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Is GDPR Still Applicable When The UK Leaves The EU?

By | Computer Recycling, GDPR Compliance | No Comments

I’m sure you are already aware that the UK is finally set to leave the EU on January 31st, 2020. However, one of the many things causing confusion is whether or not the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) will still be applicable after this date or can they just be ignored? 

To help clarify the position for UK businesses the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) have issued advice urging companies to continue to uphold GDPR as part of their ongoing systems and processes. In an official statement in 2018 after the UK decided to leave the EU, the Information Commissioner’s Office explained that the Data Protection Act will remain as part of UK law but that GDPR may not continue to be applicable. However, they also stated that if the UK wishes to successfully negotiate a trade deal with the EU then they will need to deliver equivalent assurances around data protection, which could be interpreted as the UK requiring to enforce data protection laws that are equal to the European Union.

The full details of the Information Commissioner’s Office statement can be found here: “With so many businesses and services operating across borders, international consistency around data protection laws and rights is crucial both to businesses and organisations and to consumers and citizens. The ICO’s role has always involved working closely with regulators in other countries, and that would continue to be the case.”

Most businesses in the UK will trade with EU customers to some degree or another and will want to see this relationship continue and grow. If your business falls into this camp then you need to continue to provide the same level of data protection as the EU and this means adhering to GDPR. GDPR is applicable to any business that works with EU customers, whether you are an EU member state or not, also, leading experts predict that as it leaves the EU the UK will develop its own data protection laws that closely mirrors those specified by GDPR. As a result the most sensible approach for any UK business to take as we leave the European Union is to continue to adhere to the standards of GDPR, it will future proof your business and ensure a high standard of service for all of your customers.

How Can Computer Recycling Help With GDPR?

In basic terms, GDPR makes you and your business responsible for the security and handling of your customers data and this also applies to data that you are no-longer using. So as your IT equipment comes to the end of life it’s important to not only consider the environmental impacts of your computer disposal but also the secure deletion of any personal data it has stored. It is for this reason that it’s important to engage a professional computer recycling company like Buy IT Back when disposing of any IT equipment.

For more information on how Buy IT Back can ensure that you are GDPR compliant please call us on 01621 786860 for some free advice or contact us here.

Merry Christmas!

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We would like to wish all of our customers, past,  present and future, a very Merry Christmas from everyone here at the Buy IT Back team.

We know that answering the question of what to do with your old or unwanted IT and other electronic equipment is unlikely to be at the forefront of your mind over the festive period – but please give us a thought when everything gets back to normal in the new year!

Wishing you a happy and prosperous 2020 – and here’s hoping that no photocopiers come to any harm at the office Christmas party – but if they do, just give Buy IT Back a call and we can help you to effectively recycle it 🙂

5 Reasons To Move To The Cloud

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Is it time for you to say goodbye to your dusty server room and move towards mobile, agile cloud based computing?

It’s cheap

Instead of having to cover the costs of running, maintaining and seemingly constantly upgrading your servers and data centres, you can simply hold everything online or in the cloud. Yes you will have to pay for the pleasure of doing so, often as a monthly or yearly subscription, but this will usually work out cheaper, especially if you shop around and maybe even haggle a little.

It’s flexible

In the modern workplace more and more companies and employees are choosing to work in a much more agile manner. Gone are the days of the 9-5 sat at your desk and only ever working from there. By moving to the cloud all you really need is a laptop, or sometimes just a smartphone, and an internet connection and you’re good to go. With a few simple clicks and the odd password, your entire desk is at your fingertips whenever or wherever you are. And with mobile conferencing services such as Skype, Zoom or Hangouts your colleagues can be there too!

It’s scalable

In the old days when your business grew you often had to invest in significant amounts of new hardware to be able to support them. However, by working in the cloud all you need is to buy a couple more licences and a laptop and you’re good to go. This also works the other way too, so if you’re business is going through a rough patch it’s usually quite quick and easy to downsize.

It’s backed up

Traditional IT systems often require complex and often expensive back up plans for your data, with the looming threat that it could all go wrong at any moment. But when you are working in the cloud then that’s where everything stays. Of course nothing is ever 100% safe and perfect, but it is far more likely for your servers to break than Google’s (other cloud providers are of course available!).

