IT disposal is governed by a range of legislation and directives. It’s highly unlikely that any sort of political change will change the legal situation around computers and their disposal, as the legislation is there for a purpose – and that’s protecting the environment from hazardous waste. This is something that’s in all our interests. Computer recycling may seem an enormous hassle to carry out correctly yourself. But if you find the right company from the outset, disposing of IT equipment need not be so stressful and you’ll have the peace of mind as well as protection from the law. What are the issues involved? Read on to find out more.
What Is The Legal Background Surrounding Computer Recycling?
Computer components contain toxic chemicals and metals which, if released into the environment through improper IT disposal, can cause pollution and long-term harm to communities. Lead, lithium, beryllium, cadmium, and mercury are all involved in computer manufacture and can be dangerous if IT asset disposal is not carried out responsibly. If you want to level up your gear gaming PC’s are going to need to be disposed of correctly in order to make way for your new machinery. After all, these poisonous chemicals can affect animals as well as people when entering soil or water supply, putting the environment and natural habitats at risk.
Furthermore, computers contain materials such as plastic and glass that can be recycled if the disposal of IT assets is carried out in the proper way, which can help preserve our precious resources for future generations. As technology advances, we have access to an increasing number of gadgets and devices. We are all consumed by the desire to always upgrade the IT equipment we own to the latest models. And this means that many of us, particularly businesses, face the difficult problem of disposing of large volumes of old equipment. Sometimes, IT equipment is disposed of unsafely and unwittingly, without knowing the dangers involved, but at other times, companies are negligent of the risks. Legislation exists to draw attention to and raise awareness of the harm that can be caused by the poor disposal practices of this equipment and to put plans in place to ensure safe disposal. The law also imposes penalties to deter those who don’t take the risks seriously. Both companies and individuals can be held liable if WEEE disposal isn’t carried out safely.
What Legislation Must Gaming Individuals, Gaming Businesses and IT Disposal Companies Follow?
So, what legislation is in place to govern this situation? The main relevant laws are the Environmental Act 1995, the Environmental Protection Act 1990, the Data Protection Act of 1998 and Landfill Regulations 2002 under UK legislation. Then there are European Directives on WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) and Hazardous Waste (2005). All this legislation puts organisations under a duty of care to ensure that any waste IT equipment that is no longer required because it is broken, obsolete or otherwise unwanted is disposed of in a safe way. There are tough penalties in place to punish those who are negligent of their responsibilities, from hefty fines to imprisonment if breaches of the law are particularly serious.
So given that most companies do not have the time, knowledge or resources to carry out the disposal of IT equipment safely themselves, how can they ensure they are complying with the law and won’t face penalties? This is where responsible IT disposal companies play a role. These are professional businesses that are dedicated to ensuring that all types of IT waste are broken up, reused or recycled in a way that won’t cause harm to the environment or to people. Organisations with volumes of IT hardware that are no longer required for their business purposes can delegate the difficult task of safe disposal by contracting or hiring the services of these IT equipment disposal companies. But it is still ultimately the individual organisation’s responsibility to ensure that they choose the right company to dispose of their unwanted IT assets, or remain liable for legal penalties if they choose the wrong one.
Selecting The Right Company For IT Equipment Disposal
So if your gaming company needs IT equipment disposal or you’re a keen gamer looking to dispose of your equipment, what should you look for in a business that offers these services? There are plenty of contenders about, all claiming that they will help you get rid of unwanted equipment in a safe way that complies with the law. Unfortunately, not all companies are properly qualified. As IT disposal is a growth area with the introduction of legislation and the rise in available and affordable computer tech, there will always be unscrupulous companies on the market that just want to make money quickly. As was mentioned above, your business, as the owner of obsolete IT equipment, is ultimately responsible for its safe disposal and can be legally penalized if that’s not done correctly.
To avoid falling foul of the law, you should ask for the following information before you contract with any company for the disposal of IT assets. Firstly, establish how long they have been in the business and what their track record is in this industry. Here, you should be looking for the right experience and the right size company to tackle your IT disposal requirements. Next, ask about security measures they will take to protect any valuable data that remains on your unwanted PCs. Check that your data will be 100% comprehensively destroyed and that there will be a provable audit trail, including a Certificate of Destruction issued to you, so you’re safe in the knowledge that the process has been carried out in accordance with the law. Finally, ascertain that they hold the right licenses to be carriers of controlled waste.
So there you have it: everything you need to know about disposing of your gaming equipment properly and the steps that you need to follow.