Cory Stonehocker, FedTechMagazine.com
Agencies can recycle electronics for both environmental and financial reasons.
So, you’ve got a car. It looks perfectly good from the outside, but your family has gotten too big to fit. Or, the look is dated, and you’d like to drive something that was made after 2015. Or, you’re switching from gas to electric. What do you do with a car you don’t want that still runs?
You can donate it and get the tax write-off. You can sell it online or trade it in. Most people try to do something with their car to get some value back when it’s no longer the right one.
Such is the case with technology. Just as you can send your old smartphone back to the manufacturer or a third party and (hopefully) get a discount on your new one, federal agencies upgrading and replacing servers, hard drives, laptops and more can recycle or trade in their old equipment — sometimes getting a lower price on replacements in the process.
Third-Party Help Makes Electronics Recycling Simpler
Federal agencies are not allowed to toss old electronics into landfills or incinerators; they are required to dispose of their devices by transferring them to another agency that can use them, or by donating, selling or recycling them, according to an executive order published in August 2022.
They’re also required to ensure that the devices are clear of data and to “maximize reuse potential by using the least destructive sanitation procedures,” as the executive order states.
This is a lot of work. Often, an outside vendor can step in to handle an agency’s reuse and recycling efforts. This can be part of the original contract or negotiated into the plan as it becomes clear how much equipment is involved.