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How To Make Your Office More Energy Efficient

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These days it is becoming increasingly important to cut our carbon footprint. There are lots of guides, hints and tips out there about how to do this in your home; choose A rated appliances, switch to LED lighting, drive an electric or hybrid car, move towards a more plant based diet and decrease your single use plastic.

However there is often one large area of our lives which is overlooked – the office.

There are in fact lots of ways in which your office or other workspace can cut their carbon footprint, so check out some of our top tips below.

Switch to LED lighting

Simply replacing your existing light bulbs and fluorescent strip lighting etc with LED’s can have a huge effect on the amount of energy that is used – sometimes reducing it by up to 1/30th! There is a slightly higher price to pay to install them in the first place, but the reduction on your energy bills alone will have them paying for themselves in no time.

Turn off the lights

The next step to reducing your lighting power bill even further is to turn off lights when they’re not being used. Lights in communal areas such as kitchens, toilets, corridors and stairways are often left on all the time, but this is a huge waste of energy. So the next time that you’ve finished making a cup of tea, turn the light off when you leave.

Reduce vampire energy consumption

Don’t worry, it’s not quite as bloodthirsty as it sounds! Vampire energy consumption refers to the amount of power that is used by electronics that are left plugged in when they are fully charged, or for chargers and power cables that are left plugged in at the mains when they’re not otherwise being used. This pointless use of power is a super easy win when it comes to reducing the energy consumption of your office.

Choose energy efficient computers

Next time you are upgrading your office computers, along with checking speed and power why not also consider how energy efficient they are? These days many computers and laptops are designed with power saving functions in mind. For example, some use extra low amounts of power when in sleep mode, have special power saving modes and use energy efficient power supplies. But it can also be as simple as choosing a laptop with a super long battery life over a desktop which will be plugged in all the time.

If you do decide to move to more energy efficient computers and other electronics in your office, make sure that you also think carefully about what you do with the old ones, as them simply ending up on landfill is actually going to be far worse than you continuing to use them!

Buy IT Back are specialists in green electronics disposal and computer recycling who can even offer you a buy back service for taking your unwanted electronic items away and dealing with them in the most carbon friendly means possible.

To find out more contact Buy IT Back today.

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.

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.

IT Recycling – The Golden Rules

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There are many great things about the world in 2019, but one of the real social changes that seems to be afoot is people’s rising awareness of global environmental issues. Ever since David Attenborough highlighted the amount of plastics in our seas and the effects of climate change becoming ever more apparent, there has been a real step change in people’s attitude towards environmental conservatism.

Looking after the environment no longer just means separating our household recycling, but also looking at the bigger picture in terms of energy consumption, and especially looking towards businesses and other large organisations to do their bit.

So when it comes to having to get rid of old or unwanted computer, IT and other electronic equipment, recycling or other means of environmentally conscious disposal are the natural choice. But just how easy it is to do this – and to really make sure that your actions are making the difference that they are supposed to be doing?

Thankfully there are lots of computer recycling companies out there who will offer to take the hard work out of computer recycling for you, but as with so many things in life, things are not always what they seem.

So what are some of the golden rules when thinking about computer recycling?

Find out who you are really working with

This may sound obvious but doing a little homework into your chosen company can make a huge difference in the long run. We recommend looking for a company that has a proven track record in the industry, as this can give them many more options for refurbishment and resale which is more beneficial to both the environment and your wallet than straight recycling.

You also want to be sure that they have exceptional data erasure powers, as data security should be at the utmost of your mind when thinking about getting rid of any IT and telecoms equipment.

If it seems too good to be true….

You know what comes next – it probably is. Many computer recycling companies out there will make unrealistic claims about the amount and type of electronic equipment that they can recycle. Some newer companies may not have the necessary experience to work within the complex regulations and permits required for the disposal of electronic equipment, and could just end up illegally dumping your old equipment, or transporting it to other countries that have less stringent recycling regulations.

Make it official

As a successful business or organisation, it is likely that you will need to upgrade to new equipment and dispose of old equipment more than once. So when you have found a company that you trust why not draw up a formal contract so that they can handle any future recycling needs quickly and seamlessly.

Get paid!

Although there are many companies out there that will tick all of the above boxes, it is likely that they will be charging you for the pleasure of doing so. However specialist IT Buy Back companies such as Buy IT Back are actually able to buy your old equipment from you, giving you a fair market price for the resale value of your equipment once it has been thoroughly refurbished and resold. You may think that your old desktop is beyond reviving but their high levels of expertise can either refurbish the unit as a whole or break it down and reuse the components.

To find out more about Buy IT Back’s specialist computer recycling and IT buy back services, contact our friendly team today.

How To Green Up Your Business

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It seems that ever since that episode of Blue Planet when David Attenborough highlighted the plight of plastic pollution on our oceans, reducing plastic use and generally being more environmentally aware has been at the forefront of many people’s minds. For example more and more people are switching to a more plant based diet and avoiding single use plastic wherever possible.

However it is not just individuals that have a role to play, but businesses, educational establishments and other organisations (whether big or small) could have a huge impact on helping secure our planet for future generations.

So how can you ensure that your business is as green as possible?

It often seems that new businesses have a bit of an easier ride here, as they are able to establish their green credentials right from the outset; choosing the most energy efficient premises, manufacturing processes, products etc. Whereas it can be more a challenge for older and more established businesses to retrofit ecological and sustainable processes.

However there are a number of steps that all businesses can take that can really make a difference. And don’t forget, by following some of our tips below you will not only be helping the environment and doing the right thing, but you may also see an upturn in your business, as more and more people are choosing companies and products based on their eco-credentials, rather than price alone.

