3 answers

How is technology reused or recycled in large organizations?

Asked Carmel, Indiana

With the constant rush for the next upgrade in technology, my concern is that used technology is being simply thrown away when it can be reused or repurposed in new ways.
#tech #sustainability

3 answers

Desiree’s Answer

Updated Portland, Oregon

Hi Mei -- great question! While some people are keen to get the next new device, companies also want to get the most value out of the hardware they purchase. It's been my experience working with large organizations that they implement hardware refresh policies to control for this, which requires employees to use their devices for 2 to 3 years before getting something new.

Even then, a 3 year old laptop may still be useful. Some clever applications for used hardware that I've seen at large companies:

  • loaner laptops - if an employee forgets their laptop, or needs to borrow one while their current one is repaired
  • refurbished laptops - lightly used laptops are reconditioned and reissued to certain employees
  • kiosks - devices used for conference booths or lobby/guest registration
  • donations - laptops are refurbished and donated to schools or other non-profit organizations
  • spare parts - some brands of laptop can be used to provide replacement parts for repair

Manufacturers help reduce technology waste by recycling devices when new ones are purchased. The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment directive established guidelines for companies to support e-waste recycling. Retailers like the Google Store and Apple support device recycling.

Desiree recommends the following next steps:

  • review e-waste recycling programs for your favorite device
thank you!

pat’s Answer

Updated Frenchtown, New Jersey

My company is very involved in helping start-ups find new ways to harvest and recyle ocean plastics. we also look for new ways to recyle computer components. for instance reuse of gold in computers for jewlry and design. we also reuse old plastics and remold those into computer cases for laptops.

pat recommends the following next steps:

  • look at dell.com coporate social responsibility, or youtube dell.com channel

John’s Answer

Updated Houston, Texas

Howdy Mei! Large companies often partner with a company like HPE to recover, reuse where possible, and recycle their tech assets. Here's an overview video of our programs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMo2RgzDHHY