Why recycle IT with Secure Paper? - Blog

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Thursday 3rd September 2015

You’ve got an old toaster lying around, your fridge breaks or your old phone charger’s gathering dust in your desk drawer. It’s a little harder to hide a fridge in a drawer – so what do you do with it?

There are a number of routes –

  1. Leave it there and hope someone else deals with it (let’s face it, that’s the most tempting!)
  2. Arrange for it to be collected by the council
  3. Call or e-mail Secure Paper

Naturally, we’re slightly biased towards option 3. But with stories in the news recently about “electronic graveyards” in around the world, there’s a good reason to make sure your old electrical items follow an ethical and transparent disposal route.

The overview

Some companies take old electronic waste and, claiming it’s cheaper than recycling it in the EU, export it to Africa by labelling it as “reusable”. Sadly, 9 times out of 10 this isn’t the case and the containers get dumped in landfills in out of the way locations such as Agbogbloshie. The problem is increased by the hazardous waste items, like fridges. They can leak toxic elements, including lead and mercury. The chemicals have been found in toxic concentrations in the air, water and on fruits and vegetables in local markets around Agbogbloshie. In an attempt to cash in on the problem, young men often end up trawling through the waste in search of something to sell.

How we approach the challenge of Electronic Waste

First of all, let me reassure you that, as a 100% zero-to -landfill organisation, we will never send your materials to landfill.

Once back at our depot, items are assessed and any data bearing items are securely wiped. Working items are then resold. However, we do not sell to anywhere outside of the UK, and work closely with our customers to ensure the items are bought back to us at the end of their life.

Items that have already reached the end of their life are disassembled. Any hazardous parts are safely disposed of and the individual parts recycled. For all of the items we recycle, we take them to places as close to our depot in Purfleet as possible in order to reduce CO2 emissions.

So there you go, working or broken, you can rest assured old electronics sent to Secure Paper will be safely recycled, and won’t end up in an “electronic graveyard”.

To find out more, take a look here.

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