Disorganization, Not Cost, Fuels the IT E-Waste Crisis

September 6, 2023

Disorganization, Not Cost, Fuels the IT E-Waste Crisis, Jack M. Germain, TechNewsWorld.com, August 31, 2023

Growing businesses often rush to upgrade hardware, which results in stockpiling unused computers, routers, and other IT assets. This practice can be a bad business strategy that leads to worsening security and environmental concerns.

In the 2023 IT Management Survey conducted by software and IT services firm Capterra, data from 500 IT professionals at U.S. small and midsize businesses (SMBs) shows that nearly a third (29%) engage in improper IT hardware disposal practices.

The research shows that SMBs typically hoard old computers for 2.7 years before grappling with what else to do with them. Even in the hybrid and remote work era, hardware pile-up remains a huge part of technology’s ongoing transformation.

Key findings of the Capterra report show that most companies recycle (80%), redeploy (65%), remarket (62%), or donate (54%) at least some of their IT hardware assets. However, many others resort to improper disposal that impacts negatively on the environment.

IT hardware devices often contain toxic chemicals that make them unsuitable for landfills or incinerators. These harmful elements are potentially devastating to the environment and people.

“There are serious environmental, legal, and regulatory implications of improper IT asset disposal, and businesses should, therefore, prioritize responsible disposition processes,” offered Zach Capers, senior security analyst at Capterra.

Disorder Drives IT Hardware Dumping Disarray

The ability to organize and stage IT assets for disposal is a critical factor in whether companies use proper or improper disposal practices.

Cost is not. Disorder — not cost — drives irresponsible disposition practices. Lack of organization is a challenge for 62% of SMBs inappropriately disposing of assets, compared to 42% of responsible disposers.

Far too many simply throw away no longer-used hardware. The research shows that companies engaging in irresponsible disposition practices are more likely to upgrade or replace hardware to scale their workforce, avoid obsolescence, and keep up with the competition.

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