It’s got options

By working in the cloud you will have access to a huge range of different software platforms, service providers and cloud computing packages – much more than with traditional servers etc. It seems like these days there is a SaS (Software as Service) solution to any business need that you could ever think of, all of which are usually discoverable with a quick Google search and can often be even further customised to your needs.

So if we’ve got you convinced and it’s time for your business to switch to the cloud, what are you going to do with all of those old servers and other redundant IT equipment?

Buy IT Back has been at the forefront of computer recycling in London and across the UK for over 25 years and not only can we ensure that you unwanted computer equipment is treated with the highest levels of ecological sensitivity, but we can even pay you for the pleasure of doing so!

To find out more contact Buy IT Back today.

Can You Help To Stem The Tide Of E-Waste?

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The tech industry is one of the fastest moving in the world. With an almost continual stream of updates, new products and the latest must haves, there almost always seems to be a reason to upgrade and get your hands on the newest tech, whether you are a business or a consumer.

However this continuous tide of new products is producing a global crisis in e-waste. The World Economic Forum reports that globally around 50 million tonnes of e-waste are produced annually. That’s the equivalent tonnage in e-waste as all of the commercial aircraft ever produced. And the UK is in the top ten of e-waste producers, along with the USA, France and much of Scandinavia.

So how did we end up in this mess and what can we do about it?

What about repairs?

The repair industry for tech overall forms an incredibly small percentage of the annual turnover, this mainly being because tech is just so difficult, and often expensive, to repair. Apart from taking your cracked mobile phone screen to the little kiosk around the corner, when do you ever send broken electronics for repair? Or do you just give up and buy a new one?

There is currently a move towards considering introducing legislation meaning that some of the less complex electronics, including fridges, lighting and electronic displays, should be made more easy to repair with standard tools, but unsurprisingly this isn’t popular with manufacturers and so could be many years off – and it still doesn’t tackle the issue of many of our more sophisticated tech such as computers, servers, printers and telecoms systems.

Can we recycle more?

This is both a question for manufacturers and consumers. It is estimated that only around 20% of our electronic equipment is fully recycled, with the rest ending up in landfill or the incinerator.

So as consumers we certainly have a responsibility to ensure that our unwanted electronics are recycled, choosing specialist companies such as Buy IT Back to take on any business, corporate or organisational needs. However there is also a large part to be played by manufacturers. Electronics individually tend to use very small amounts of rare metals and minerals, but collectively this adds up to a huge drain on these dwindling finite resources. Up to 40% of the components for new electronics are still being sourced from newly mined resources, but it is estimated that the electronics industry could prevent 1 million tonnes of waste and save 14 million tonnes of CO2 emissions simply by using existing resources more effectively.

Make the right decisions

We have already mentioned the need to use specialist computer recycling companies such as Buy IT Back, many of whom even offer a buy back scheme for your unwanted electronic items, but it is also important to ensure that you are buying from reputable sources too. Challenge the company you are considering buying from to prove what percentage of their items are made up from recycled vs newly mined resources, and try to buy items that may have a longer shelf life than the usual year or two.

To find out more about our recycling credentials (and how we can even pay you for the pleasure of conscientiously recycling your unwanted electronics) contact Buy IT Back today.

How To Choose The Right Business Premises

By | Computer Recycling | No Comments

Finding the right premises for your business can be a difficult decision, whether you are first time business owners or you are relocating your business to even bigger and better premises. So check out some of our tips below to help you to find the perfect premises for your business.

Prioritise what you really need

Unfortunately it is very unlikely that you will ever find the absolutely perfect premises for your business, so at some point you will inevitably have to compromise. Therefore it is a good idea to draw up a list of one or two things that are absolutely vital and then work down from there to other points that would be good and then finally don’t forget to include some of the things that really don’t matter to you either way – you’ll be surprised how much that will help to focus your mind on the things that do!

Location, location, location

It may sound like a cliche but location really does matter. Whether you are looking to be easily accessible for your customers or to attract the right staff, your location should be a key deciding factor.

Buy or rent?

Whilst renting may feel like it gives you more flexibility, especially in the first years of a new business, it is always important to remember that it may not be as secure. Also you may find that in many areas, your monthly rent can far outweigh any mortgage repayments. Also by buying property this can be classed as a business asset, increasing the value of your business and acting as an investment for the future.

