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Computer Recycling

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.

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.

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.

What Should You Do With Your Old Apple Tech?

By | Apple Equipment, Computer Recycling | No Comments

Knowing how to dispose of any old tech or electronic equipment is tricky. With the ever increasing speed that tech goes out of date and the average shelf life for a mobile phone being 2 years at the most, finding an environmentally sound disposal method can be like finding a needle in a haystack.

Take the iPod for example. Once upon a time these were the must have bit of kit. Gone were the days of walkmans and spending hours downloading CD’s onto a clunky mp3 player. Now you had a sleek and shiny little device that went everywhere with you, the revolving selection button allowing you to whizz through all of your music in seconds. 

But then came the rise of the smartphone (do you remember the excitement when the first iPhone came out?!) and down went the popularity of the iPod. And then in 2017 Apple stopped making iPods all together. So what should you do with your old Apple tech, especially iPods?

There are plenty of articles online coming up with all sorts of ideas for ways to keep your iPod in use. How about… 

  • Using it as a dedicated music repository for your car? Obviously this won’t work for any music that you stream but you’ll be able to listen to your old downloaded music to your heart’s content without having to go through the bother of plugging in your phone. But really, how difficult is it just to bluetooth music from your phone?
  • If you have an old iPod touch you can use it as a video baby monitor or home surveillance camera. Plug it into a dock and a simple app will allow you to use it for this.
  • Enable disk mode and use it a portable hard drive. Or you could just get a 10 bizillion Gb pen drive and use that!

But really, we know that these ideas are pretty tenuous and the likelihood of you actually using them is fairly remote. So what should you do with your old Apple tech, whether it’s an iPod, iPad or Macbook?

Here at Buy IT Back we are specialists in recycling Apple equipment, especially when working in bulk with businesses or other organisations. In many cases we are able to recondition and resell Apple equipment to charities, start-ups or businesses in economically developing nations. And if for any reason we are unable to repurpose your unwanted Apple technology, we work with specialist recycling companies who are able to strip each piece of equipment down to its component parts and recycle these separately to the highest possible environmental standards.

And the best thing… we can pay you for the pleasure of doing so! So if you are a business looking to find a responsible yet profitable way to get rid of your old Apple tech, contact Buy IT Back today.

How To Make Moving Offices Pay

By | Computer Recycling | No Comments

Moving offices is usually a very exciting (if not slightly stressful!) time. New premises often mean that the organisation is doing well and having to move to bigger or more prestigious premises, or that you are exploring a new market, or new challenge.

But as we have said, moving offices can also be incredibly stressful. Having to pack up everything (without losing it!), make sure that all of your staff are happy with the new location and deal with all of the admin of changing address and potentially phone numbers, along with negotiating new services contracts, can be very difficult for any organisation to cope with.

Along with all of that, moving offices can also be incredibly expensive. Never mind the expense of the new offices themselves, but there are also redecorating costs, the cost of buying the inevitable new furniture when you discover that your existing furniture doesn’t fit, not to mention the actual cost of hiring a removal company to physically shift all of the stuff.

It is therefore not surprising that many companies choose to upgrade their IT and telecoms equipment whilst moving. Not only does it get it all over with in amongst everything else, but it saves the expense of having to move old and potentially outdated equipment, only to have to upgrade it all within a year or two anyway.

So what are your options when upgrading?

One option is to contact your equipment’s manufacturer about getting an upgrade. This is often the first option that many organisations reach for as it seems the simplest, and often the only, option open to them.

However this is not always a great idea. Going down of the route of a manufacturer upgrade can mean that:

  • Your options are more limited – as you will only be offered a choice from that single manufacturer’s range
  • Expensive – a manufacturer upgrade will usually involve you having to pay for the new item, along with a removal/recycling charge to get rid of your old equipment
  • Is it really what you need? – an upgrade can make sense if you simply want a piece of equipment that does exactly the same as your current one, but is newer. But by doing this you are closing the door to potentially new and improved technology that you maybe didn’t even know that you needed!

What about a specialist computer recycling company?

