Computer Recycling / IT Asset Disposal

5ekurity5ekurity Posts: 346Member ■■□□□□□□□□
Hello all, curious to know how many people / organizations participate in some type of computer recycling / IT asset disposal process.

If you do, what are some of the criteria you look for in selecting a vendor?

Did the vendor reach out to you, or did you have to find someone?

What are things you like / dislike about your current vendor?

Conversely, if you do not have a computer recycling program, what has been your barrier to entry?

Thanks everyone!

Comments

  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb They are watching you Posts: 3,132Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    When I had to find someone for a previous company, I just Googled companies that did it in my area, checked their costs, and made sure they were able to verify the complete destruction of anything that might contain information. Wasn't much to it. I then called them when ever I needed them to pick things up and they sent us a bill after they did.
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Posts: 6,637Mod Mod
    Several jobs ago after getting some ridiculous quotes we got lucky that we found a local recycling company that would come and pick stuff up for free. They were fully insured and whatnot which was one of the criteria we required. We destroyed all sensitive parts up front so that was never an issue.
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb They are watching you Posts: 3,132Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Yea, good point ^^^ I did see that too. There were places that would do it for free, if you destroyed the sensitive parts yourself
  • 5ekurity5ekurity Posts: 346Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the insight - couple problems I see are exactly what both of you have described:

    - Places charge an arm and a leg for pick-up
    - Their 'buyback' programs are awful
    - Generally non-responsive and otherwise do not seek business

    Needless to say, I'm looking to fix those problems. :)
  • 5ekurity5ekurity Posts: 346Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Anyone else have thoughts / feedback?
  • blargoeblargoe Posts: 4,165Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    I worked for a company that would sell the laptops and PCs to employees for like $50 when the end of asset life was reached, through a lottery system. It would get a stock Windows XP image with one of the free AV programs and leave the building with the understanding that IS no longer supported the asset and they were on their own if they ran into issues.

    It was a pretty popular program. Most of the PC inventory went out this way.
    IT guy since 12/00

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  • OctalDumpOctalDump Posts: 1,722Member
    I've not worked in an organisation that has done this well. I have a lot of experience with old, used computer gear (buying and selling since before eBay was a thing), and organisations don't seem to understand what 3-5 year old gear is worth. I've seen companies pay for disposal, or give it away at very large discounts to staff, or put it in general disposal, or just stockpile it. Some of the better organised do manage to dispose of computers to schools or not for profits. Occasionally, one will find a recycler that will pick up the computers at no cost.

    I think part of the problem is the way assets are depreciated, on paper the equipment is worth nothing.

    On the other hand, keeping old gear running is often a false economy. It's more likely to break, can be harder to support, might not run current versions of OS/Hypervisor, and can be far less power efficient, and once it's outside warranty and support...

    I've just had a conversation where we have some old servers which we could use as test/lab machines, but require more RAM and NICs. I suggested we could sell one on eBay to pay to upgrade the others to a useable state, but that is against company policy. The machine could be sold via eBay, but our department could not keep the money!

    Yeah, it's a mess for a bunch of reasons.
    2017 Goals - Something Cisco, Something Linux, Agile PM
  • 5ekurity5ekurity Posts: 346Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    blargoe wrote: »
    I worked for a company that would sell the laptops and PCs to employees for like $50 when the end of asset life was reached, through a lottery system. It would get a stock Windows XP image with one of the free AV programs and leave the building with the understanding that IS no longer supported the asset and they were on their own if they ran into issues.

    It was a pretty popular program. Most of the PC inventory went out this way.

    I've seen a couple of companies do this, although I believe this model has become more 'few and far between' as opposed to the norm. A couple of the main reasons being A. security questionnaires from clients (depending upon your vertical) ask and may otherwise require some type of secure destruction of data / disposition of IT assets, and B. greater 'awareness' as it relates to the need to securely wipe devices and have a 3rd party validate the destruction of said data.

    For example, one company does a DoD wipe before anything leaves their walls, but then also requires a 3rd party Certificate of Destruction as an additional attestation.
  • 5ekurity5ekurity Posts: 346Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    OctalDump wrote: »
    I've not worked in an organisation that has done this well. I have a lot of experience with old, used computer gear (buying and selling since before eBay was a thing), and organisations don't seem to understand what 3-5 year old gear is worth. I've seen companies pay for disposal, or give it away at very large discounts to staff, or put it in general disposal, or just stockpile it. Some of the better organised do manage to dispose of computers to schools or not for profits. Occasionally, one will find a recycler that will pick up the computers at no cost.

    I think part of the problem is the way assets are depreciated, on paper the equipment is worth nothing.

    On the other hand, keeping old gear running is often a false economy. It's more likely to break, can be harder to support, might not run current versions of OS/Hypervisor, and can be far less power efficient, and once it's outside warranty and support...

    I've just had a conversation where we have some old servers which we could use as test/lab machines, but require more RAM and NICs. I suggested we could sell one on eBay to pay to upgrade the others to a useable state, but that is against company policy. The machine could be sold via eBay, but our department could not keep the money!

    Yeah, it's a mess for a bunch of reasons.

    Corporate politics is usually a barrier one way or another. We had a business who saved everything for three compute life-cycles, we had to use 2 x 28' box trucks to remove everything. On the flip side, we have another business who is moving physical locations and switching their compute platform, but their PM's / exec's are reluctant to dispose of anything even though they have no plans on using any of it any longer (ex. they are mostly a thin-client shop).

    Through the research we have done, we found that there are companies where the barrier to entry for recycling is too high (ex. $30 / unit from very large / well known recycling companies) for disposal, and because there is no state regulation, they just toss it in the trash. If they go the freebie route, they receive (at best) a basic asset spreadsheet, no Cert of Destruction, etc. Others want to receive compensation for equipment which requires market research (aka employee time and money to research what the value of the asset is worth) so a standard 'set fee' model works only for select businesses. We are in the process of trialing a different cost scale which so far has been well received.
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