Legal considerations

Before you commit to anything make sure that you have checked out all of the legal considerations for your chosen property. Does it have the right licence, or have you ensured that you will be granted one? What about building safety regulations such as structural, fire, ventilation, heating and space? Also consider your premises’ accessibility and if there are any specific restrictions in your area such as waste disposal or unloading time constraints?

And finally, once you have found the right property for you, you then have to consider the practicalities and impacts on your business of the move – especially if you are relocating an existing business.

But don’t worry, it needn’t all be doom and gloom. An office move can be a great way to refresh your business, getting rid of all those cupboards full of things that you really don’t need any more and finding a space that really works for you.

Also many businesses will use a premises move as an excuse to upgrade their existing IT, telecoms and other tech. Rather than paying to move all of your old and unwanted IT and computer equipment to your new offices, why not start afresh with a great new set of kit?

But then what do you do with your old and unwanted electronics and what about the money that you could be losing by doing so? Well don’t worry! Simply contact Buy IT Back and we can work with you to clear out your old tech, ensuring that it is either recycled or reused to the highest environmental standards – and we can even pay you for doing so!

To find out more about getting paid for your old and unwanted IT, telecoms and other electronic equipment contact Buy IT Back today.

Conflict Elements – How Recycling Your Electronics Can Help To Save Lives

By | Computer Recycling | No Comments

Conflict elements is the term given to rare minerals and metals whose extraction has been linked to both environmental and humanitarian issues – and many of these are the elements that form the cornerstone of the electronics that we use in both our personal and professional lives.

Currently the list of conflict elements includes; gold, tantalum, tungsten and tin, with calls for further elements such as cobalt, silicon, aluminium, copper and lead to be added to the list of officially designated conflict elements. Each of these are finite materials with significantly diminishing amounts of them remaining in their natural state, making them a precious and valuable resource. However many of these elements are only found in countries with unstable political and economic climates along with significant concerns raised in their human rights records.

The four official conflict elements are mined almost exclusively (apart from gold, 60% of which goes to the jewellery industry) for use in the electronics industry:

  • Gold – as we saw in our last blog post, gold is used in electronics due to its high levels of conductivity and it’s low corrosion rates.
  • Tantalum – due to it’s high melting point, high levels of conductivity, low levels of corrosion and it being one of the few metals that is almost entirely resistant to acidic solutions, tantalum is prized for use in electronic capacitors and high powered resistors.
  • Tungsten – is a strong, dense metal that can retain a great amount of heat without melting. It’s main uses are in both electronics and aerospace applications, along with lighting filaments and heating elements.
  • Tin – having a very low melting point makes tin an ideal material for use in the soldering processes and compounds that are employed to connect elements in electronic circuit boards.

Whilst being incredibly important in the manufacture of electronics these elements are not only becoming rarer in the natural world, but are also most commonly found in countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo. In this area there is evidence that the mines producing these elements are controlled by violent groups who use the profits to finance armed groups or perpetrators of violence.

There are also reports of mines in conflict areas employing child labour, modern slavery and extremely hazardous working conditions to maximise the available profit, that then purportedly goes on to finance both sides of the bloody civil war that has been raging in the area for the last 15 years.

So whilst our reliance on electronics is increasing what can you do to avoid the use of these conflict elements? The obvious answer is to limit your use of electronics entirely, however this is hardly a practical solution. Another option is to ensure that the elements used in your electronics comes from a non-conflict source. However for most people this is almost impossible to do, as complex supply chains can muddy the waters and much of this information is difficult to access for the average individual.

However there is one simple step that could make a huge difference – recycle your electronics. There is currently estimated to be higher levels of many of the conflict elements locked up in existing (used or unused) electronic items than remaining in the ground, and with modern advanced recycling techniques incredibly high levels of these can be fully and effectively recycled.

So whether you are simply getting a new personal laptop or smartphone, or upgrading your companies entire IT system, ensure that any old or unwanted electronics are reused or recycled.

Buy IT Back are specialists in computer recycling, with more than 25 years in the business. This means that they can treat your unused electronics with the highest levels of environmental care, ensuring that they are either refurbished and resold (meaning an even lower carbon footprint) or fully recycled – and what’s even more, they can even pay you for doing so!

To find out more contact Buy IT Back today.

There’s Gold In Them There Electronics!

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Ok so the classic gold rush of California in the 1840’s and 1850’s may be long gone, but there is still a great need for gold today. Not only is it used for making jewellery, but gold is also a vital component in the creation of most electronics.