Buy IT Back is one of the oldest and most respected specialist computer recycling companies in the UK, with nearly 30 years of business under our belts. And not only do we recycle computers, but we can also recycle your printers, servers, monitors, and all other types of IT and telecoms equipment.

There are a number of reasons why choosing a specialist computer recycling company such as Buy IT Back is a good idea:

    1. You know that your equipment is being treated in an ecologically respectful manner – Rather than simply being dumped into landfill, we are able to refurbish many of the components of your redundant IT and telecoms equipment and thus give them a new lease of life. If the equipment is beyond refurbishment then we are also incredibly knowledgeable regarding the safest and most effective ways of recycling the component parts of electronic equipment, ensuring that we are fully compliant with the WEEE Directive.
    2. We can pay you! – due to our ability to sell on refurbished equipment we are able to pay you a fair market price for the equipment that is simply making your office move harder. This can not only help make your office move less expensive but can also allow you to offset the cost of the equipment that you are planning on furnishing your new offices with.

 

 

So to find out more about how Buy IT Back’s Buy Back service can make your office move both easier and cheaper, contact us today.

How Do You Recycle A Computer?

By | Computer Disposal, Computer Recycling, Printer Recycling, Server Recycling | No Comments

Whenever a company, business or other organisation no longer needs a computer, printer, server or other piece of electronic equipment they have a duty of care as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility to ensure that it correctly disposed of.

Since the introduction of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive in 2003 (which was then updated in 2014) it is no longer acceptable to simply dump your unwanted electronics into landfill. These items are now treated as ‘hazardous waste’ and thus have to be disposed of following strict guidelines, many of which focus around the requirement to recycle as many items or components as possible.

What’s in a computer?

Computers, be they desktop or laptop, as actually very complex machines which means that they are very difficult to recycle via traditional methods. Obviously it varies by type and model but most PC’s are made up of a combination of elements and components which can include around 23% plastics, 32% ferrous metals, 12% electronic boards and varying amounts of lead, glass and other non-ferrous metals. As a result of this it means that computers can only really be successfully recycled by specialist companies.

Does a computer have to be recycled?

In many cases it is actually preferable to recondition computers and other pieces of electronic equipment and their components, rather than undergoing the difficult, and often energy intensive process of recycling.

Here at Buy IT Back this is always our first port of call, not only because it is a more ecologically sensitive treatment of unwanted computers and other pieces of IT hardware, but also because there are many organisations, both in the UK and abroad, who will willing buy an affordably priced reconditioned computer, rather than buying something brand new. In fact it is through this method that we treat the majority of pieces of redundant electronic equipment, and this is how we are able to offer such competitive prices through our Buy Back scheme.

However in some cases there are components or entire pieces of unwanted IT or telecoms equipment that are unable to be reconditioned and resold, in which case we will move to our specialist recycling process. This involves carefully separating all of the different elements and treating each individually to allow it to be successfully reused.

What are the other options when it comes to computer recycling?

Since the implementations of the WEEE Directive, recycling via a reputable computer recycling company or service is now the only option allowable by law. The WEEE Directive itself actually puts much of the onus onto manufacturers and retailers to provide a sound recycling service. But in many cases you, as the consumer, will be charged for this.

However with nearly 30 years of computer recycling experience under our belts, Buy IT Back are able to offer a very attractive alternative via our Buy Back service. Simply as it sounds this means that we are able to assess the value that we, as computer recycling, reconditioning and reselling experts, are able to unlock from your unwanted computer equipment – and from this calculate what this equipment is actually worth and pay you a fair market price for it! This money could then go towards the cost of replacing the equipment that you thought that you may have to pay to get rid of!

 

To find out how you could benefit from Buy IT Back’s Buy Back scheme for your unwanted computer and electronic equipment, contact us today.

What Should Businesses Do With Their Unwanted Computers?

By | Computer Disposal, Computer Recycling | No Comments

All businesses, schools, charities, colleges and other organisations will make use of computer equipment at some point in their operations. However as we all know technology simply doesn’t stand still and most electronic equipment these days will have a shelf life of often only one or two years.

