Recycling Old Technology

Recycling your old technology is an important part of running an environmentally sustainable business. There are a lot of obvious and not-so-obvious reasons for this. First of all, you obviously want to do what you can to keep too much waste from piling up in landfills. However, have you ever thought of the many chemicals and precious metals that are inside of consumer electronics? The chemicals can leech into soils over time and the metals inside of electronics are quickly becoming something of a commodity. All of these factors come together to make recycling old technology a very smart thing to do.

How to Recycle Old Technology

Your local council will be able to provide you with the best resources for recycling your old technology. You cannot normally place old electronics in the recycling bin with the other things that you recycle on a regular basis. Most recycling facilities are not set up to handle the unique recycling issues presented by electronics. You will most commonly have to take your old technology to recycling centres and drop them off yourself. Some recycling centres will come by and take your recyclables. This is especially true if you have a large amount of things to recycle.

During this process, make sure you are dealing with a reputable company. It was recently discovered that some recycling companies dealing with technology do not really recycle anything at all. They simply ship the old equipment to the third world, where it is burned down to reveal the precious metals. This wreaks havoc on the environment. You can very easily tell if a recycling company is reputable with a quick conversation and a quick peek at their website.


There are quite a few charities out there that accept donations of old electronics. These charities will almost always provide a free takeaway service to get the old equipment off of your hands. Charities that take your old technology will use it for a number of different things. Commonly, the technology is either sold to raise operational funds or is used as a training tool. Charities that help people gain job skills rely on donations of old technology to help train people on common computer programmes.

One popular charity in the UK that accepts technological donations is Recycling Lives. This charity helps train job seekers and won the Queens Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development. They offer housing, food, job training, and job placement services for people that have fallen through the cracks in society. They have a high success rate using their model and are constantly updating their services. Supporting charities like this with your donations doesn't simply get the electronic waste out of your hair. It also helps to provide a valuable public service to your community.

Incentives for Recycling Your Technology

There are a number of government incentives for recycling your old technology. These incentives can be broken down into two major groups: nationalised and localised incentives.

Nationalised Incentives

Early in 2012, the UK government published the Resource Security Action Plan. The plan essentially recognises that a lot of precious metals are being tossed into the dustbin every day throughout the UK. These precious metals are then making their way into landfills where they sit and do no good for anyone. Instead of buying these precious metals from China, the UK government has set aside quite a lot of money to create incentives for business owners to recycle their electronic waste. The hope is that this will help get business owners to send their electronic waste to designated recycling centres in an effort to conserve precious metals. The website for the Waste and Resources Action Programme can be very helpful.

Localised Incentives

There are a lot of localised incentives to recycle throughout the UK. These will depend entirely on the locality in which they are enacted. London does not currently offer any incentives for business owners to recycle electronic waste. However, there are quite a few incentives for recycling at your home.

Recycling Services and Resources

Eco Waste & Recycling in Hertfordshire provide a recycling centre for a wide variety of materials. They also offer skip hire, construction tipping, reclamation and commercial waste and office clearance services.