As gold is both a highly efficient conductor and does not tarnish or corrode, it is one of the few metals that could cope with the very low voltages that are used in electronics (so low that they could be easily interrupted by even the smallest amounts of corrosion). Therefore electronics that are made using gold are highly reliable and are now the norm in the manufacture of most electronics including computers, mobile phones, servers and many other pieces of electronic equipment.

However it is currently estimated that there is only 190,000 tons of gold left to be mined from the earth’s crust, and with current mining levels thought to be between 2,000-3,000 tons per year this means that gold is becoming an increasingly rare commodity.

But there is another plentiful source of gold. It is estimated that there is nearly 80 times as much gold in 1 ton of mobile phones alone as in an average gold mine, and that’s not to mention the amount that is held in other types of waste electronics. However it is thought that currently only 10%-15% of the gold that is held in unused or waste electronics is ever recovered, the rest either ending up in landfill or simply being left in cupboards and drawers.

The most startling fact is that there are some recycling techniques that are able to recover up to 95% of the gold used in an electronic device. The two main techniques used to recover gold from electronics are; pyrometallurgy, which burns the gold off at high temperatures, or hydrometallurgy, which uses a mix of chemicals to dissolve the gold. Admittedly some of these techniques can have negative environmental impacts of their own, but new techniques are being developed (one using acetic acid, which is found in regular table vinegar) which are much less harmful and in fact even cheaper.

However it is important to highlight that in some countries recycling processes are much less highly regulated and result in dangerous and toxic methods being used, exploiting cheap labour and often only resulting in at best 50% of the gold found in electronic items being recovered.

Therefore if you have any old, unused or unwanted electronics it is important that you not only recycle them, but recycle them correctly.

Buy IT Back specialise in recycling (or even better refurbishing and rehoming) your old computers, printers, servers and other IT and telecoms equipment. We then commit to treating them with the highest environmental standards, using cutting edge techniques to effectively and environmentally consciously recover all of their reusable components. And what’s even better – we can even pay you for doing so!

As we only actually strip down and mineral recover electronics as a last resort we are able to refurbish, recondition and resell most equipment (or the components thereof). This not only means even less waste and less energy used in the recycling process, but that we are able to pass some of the revenue that comes from the sales of refurbished items or components on to you!

So to find out more about how you can effectively, efficiently and environmentally consciously get rid of your unwanted electronics contact Buy IT Back today.

Recycle Your Old Electronics To Save Rare Metals

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We recently told you about Coltan, a mineral that you’ve probably never heard of but that is incredibly important in to production of electronics, and is becoming in shorter and shorter supply.

However Coltan (and the Tantalum that is extracted from it) is not the only rare element that is relied upon for the production of even the most everyday electronics. 

Indium is among the rarest elements on earth, accounting for less than 0.00001% of the earth’s crust. However as it is both electrically conductive and transparent it is of vital importance in the production of LCD screens among other things. However this scarcity, along with its increasing demand has lead it to be categorised as a ‘critical metal’. 

One of the main reasons for this categorisation is that Indium is mined almost exclusively in China, meaning that there is a risk of monopolisation and supply chain disruptions. But there is also the real possibility that Indium could be extinct as a minable metal within the next 10 years. All of which combined have seen the price of Indium shoot up from around US $100 per kilogram to nearly $1000 in the past six years.

So what can we do to lessen our reliance on newly mined Indium in the future?

The first and most sensible answer is obviously to recycle any unwanted electronics that could contain Indium, to recover this and allow it to be reused in new devices. However the startling fact is that the second largest supply of Indium, after that this is already locked up in devices, is found in slag from waste incineration plants – and is therefore lost for possible recovery. This is a simple result of IT, telecoms and other electronic devices being simply sent for incineration, rather then being properly treated and recycled.

There are of course numerous research projects looking into more sustainable replacements for Indium in electronics, however there is a genuine worry as to whether any of these will be ready and accepted into the mass electronics market before the remaining stores of mineable Indium run out.

So with this knowledge it seems unbelievable that anyone would consider not correctly recycling their unused or unwanted electronics. However the truth is that many companies and organisations still do not, with a common blocker being the perceived price of commercial recycling services.

