The Hidden Environmental Risk of IT Asset Remarketing
When your company turns its retired IT equipment over to a vendor for asset remarketing, what happens to the equipment that vendor can’t sell as a working asset? It’s a more important question than you might think. As you know, the market for used IT assets is fickle and very dependent on trends. If too many of a certain piece of equipment flood the market—because an upgrade has become available, for example—it can be difficult to sell that piece of equipment for a profitable price. But if it doesn’t sell, something must be done with it. Your company, as the original owner of the equipment, may still be liable if it is disposed of improperly. Whether your company’s IT assets are collected by recycler or a remarketer, it’s crucial you understand their entire process through to the final disposition of your assets. The cost of environmental non-compliance is too high not to do your homework.
How Irresponsible Remarketers Dispose of IT Assets
Reports of mountains of old computers and monitors leaking toxic chemicals into the environment and deplorable working conditions at overseas recycling facilities unfortunately still occur. A broker or remarketer can sell old, untested or broken equipment to someone who will ship it illegally overseas. Government agencies and advocacy groups are watching very closely. You may never deal directly with the companies that contribute to this growing problem. In fact, your IT asset remarketing partner may never, either. But how can you know what goes on one or two companies downstream from your remarketer? There is a way.
What Certification Tells You About Your IT Asset Remarketing Provider
Both IT recyclers and IT asset remarketing companies can qualify for either of the two leading industry certifications for responsible and compliant electronics recycling: e-Stewards and R2/RIOS. These certifications have strict requirements that ensure no material ever ends up in a landfill and that remarketers or recyclers comply with all state and federal environmental regulations. One of the key features of both these certifications is that the vendor who holds them must audit its downstream partners and provide documented proof that all the material is being processed in compliance with all laws and standards. For remarketing vendors, that means that whichever recyclers they choose to use when they can’t resell working IT assets will adhere to the same standards they do, with documentation to back it up. Certification from e-Stewards or R2/RIOS ensures a much more reliable and transparent downstream process than simply taking your vendors’ word for it that they do the right thing.
Learn more about how certification from a leading third-party organization can help you make the right choice for IT recyclers and IT asset remarketing vendors in our free white paper, “The 2013 Guide to Environmental Compliance in IT Asset Disposition.” Download it by clicking on the image below.
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