Recycling old office equipment is a growing trend for good reason. Throwing electronics in the trash can negatively impact the environment and may even be illegal in some communities. Old office equipment might seem worthless to you, but many charities are eager to accept your cast-offs and keep them from ending up in a landfill. These are just two of many reasons why you should recycle old office equipment when it’s time to replace it.
Recycling your old office equipment and figuring out how to recycle office supplies are great ways to begin transitioning to environmentally friendly work practices that are good for your business’s reputation and your bottom line. Caring for the environment is just one of the benefits of having an eco-friendly business.
The first step in getting rid of unwanted and out-of-date equipment is understanding what office equipment can be recycled.
The list of office materials and equipment that you can recycle is long and varied. To get an idea of the possibilities, the State of New Jersey has compiled a list of what office equipment can be recycled and what other materials can be repurposed or reused.
Once you’ve determined what kinds of equipment offices can recycle, the next step is to figure out how to recycle office supplies and where you can donate unwanted office equipment.
The easiest way to recycle old office equipment is to bring it to a recycling center or have a specialist in office clean-outs come to you. Local recycling regulations covering recycling electronics can vary from place to place, so call ahead to understand what you can and cannot recycle in your area. Be sure to wipe sensitive personal and business information from all of your electronic devices.
Charities often welcome used electronics, furniture and supplies as a way to cut their operating expenses. Some also refurbish donations for resale at a profit.
Leading manufacturer brands and retailers understand the value of recycling. Many have programs to make it easier. National charities like Habitat for Humanity, Amvets and the Salvation Army are usually happy to receive your donation–but call in advance to check what they can use and what they’ll take.
When computers malfunction, you may get hit with unforeseen business costs to replace them. Worn out desks and furniture can also be expensive to replace. You can reduce costs by repairing and refurbishing broken equipment and fixtures. Small-business equipment loans may be able to help you cover some of these expenses.
Put old office electronics to work as hand-me-downs. Older machines can be given to temps, interns and contractors. Employees often value old computers to give to their children for use in schoolwork. Creative reuse for office furniture depends on the style of your company. Metal file cabinets make planters that are conversation pieces. An old cubicle divider can become a billboard for office news.
If your office cast-offs are in good condition, you can sell them. Most areas have liquidators that specialize in reselling office equipment and furniture. Type “sell office furniture” into a search engine and you’ll find dozens of options. Online sites like Ebay and CraigsList can also be effective places to sell.
The reasons why you should recycle old office equipment are many, running the gamut of being good for the environment, good for your company’s reputation and good for your finances. You’ll also be doing your part to save energy. Recycling, refurbishing, repurposing and donating are all excellent ways to get the most value from your initial investment. It’s no wonder recycling old office equipment is a growing trend and one you should consider for your small business.
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