have policies in place mandating the appropriate due diligence so that the right facilities for recycling and waste disposal are used.

As a business, you’ll want assurance that your e-waste is being handled safely and in compliance with existing legislation, without creating additional risks.  Certificates of destruction and/or recycling can also help give your business peace of mind.

electronics recylcing

A business might even decide to set up its own collection-and-disposal system in order to return its e-waste safely to manufacturers. Or it may opt for a voluntary system with manufacturers to care for a product when it’s past its best. It may even decide to use financially secure systems that make environmentally and socially responsible e-waste recycling a viable option.

As well as the involvement of recycling companies, spreading awareness of e-waste recycling amongst employees plays a large part in implementing the correct management practices.

Shredding and sorting

After your e-waste has been collected and transported to a recycling facility, the materials in the e-waste stream must be processed and separated into clean commodities in order to make new products.

Shredding e-waste makes it easier to sort and separate plastics from metals and internal circuitry. Waste items are then shredded into pieces as small as 100mm to prepare for further sorting.

Once the materials are separated, a powerful overhead magnet separates iron and steel from the waste. It’s this metallic material that will later be prepared and sold as recycled steel. After this, additional mechanical processing separates aluminium, copper, and circuit boards from the stream of waste material, most of which is now largely plastic.

control room workers at waste sight

Water separation is also used to separate glass from plastics, before the final step in the process locates and extracts remaining metal remnants from the plastics to purify the stream further. For more information on how computers and other IT materials are recycled, check out our guide on corporate electronic recycling here.

And while this process is all well and good for things like unwanted keyboards and computer monitors, what about equipment that holds sensitive business data on it that needs disposing of? Through things like overwriting and degaussing, it’s possible to safely and effectively destroy data without it falling into the wrong hands.

When it comes to highlighting the importance of e-waste management to your employees, you might consider trying the following approaches:

Providing employee incentives is another great way of boosting awareness and encouraging employees to be more mindful of their own e-waste disposal. Likewise, many recycling companies also offer customer incentives in return for their equipment.

computer waste

Although each company will have different needs, and will have to customise their solutions accordingly, you may want to try the following ideas too:


CDL is one of the UK’s leading IT disposal companies, working to help private and public businesses safely retire and recycle their outdated IT assets. To find out how we could help your business, or for more of the latest tech news and advice, visit our homepage or call our team today on 0333 060 2846.


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