Friday, January 30, 2009


What to do with that old IT equipment

There are many environmentally-friendly options your company can explore

Kandy Williams

* The IDC introduced an IT asset disposal provider certification program in July 2008 called GRADE.
* Only 5 companies have made the GRADE: Dell, HP, IBM, Intechra, and Redemtech.
* In addition to disposal, you can also refurbish old IT assets, or you can donate them to a charitable organization.

Sometimes a piece of IT equipment has reached the end of its lifecycle, and there is nothing to be done but to dispose of it properly. However, sometimes a piece of equipment, like a server, still has some useful life left in it, and all it needs is an update. Or sometimes you don’t have any further use for a piece of equipment, but some other organization could really use it. These are all alternatives when deciding what to do with that old IT equipment.

Asset recovery providers range in the US from the principal system vendors, including HP, IBM, Dell, and Sun, to many specialty providers, to an emerging class of regional, national, and global providers. Some of these providers include NextPhase, Intechra, TechTurn, and Redemtech.

According to InfoWorld, The ITAD (IT asset disposal) market is estimated to be around $5 billion. The IDC (Interactive Data Corporation) introduced a program in July 2008 called GRADE. The Green Recycling and Asset Disposal for the Enterprise certification program identifies ITAD providers that meet a minimum of 75 percent of a preset list of 34 ITAD-related functions and tasks, taking into account application offerings, onsite services, logistics, in-plant processing, and post treatment. Of the 25 ITAD providers that the IDC has reviewed since starting work on the certification program four years ago, only 5 made the GRADE: Dell, HP, IBM, Intechra, and Redemtech.

In addition to being GRADE certified, make sure your IT asset disposal provider also follows other regulations as well. The WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) directive seeks to reduce the disposal of electronic waste through reuse, recycling, and recovery. In order to ensure that your electronic waste is indeed getting properly recycled, be sure to look for environmentally-responsible recyclers who follow standards set forth by the Basel Action Network as part of its Computer TakeBack Campaign’s Electronics Recycler’s Pledge of True Stewardship.

Another way of handling those old IT assets is to refurbish them. Some companies will simply refresh your old IT assets to make them like new. With their Technology Refresh program, Nemonix will ship a customer’s VAX or AlphaServer to its own plant to be thoroughly inspected for failing parts and will replace them with their own brand new technology. The Refresh usually takes less than two hours and begins at prices that are a fraction of the cost of new servers. The program also places the refreshed system under a Nemonix Engineering factory warranty for one year, with the option to extend the warranty for up to a total of ten years.

Sometimes you have a good piece of IT equipment that has reached the end of its useful life for your organization, but you know that there must be an organization out there that could really use it. There are many organizations out there to help you find a home for that equipment. Check out one of the following: Another Byte, Share the Technology, World Computer Exchange, National Cristina Foundation, Computers for Youth, Literacy 4 Kids, Youth for Technology, and DonateAPC. In addition to being a good corporate citizen, companies can deduct charitable donations from their taxes.

No matter how you properly dispose of that old IT equipment, you are being green for doing so. Green IT is so much more than just buying energy-efficient IT equipment or reducing energy usage in your data center. The proper disposal of unused equipment is also a big part of that green IT strategy.

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