However here at Buy IT Back we are able to offer a buy back scheme for your unwanted electronics which will actually pay you to take your old IT, telecoms and other equipment off your hands. We are then able to either recondition and resell your equipment or correctly strip down and recycle the various components and elements so that none of the precious and critical metals go to waste.

To find out more, contact Buy IT Back today.

Coltan – The Most Important Mineral You’ve Never Heard Of

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Ok, so it might not be the most important mineral that you’ve never heard of, but coltan is actually a really important (and diminishing) natural resource. So what is coltan, why is it so important, and why on earth are we telling you about this on a computer recycling blog?

Coltan is a metallic ore composed of niobium and tantalum. Once extracted coltan is refined into metallic tantalum, a little known but vital element which has unique capacitor properties. It is these capacitor properties that are vital for the functioning of computers, smart phones and basically anything that has a micro-electrical circuit.

However there are a number of issues with coltan which means that recycling the existing tantalum that is found in unwanted or outdated IT and electronic devices is incredibly important.

  1. Coltan is a finite natural resource, meaning that there is only a certain amount of it available on earth, and when it’s gone it’s gone. Although there is the possibility of finding new ways of manufacturing electronics without tantalum, this is currently a long way off and there is a real possibility of us running out of coltan before then.
  2. Coltan is found only in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Australia and a few other very limited areas of the world, with the highest concentrations being in DRC. However the exploitation of coltan in the DRC has caused an environmental crisis. Mining severely affects the natural environment resulting in the destruction of the habitat of many endangered species including Grauer’s gorilla, the eastern chimpanzee, and the forest elephant.
  3. One of the methods of coltan extraction is vis pit-mining, a practice which involves digging large and deep wells in which the earth is removed and sluiced to extract the ore. In areas such as DRC this practice is often badly managed and unregulated by health and safety legislation, resulting in extremely hazardous working conditions.
  4. Once the coltan ore is extracted, there is then a complex and time consuming process required to extract the tantalum. However there are now becoming less and less areas where the coltan ore contains high enough percentages of tantalum to make this process financially viable.

However, if all of the tantalum that is currently being held in unwanted and disused electronics were to be recycled the need for newly mined coltan would be significantly decreased. So if you have any old or outdated IT, telecoms or other electronic equipment it is incredibly important that you ensure that it is either recycled or reused.

Buy IT Back is a specialist computer recycling company that offers a ‘buy back’ scheme for all of your unwanted electronics. This means that they will pay you to take away all of your old equipment which will then be refurbished if at all possible and sold on, or will be expertly stripped down into its component parts which will then be independently recycled and reused. To find out more contact Buy IT back today.

Can I Get Rid Of My Old Electronic Equipment At The Local Tip?

By | Computer Disposal, Computer Recycling | No Comments

A recent report has shown that more and more small businesses and other organisations are mistakenly turning to their local Household Waste and Recycling Centre (known to most of us as ‘the tip’) to get rid of their unwanted electronic and IT equipment.

Whereas your local HWRC (aka tip) will happily accept unwanted electronics from domestic households for recycling, they will not take car loads of old computers, servers, printers and other electronics if they can be classed as commercial. This would include small businesses, schools and any other non-domestic organisations. If caught trying to dispose of unwanted electronics at your local HWRC it is likely that you will be refused access and could also even be fined.

So what should you do if you have any old IT equipment that you no longer need, even if you are only a small business or other organisation?

The answer lies in contacting a reputable computer and IT recycling firm. Companies such as Buy IT Back will work with you to safely and legally dispose of your old computers and electronic equipment to the highest possible environmental standards. Reputable firms which have a proven track record in business, will fully understand the legal framework and environmental responsibility which governs how waste electronics should be treated and will work within these.

However there can be one drawback with using many of these firms – the cost. There are a number of companies that will provide a great service collecting and disposing of your old IT equipment, but you could end up being charged handsomely for their doing so. However there is an alternative.

Buy IT Back has not only been at the forefront of computer recycling in the UK for nearly 30 years, but is also able to offer a ‘buy back’ scheme, which actually pays you for the pleasure of removing, refurbishing or recycling your unwanted IT, telecoms and other electronic equipment.

So why not cut out the hassle of trying to take your old computers to the tip, or the pain of having to pay a company to recycle them for you and contact Buy IT Back today.

Providing IT Hardware, Data Security, Recycling & Residual Value Solutions For 25 Years Since 1992