Putting ‘Reuse’ Back into ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’

ViaTeK Solutions works with companies large and small to find the best combination of recycling, reusing, and scrapping old equipment and materials. When it comes to the next generation of recycling, especially as the number of data centers continues to grow, developing and maintaining a recycling plan that maximizes your electronic assets while benefiting the environment is critical. ViaTeK Solutions is uniquely positioned to help companies achieve maximum success in their recycling and refurbishing needs.

This article will cover a lot, but the most important takeaway is that the best recycling tactic is finding a way to put the recycled material back into the world or environment. With that in mind, we’ll show how the recycling process is more than meets the eye and plays a critical role in mitigating waste and promoting efficiency.

Cost Considerations of Recycling vs. Reusing

Let’s first define the difference between recycling and reusing electronics for this article.

Recycling: Sending a product into end-of-life management because it has become obsolete or possesses no resale or material value. For equipment that has no resale value, this usually means going to the shredder. For pieces containing valuable information, they go through the data destruction process that ensures a device and any information on it is destroyed.

Reusing: Repurposing, refurbishing, and reusing an existing piece of equipment or material. As described earlier, this should be the desired method for all of ViaTeK’s clients because it allows companies to minimize the times they need to replace old equipment with new equipment.

So, what are the cost considerations between recycling and reusing? Ultimately there are high labor costs for each service, making the net price between the two relatively similar. However, many clients that work with ViaTeK Solutions realize their equipment has resale or material value, making the end cost more affordable than outright recycling.

The Ideal Customer for Recycling and Reusing

In ViaTeK’s experience, large companies require year-round recycling and refurbishing services. ViaTeK works with many large and well-known corporations, sometimes recycling and refurbishing material monthly or weekly. A recycling provider like ViaTeK is also ideal for small to medium-sized companies. Nowadays, everyone has IT equipment, so even if it’s only one instance of picking up and recycling your material, ViaTeK is an excellent solution for you. 

Understanding the three tiers of material we receive and how we categorize them is essential.

Red, gray, and white gradient background graphic designed showing the text '3 ways to reuse materials' and 'tier 1: no scrap value, i.e. inexpensive plastic. goal: refurbish+sell. tier 2: scrap value, i.e. copper, aluminum. Goal: recycle scrap + sell at market price. Tier 3 - resale value. i.e. working devices. Goal: refurbish + sell"

No Scrap Value: In this case, we are working with items that have no scrap value in the material. We primarily see this in plastic, which is an inexpensive material. When this is the case, we work with clients to reduce the amount of scrapped material by refurbishing and selling it back as often as possible. Otherwise, the amount of material that gets scrapped gets considered in the demanufacturing and recycling fee.

Scrap Value: In this instance, ViaTeK Solutions determines that material within the desired recyclables possesses a scrap value. Depending on the material (i.e. copper, aluminum, etc.), ViaTeK Solutions will offer a value at the market price for that material to retain the scrap value. This evaluation is an excellent way for companies to recycle ethically and advantageously.

Resale Value: As stated earlier, refurbishing and reselling is the best practice in corporate recycling. Finding the practicality in equipment and putting it back out into the world is best for your wallet and the environment. 

With these three tiers in mind, a net-positive relationship with a recycling provider is possible. Some clients have equipment with resale value or refurbishing potential, which can significantly reduce their service fees. On the other hand, some clients require more demanufacturing and recycling fees than others based on recycled material. ViaTeK works with clients of all types and sizes. 

A few other fees that we come across that generally apply to all clients include:

  • The recording fee for make, model, and serial number.
  • If destroying hard drives is requested, we must charge a shredding fee.

These costs come up more often than not, so we always want to ensure our clients understand the all-in cost from the start. To get a quote, you can send an itemized list of the equipment you need ViaTeK to estimate to recyclerequest@viateksolutions.com

Why Choosing An Ethical Recycler Like ViaTeK Solutions Is Important

One of the principles of ViaTeK Solutions is to maintain an ethical approach to recycling and reusing. We pride ourselves on only having one standard dumpster outside our 30,000-square-foot warehouse for the entire company. Pretty impressive, considering we’re a corporate recycling service!

This efficiency is an example of the broader approach we take to ensure our certifications are up to date and our audit reports are clean. In audit reports, the auditors state the non-conformities or minor infractions that need to be documented. For example, if 100,000 pounds of equipment comes in, but there is no clear record of it going out – that’s bad news. You don’t want to end up in an article or publication for the public to see that you don’t follow protocol. That’s why companies large and small pick ViaTeK. Our audit reports always come back clean.

Quietly living in the shadow of ethical recycling and refurbishing are environmental considerations. The public support behind conscious and thoughtful recycling and reusing has never been higher, and companies all over the nation are following suit. By working with trusted companies like ViaTeK, coordinating the picking up and ethical recycling or refurbishing of equipment of all types also contributes to environmental best practices.

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