- Ellie Phillips
E-waste: how to be eco-friendly with your tech
When you think of sustainability and tech, you probably think of energy usage being the biggest enemy in our collective battle against climate change. There’s that laptop, left on stand-by, humming away in the corner of your room, the smartphone left to charge overnight, and even the Amazon Alexa poised, ready to answer your burning questions any time of the day.
Although modifying our excessive energy usage is one sure way to contribute to a more sustainable planet, let’s not forget another significant issue raised by our 21st-century dependence on technology: the production of e-waste.
E-waste refers to any kind of discarded electronic device, from USB cables to industrial-sized servers. Between 2010 and 2020, the UK produced over 3.8 million tonnes of e-waste, with reports that 33% of Brits are clueless as to how to recycle their discarded tech goods.
Tech devices are now fundamental parts of our everyday life. So, when they inevitably grind to a halt and we need to swiftly swap them out for a newer model, it’s important to know how to responsibly recycle them. Let’s look at how we can manage e-waste sustainably: from what we’re doing at bedigital, to what you can do at home.
Hardware Asset Management (HAM)
Material Focus reports that over 200,000 tonnes of electrical waste are produced by businesses each year in the UK. As part of the ITAM services we provide at bedigital, Hardware Asset Management is crucial in helping companies manage their e-waste. By implementing our HAM services, we’re able to conduct life cycle management on a company’s hardware to ensure that the devices used are the most sustainable- for both the planet and the company itself.
But, if you think that being sustainable with your gadgets necessarily means clinging on to old pieces of tech, then you’re wrong! In fact, our ITAM practices can help you realise that more often than not, it is actually more sustainable to replace old hardware with new. By getting rid of the old tech that is most likely consuming greater quantities of energy, ITAM alerts businesses to not only find more energy-efficient hardware, but also implement virtualisation and cloud computing which reduce the number of devices altogether.
E-waste is an inevitable byproduct of a successful ITAM service, so ensuring that it’s disposed of correctly is paramount in achieving optimum sustainability. We have links to some of the best tech disposal companies who help us manage our e-waste efficiently, as well as connections to local charities where we at bedigital frequently donate any gadgets that need a new lease of life (all links can be found at the end of the post).
The small things we can all do to help:
Of course, our ITAM solutions specialise in helping businesses clear out their e-waste, but what about us as individuals?
It probably won’t come as a shock that two-thirds of the UK population reports stockpiling old phone chargers at home, having no idea where to get rid of them ecologically. Now is the time to clear out the tech graveyard that has accumulated in your bottom drawer and do your bit for the planet!
Tech superstore Currys provides a solution to e-waste that couldn’t be simpler: take your gadgets into the store and they’ll do the rest. The self-proclaimed ‘one-stop recycling shop’ welcomes tech devices big and small, from fridge-freezers to AA batteries, even if they weren’t originally purchased from them. There’s never been an easier way to tackle e-waste than by dropping it off as part of your usual weekly shop.
Lugging your old printer into store may not be the simplest task, though: that’s where the specialists come in. Green IT Disposal and iWaste specialise in collecting e-waste straight from your doorstep to take to their specialised recycling centres across the UK. You get to do your bit for the planet without barely moving a muscle, it’s a win-win.
Living more sustainably is a proven way to stop global warming in its tracks and put an end to the climate tragedies that flash up on our screens daily. Taking a more planet-centric approach to our everyday lives isn’t rocket science, and correctly disposing of your e-waste is just another way to ‘do your bit’. Whether it be by enlisting the bedigital ITAM team to help make your business assets sustainable, or by sorting your “box on top of the cupboard” tech clutter, be efficient with your e-waste to keep both the planet, and your tech assets, healthy and thriving.
Links to charitable services and e-waste specialists:
Find Your Local Foodbanks on InYourArea.co.uk - Local News and Information (Cardiff Foodbank | Helping Local People in Crisis)
Where to donate your computer to local people: community reuse projects in the UK - The Restart Project
Green IT Disposal- The pioneers of free nationwide IT collection and recycling services in the UK
Electronic Recycling | Electronic Recycling Company (iwaste.co.uk)
To find out more about us at bedigital, check us out or contact us on our website.
 The E-waste Crisis in the UK and How to Recycle: An Infographic - OKdo
 Over 200,000 tonnes of business electricals thrown away annually in the UK - Material Focus
 The E-waste Crisis in the UK and How to Recycle: An Infographic - OKdo  Recycling electronics couldn't be easier | Currys