Yenra : Hardware : Computer Disposal : How To Start A PC Recycling Program

Computer Disposal

With an estimated 20 million PCs becoming obsolete each year, small companies need to quickly adopt recycling programs that will help prevent America from becoming a computer junkyard, urged the Information Technology Solution Providers Alliance (ITSPA).

"How small to medium businesses (SMBs) dispose of old PCs, servers and other technology equipment -- which makes up most of the nearly two million tons of high-tech trash collected each year -- is critical not only to the environment but to their bottom lines," said Andrew Levi, chairman of ITSPA, a national, non-profit alliance that helps SMBs understand how local technology providers can help them grow.

"ITSPA strongly recommends that SMB companies make a concerted effort to resell or recycle old computer equipment," Levi said. "It doesn't make sense to spend a lot of money maintaining PCs and other equipment to keep them up to date. Any high-tech equipment that is not working or below the Pentium or Mac Power PC level should be earmarked for recycling."

The environmental responsibility for properly disposing of old high-tech equipment rests squarely on the shoulders of each SMB in America, pointed out ITSPA Advisory Board member Glen Jodoin, vice president-Operations, GreenPages, an IT solution provider in Kittery, Maine.

"Small companies need to ask themselves whether they're spending a lot of money maintaining PCs to keep them up to date, as well as assess the total life-cycle cost of PCs and other high-tech equipment," said Jodoin. "Such assessments ultimately can save SMBs a lot money and headaches."

"It's also critical for SMBs to know what happens to old or obsolete IT equipment," Jodoin added. "For instance, does it end up under desks, in closets or in a warehouse? If it does, then it's taking up valuable real estate or possibly costing money in storage fees."

ITSPA's Technology Committee, which is made up of IT directors from the nation's most successful solution providers, offered tips on setting up small business PC recycling programs:

"Small to medium businesses realize it's time to recycle when they discover that extending the life cycle of their desktop PCs isn't saving them as much money as anticipated," said ITSPA Advisory Board member Michael Haines, principal analyst, Business Strategies Group, Gartner, Inc. "The average annual total cost of ownership for a PC kept three years is roughly the same as a PC kept for four to six years.

"Gartner recommends no more than a four-year desktop life cycle for mainstream knowledge workers," he said, "and a desktop life cycle of three years or less for high-performance users. If SMBs find real business benefits from having a faster or newer PC, they should quantify those benefits and build a business case to reduce the life cycle toward three years."