Maintaining an equipment replacement cycle is a wonderful way of ensuring our technologies stay current and reliable. This, however, creates a great amount of waste. For every new computer there is typically an old computer that must be disposed of properly.
Often, disposal of computers is an expensive process. Many waste management companies charge individuals $10-$25 per item. Others charge by the pound. This can add up very quickly.
For the past two years Apple computers has offered free computer recycling to schools which we have taken advantage of. In the last two years we have shipped 15 pallets worth of old, unusable junk computer equipment equaling roughly 10,000 pounds to Apple recyclers. All of this equipment was taken for free. This is an estimated savings of $2,500-$3,000 to the district or more depending on the disposal rates.
Once again Apple is offering this service to the district and we will be participating. We will likely be shipping our waste equipment in mid July this year and will be collecting old unused equipment in May and June. Click the link below for details on the program.
Technology waste is much different from the regular garbage we all produce on a daily basis. When a computer has exceeded its productive life we cannot simply throw it in the trash. We can’t even put it in our recycling bins. Electronics contain heavy metals such as lead and mercury that pose environmental hazards when disposed of improperly.
Not all decommissioned equipment is disposed of. We hold back some of the equipment that is still usable for backup equipment. Should a device stop working and we need something right away we can use that older device as a quick fix. This, however, is never intended as a permanent fix.
We have not offered any of the equipment we are disposing to staff or the public because the equipment being disposed of in the recent past was not deemed appropriate to be utilized. As we get further into the replacement cycle we will likely find some equipment could be sold at a public auction. We have not gotten to that point in our cycle yet.
Hopefully Apple will continue offering this service to schools for a long time as it has been a wonderful way for P-E-M to save money and be Green.