E-waste is among one of the scariest environmental issues we face today. With the current pace of technological advancements, device turnovers, and the linear economy, it is no wonder e-waste is the fastest-growing waste stream globally.
Our linear economy, where consumer demand and consumer waste correlate and skyrocket, has humanity generating nearly 50 million tons of e-waste every year, only 17.4% of which is responsibly recycled. The rest goes on to wreak horrifying consequences on both our environment and global human health.
While this issue can send a shiver down your spine, it is never too late to join in on the efforts in place to tackle it. The practice of circularity works as a sustainable alternative to the damaging effects of a linear economy.
Circularity aims to not only prolong device lifecycles, but also to reintroduce those devices back into the supply chain at the end of their life, putting off their finite trip to a landfill and greatly reducing the hazards they can pose there.
First and foremost, it is always in your company’s best interest to have and upkeep a complete inventory of all your IT assets, even those out of commission or haunting a supply closet.
It is estimated that some of the world’s richest deposits of precious materials are lurking in your cupboards and closets in the ghoulish form of discarded tech.
Keeping tabs on your IT asset inventory also prevents your company from frightening data security risks, which cost companies millions each year in hard and soft costs. In the most unlikely of places, data security breaches can occur right from your trash can.
An IT inventory management program protects your discarded, data-bearing devices from exposure and risk.
Another practice to put in place is keeping the technology you currently use up-to-date and functioning properly. Regularly seeking out repairs, updates, and physical maintenance will not only ensure your devices function for the longest lifecycle achievable, but also preserve their fullest value at the end of your use with them, enabling a better chance for secondary use or material recycling.
If issues do arise, keeping up with regular device maintenance works to reduce potentially terrifying turnaround times with repairs and decrease the chilling cost of servicing, saving your company time and money.
The most efficient way to practice circularity is to form partnerships with other practicing companies. IT asset disposition and reverse logistics service providers often host a comprehensive suite of solutions to help your company enable a circular economy, possessing the know-how and ability to execute process that can be too difficult or costly to perform internally.
Not only that, but many providers are certified across a number of procedures, ensuring your company is compliant across all relevant environmental and legislative regulations.
As haunting as the effects of e-waste and a linear economy can be, the solution exists in the form of a circular economy and the practice of circularity. By working together, we have nothing to be afraid of.