Go LED

Simply switching all of your lighting to energy efficient LEDs can have a huge impact on not just the environment, but also your energy bills. Yes LED lights do cost a little more in the first place, but they will usually not only pay for themselves, but also save you money in the long term. And if the thought of a complete switch over to LEDs is a bit too much to swallow, then why not just replace each old bulb with an LED as it blows?

Say Goodbye To Single Use Plastic

Obviously you can’t force your employees never to buy another bottle of water or plastic wrapped sandwich on their lunch break again, but by no longer providing plastic cups at the water cooler and getting rid of that plastic filled vending machine you will find that employees will switch to reusable bottles and packaging almost without thinking about it. Also if you are a manufacturer or have a delivery element to your business model, really think about the packaging that you are using? Do you really need to wrap everything up in plastic or are there other alternatives?

Get A Greener Cleaner

Another simple switch is to move from traditional cleaning products to those with a lower ecological footprint. Also why not try swapping paper towels for hand driers, or even an actual towel!

Reuse and Recycle

When it comes to old or redundant electronics knowing how to treat them in the most ecologically sensitive way possible can be tricky. In most cases the absolute best way to get rid of your old computers and other IT and telecoms equipment is to find a way that they can be reused. However for the average business owner this can feel like an impossible task! Here at Buy IT Back we have nearly 30 years experience in refurbishing old electronic equipment and finding it a great new home. This uses the minimum of energy (even less than recycling) and also avoids these items ending up in landfill. And, as in many cases we are able to sell on your old equipment (once we’ve given it a new lease of life), we can pass this on to you – and actually pay you for taking away that old PC that’s been cluttering up your office for months as you didn’t know what to do with it!

And even if we can’t simply refurbish and sell on your redundant electronics, we are experts in energy efficient computer recycling processes, thus ensuring that your unwanted IT equipment doesn’t go to waste.

So contact Buy IT Back today to find out how we can increase your organisations eco credentials – and pay you for the pleasure of doing so!

Data Protection and Your Business

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Mention the words ‘data protection’ and in many cases a collective groan of despair and exasperation is involuntarily emitted by anyone in the vicinity. However as much as people dread the phrase, we all understand how important it is to protect our and our clients’ data.

Since the introduction of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) on 25 May 2018, the way that companies and organisations handle and protect data has been harmonised with all other EU member states.

The next obvious question is how will Brexit affect GDPR in the UK? In essence the answer is very little will change, as the UK has adopted a new Data Protection Act which largely includes all the provisions of the GDPR. There are some small changes but our law is largely the same.

In the full text of GDPR there are 99 articles setting out the rights of individuals and obligations placed on organisations covered by the regulation. But in a nutshell:

  • There are 8 rights for individuals. These include granting people easier access to the information that companies hold about them, the responsibility of organisations to obtain clear consent before collecting any information, and a new regime of fines for any rule breaking.
  • Data leaks have to be officially reported within 72 hours.
  • Large companies need to document why they hold any data.
  • Companies are expected to limit the processing, collect only that data which is necessary, and not keep personal data once the processing purpose is completed.

However data protection and GDPR doesn’t stop when you, or your old computer does.

Data protection can become even more pressing when considering upgrading or replacing old computer, telecoms and other IT equipment, especially if the equipment has ever been used to store data.

Compete and secure data destruction is actually much harder than you think, therefore it is always recommended that you employ the services of a specialist computer recycling company or data erasure specialist when you are getting rid of any old equipment.

Often there is a cost associated with this, but this can be seen as a necessary evil to ensure your organisations’ data protection compliance. However there is another way.

Buy IT Back are specialists in not only providing a complete data destruction service, but are also able to recondition and resell much of your now completely wiped equipment and are able to pass some of this payment onto you. So rather than paying to fully clear your old equipment of data before then paying to treat it as waste, Buy IT Back can pay you to do all of these things for you! To find out more contact Buy IT Back today.

Do You Really Know Where Your Unwanted Electronics End Up?

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It is a sad fact that many people in developing countries such as Ghana, China, India and Nigeria are forced to scratch a living from picking through the discarded remains of illegally dumped electronic waste items to extract the remaining precious metals which can then be sold on for a small fee.

Not only is this practice environmentally dangerous, with large areas being consigned to open dumps of unwanted electronics where toxins such as lead, mercury, arsenic, and flame retardants are able to leach directly into the ground and the water supply, but it is has significant adverse effects on the health of the people who take part in this dangerous profession. The mainly young men and boys who spend their days rifling through these vast e-dumps are exposed to many harmful chemicals which often result in them contracting cancer whilst still in their early 20’s. In countries whose health service is still developing, this is usually fatal.

But where does all of this e-waste come from?

Unfortunately the answer is often the developed countries of the West, whose stringent electronic waste recycling laws can be easily and cheaply circumvented by simply shipping any old or unwanted electronic items to countries whose electronics recycling policies are much more lenient.

It is estimated that 50 million tonnes of electronic waste has ended up in these so-called e-dumps, with 17,765 tonnes of e-waste from the UK being sent to Ghana in 2011 alone (over half of all of the electronic refuse that Ghana took in that year).

So what’s the alternative?

If you want to ensure that your old or unwanted computers, telecoms systems and other electronics are treated both ethically and environmentally soundly then it is important to choose a specialist IT recycling company, such as Buy IT Back.

Firstly Buy IT Back will ensure that as much of your old IT equipment is refurbished and reused as possible. This means that most of it will never even be considered for landfill or incineration. And even if there are components that cannot be reused, we are specialists in safely breaking down items into their component elements and either reusing or recycling these. And what’s more we are usually able to pay you for the privilege!

So rather than simply chucking your unwanted electronics away, or trusting them to a dubious ‘recycling’ company, contact Buy IT Back today and we will ensure that your equipment is treated safely, securely and ethically – and will even pay you for doing so!

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