Being a Trash Man Isn't So Bad

Planning Efficient Computer Removal And Upgrades

by Roberto Garza

Whether you're a small business with a little over a dozen computers or an enterprise with fully-staffed departments of workstations, getting the old systems out and upgrades in their proper place can be a challenge. Individual computers may not be too heavy for the average adult, but when technicians or movers need to carry dozens or hundreds of computers through hallways, down stairs or across parking lots to garbage bins, fatigue and mistakes can happen. To avoid some of the physical challenges and confusion, consider a few efficient (and possibly profitable methods that could make your computer refresh easier.

Wait...What's A Computer Refresh?

A computer refresh is an Information Technology (IT) term for moving out old computers and bringing new computers in. Computer upgrades happen for various reasons, ranging from a desperate need to upgrade decade old-computers to simply getting the newest model after a year. The yearly upgrade may barely be an improvement--a sidegrade, using technical slang--to your current systems.

With sidegrades, you may be throwing away components that could be used later. Some business keep a few of the old systems in storage in case of a new computer breakdown, but there may be storage space restrictions that you can't get around. 

Instead of getting rid of everything, consider taking out a few components for storage. Hard drive, random access memory (RAM) and power supplies are a few components that are either likely to break down or could be added as an improvement to the new systems.

Hard drives are specially useful because you could keep old information on hand without erasing anything. Technicians could even improve your business information storage by adding old hard drives to a bulk storage server, which can then be used to keep non-vital, but helpful information that wouldn't cripple the business when the older drives eventually fail. That said, if you're dealing with an upgrade after year, the hard drives are still fairly fresh.

Recycling Old Components Efficiently

For old systems or completely broken components, the garbage is the destination. Unfortunately, there is quite a bit of money that could be ignored or lost if you don't handle the removal properly.

Electronic waste (e-waste) carries a fine, which has been enforced against businesses in recent years. There's little excuse to simply throw computers into the garbage, especially since you could get some money back for proper recycling.

Some recycling and sanitation companies are willing to take entire computers for a flat recycling rate. Inside the computers are specific components that could be recycled for a more targeted--and potentially more profitable--selling rate. 

Older hard drives (not Solid State Drives) are encased in aluminum, and have a variety of metals used to coat their data storage platters. The metal content of the coating depends on the manufacturer, but one consistent recycling material is the rare earth magnet cluster nested inside every hard drive.

To make recycling easier, you'll want your technicians or moving specialists to have a short walk to the drop-off area. Walking across parking lots can add needless fatigue, and having to lift or throw computers into a large dumpster can lead to back and joint injury. Instead, roll off dumpster containers should be used.

Sanitation professionals can rent or lease sanitized containers that can be placed just outside of the building in use. Technicians can walk into the containers and easily place computers and bins containing recycling materials, reducing the travel time and stress. Contact a roll off dumpster representative to discuss delivery of containers and convenient pickup, as well as recycling rates.