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) was introduced into UK law initially in 2006 and then updated in 2014 to try and reduce the amount of electric and electronic equipment that was ending up in landfill. Not only was this putting a strain on the landfill capabilities of the UK but also causing a number of dangerous chemical and minerals to potentially leak into the soil and contaminate both the land and our water supplies.

The WEEE Directive puts an onus on manufacturers and retailers to provide an accessible way and effective way of end users being able to safely, environmentally and ethically deal with their unwanted electronic equipment. However this doesn’t mean that you as a user don’t have an obligation to ensure that you are sending your unwanted equipment to the right place, rather than simply dumping it straight into landfill.

However this can actually be easier said than done for many people and businesses, as they simply don’t know all of the options that are open to them when it comes to getting rid of their old computer and IT equipment.

The simplest answer is to send your unwanted equipment to a professional computer recycling company, such as Buy IT Back. This will mean that you can:

1 – Actually earn money by recycling!

Buy IT Back are specialists in the recycling and refurbishing of component parts of outdated IT equipment. This means that they can actually make money from the correct environmental treatment of your old computers – a profit that they can pass on to you!

2 – Advertise that your business is WEEE compliant

Showing that you are consciously considering your responsibilities to the environment and ensuring that your computer equipment is being properly recycled can really help to promote your brand and can actually help to bring in further business.

3 – Support start-ups and charities

In many cases the equipment that Buy IT Back is asked to recycle is actually perfectly serviceable for organisations with lower tech needs (such as some start-ups and charities) than those who are upgrading from them. In these cases Buy IT Back can simply wipe and then refurbish your old equipment and provide it to these worthy causes at a fraction of their market rate.

So to see if you could actually get paid to do the right thing with your unwanted computers and other IT equipment, contact Buy IT Back today.

Top Tips For Choosing A Computer Recycling Company

By | Computer Disposal, Computer Recycling, Data Destruction | No Comments

As with so many things in life, not all computer recycling companies are created equal. So when it is time for you to upgrade to new equipment, but want to responsibly dispose of your old computing and telecoms hardware what are some of the most important factors to take into consideration?

Is the company WEEE compliant?

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations (2013) became law in the UK on 1 January 2014 and replaced the WEEE Regulations 2006. These are concerned with the collection, recovery and recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment, with targets being set for each of these.

In a nutshell this means that all electrical and electronic equipment is classed as hazardous waste and so must be disposed of in a safe and responsible manner so as not to add potentially hazardous waste to the environment. Here at Buy IT Back we were early adopters of the first set of WEEE regulations and continue to be strict followers of the revised 2013 regs. Through this length of experience we understand all of the subtle nuances of the directive and so you can be assured that any electronic equipment that we recycle is done in the most environmentally responsible manner possible.

How much equipment actually goes to landfill?

Unfortunately in some cases there are some pieces/components of electronic equipment that cannot be reused or recycled and so may need to go to a final disposal process, such as landfill or incineration. However the amounts that actually end up in landfill etc can vary significantly between different companies. At Buy IT Back we are committed to sending as little material to landfill as possible. Through our nearly 30 years in business we have built up a network of hundreds of avenues for the reuse or component recycling of all types of unwanted computer, IT and telecoms equipment.

Data treatment

Even if you believe that you have thoroughly deleted all of the information on your IT equipment before sending it for recycling, it is likely that traces of data will still remain. In this case it is imperative to have complete trust that the computer recycling company that you have chosen will securely and irreparably delete all data from your equipment before it is recycled or reconditioned. At Buy IT Back we are specialists in data destruction and so you can rest assured that all of your sensitive data will be completely secure.

Are you offered a buy back service?

Many computer recycling companies will charge you for utilising their service, however for many items of unwanted IT and telecoms equipment Buy IT Back are actually able to pay you for these items. This is because once they have been reconditioned they can be sold on, or even their component parts can be resold. It is only through having a long established network of contacts that Buy IT Back are able to find paying homes for some many complete or component parts of unwanted electronic equipment and so are usually able to offer a much more encompassing buy back service than many other computer recycling firms.

To find out more about our extensive buy back service for unwanted computer, IT, telecoms and other electronic equipment, contact Buy IT Back today.

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