Tech recycling vs. tech reuse

A few weeks ago, I mentioned a technology donation drive held Oct. 13 in Peabody, Mass.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned a technology donation drive held Oct. 13 in Peabody, Mass., by Converge, the parent company of IT asset disposition company NextPhase. Turns out people have been hoarding plenty of obsolete electronics and computer hardware!

NextPhase reports that it filled up three 53-foot trailers with the donations during its drive. Altogether, it collected nearly 500 CRT monitors, 425 desktops and laptops, 189 printers and more than 700 other electronics/computing gadgets. This represents almost 34 tons of stuff that NextPhase processed, redeployed and/or recycled, according to the company.

Keeping with the theme of reuse and recycling for a moment, the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) started offering a new recycling program for its members this week in conjunction with AnythingIT.

CompTIA is a trade organization that represents resellers, VARs and other IT service providers, who in turn handle technology deployment and integration for many small and midsize businesses. Under the alliance, CompTIA members will be able to use AnyThingIT’s Recycle Tomorrow service on behalf of customers who want to trade in or dispose of equipment that they no longer have a use for. The service works like an extended service contract and provides for asset disposition or reuse when the customer needs it. Among other things, the service covers the removal of any sensitive data that must be legally wiped out at the end of a system’s lifetime as mandated by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

This should go a long way in at least getting the green tech dialog started at smaller companies. I think at least part of the reason that this community hasn't been more involved more deeply is due simply to the ease-of-use factor. It's really hard to find convenient recycling or redeployment resources. And, the bigger companies have been mainly focused on handling large enterprise techfleets.

Although it's a little off-topic, I felt it was worth mentioning to close this post that the National Cristina Foundation, a non-profit that redistributes donations of computers to schools and other individuals that can’t afford them, has redesigned its Web site with any eye to playing up green tech issues. Cristina, like many other non-profits, could stand to benefit from more standardized processes that encourage the collection and reuse of technology. So, if you're looking to get rid of something responsibly, you might want to check out Cristina or other non-profits as an option.

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