According to the TFC Recycling website the reason it is good to recycle is that “it saves the planet!” End of story, right? As good corporate citizens we all are aware that if we continually push our unwanted electronics, plastics, paper, and cardboard into landfills...we'd have a whole mountain range of Mount Trashmores and floating trash islands.
Beyond recycling the components of our items to make new items, we can also reuse and repurpose our office electronics and put them to good use. In honor of Earth Day, here are a few ways that your office can help save the planet and help others.
DONATE: When the next iPhone comes out you are going to run to buy it, right? What, then, are you going to do with your old phone? Maybe you are hanging on to that old Blackberry or flip phone (gasp!) for posterity or as a possible trusty back up. Did you know that your cell phone can also be donated? There are many organizations and companies that have a “zero landfill cell phone recycling process” that support victims of domestic violence and our troops by providing them with phones for security and emergency situations.
Locally, there are many organizations that accept and are in need electronics. Do you have a favorite school or religious organization that could benefit from a gently used computer, TV or possibly cell phones for their staff? Reach out to these organizations and ask if they have anything on their wish lists that your company might be willing to donate.
E-CYCLE: In addition to cell phones, most TVs (including portable ones), DVD players (including portable, in-dash auto and overhead auto media players), GPS systems (including portable and in-dash auto), cameras and camcorders, memory cards, computers, printers and all of their accessories including ink cartridges can all be brought to most Best Buy stores. Best Buy states that they only use recyclers who “adhere to their strict recycling standards so that the e-waste gets processed safely and responsibly.”
TFC Recycling also hosts recycling events throughout the year. In addition to electronics they will also accept paper, cardboard, office equipment, tires, batteries, and gently used clothing. They will recycle what needs to be repurposed and donate what can be reused.
Before you take drop off an office or personal electronic item for donation or e-cycling, you should:
- Consider keeping it around for just a few months to make certain that you have transferred all files and data that you need.
- Decide how you are going to protect any of your sensitive data. Many owners think that simply deleting files is enough, but it is not. An IT professional should completely and thoroughly wipe clean all data stored on your system or device.
One last thought on keeping your office materials out of our landfills. Ask all employees to consider saving documents and emails instead of printing them. You will save on paper and on ink costs. If your business is document intensive, you may consider “going paperless” with a document management solution to capture and organize your documents. Your IT professional can help you find the right document management solution for your business.
Our businesses can be good corporate citizens and champions to save the planet...one donation or e-cycle at at time. Let's all work to preserve our environment.
Martin Joseph has been an expert in the IT field for over 25 years and is the president of 360IT PARTNERS that serves Small and Medium Businesses. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 757-499-6761. Learn more about 360IT PARTNERS at www.360itpartners.com.