On Tuesday my young colleague Gurjar and I spent a fruitful day sorting out our stock cupboard which is full of old computers, tape drives, cables and the general detritus of computer maintenance. Machines that were the pride of their owners a few years ago, on the cutting edge of technology now no longer able to run the software they need today. Breaks your heart.
And of course you can’t just chuck this stuff out anyway. First you have to take out the hard disc and attack it with a hammer so that sensitive data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Then you have to take anything covered by the EU WEEE directive (most electronics) to the corporation tip or some other centre that has the proper facilities for dealing with it.
Last time I did a round up of old kit for my customers, the council tip charged me £15 per computer monitor and the other stuff on a weight basis. Householders can do this for free so I’d advise anyone with just a couple of things to dispose of to do it as a domestic user.
So next time a commercial firm makes a donation of their old computers to your organisation bear in mind that besides the costs of configuring it to your software and infrastructure, you’ll also be paying in time and money to dispose of the kit that it supercedes.