What should I do with my old equipment?

Posted by John Kennedy on Mar 17, 2018 6:35:55 AM
John Kennedy


What should I do with my old equipment now that I want to replace it with some brand new technology?

When equipment reaches the end of its useful life, you need to take that hard decision over whether you just dispose or if you can provide it with a new home. Instead of letting an old smartphone, tablet, or laptop gather dust, you can give it new life in a variety of ways from a home security camera to a family computer or as part of a trade-in for a new lease deal.

Here are some best practices for dealing with your old IT equipment.

The environment

If your business has gone to the trouble of developing a responsible business policy, then now is the time to employ it. Make sure that you have written an environmental policy for disposing of old computing equipment with recommendations on how to decommission and dispose of it.

Training equipment

You may be able to demote older equipment to be used solely for for training or testing purposes. Making sure of course that the test results will accurately emulate the production environment they are targeted for.

Reuse - recycle

Some older equipment can be used as a source of spare parts if there is enough version compatibility between the old and the new equipment.


Never underestimate your ability to trade up to new equipment by turning in your old computer equipment. You may be able to get a discount in a part-exchange depending of course on the number of items you have, their condition and how old they are. If you lease equipment instead of buying it, you should ask if you get any credit for older equipment on the lease that you are exchanging for new.

Pass on to those that need less powerful computers 

There may be a few roles in your organisation that perform tasks where they need a powerful piece of equipment to process or deal with far larger system requirements. When recycling older equipment an option is to pass it on to a user with lower-power needs as it could extend the useful life of your technology.

Sell equipment to employees

Your staff may be looking for a low-priced piece of equipment to use at home or for their family to use. They are not so worried how old it is, just that it works and they know where the equipment came from and how it was used.

Recycling it

If you'd rather just get rid of it you cannot just dump it with the rest of the rubbish. There are certain EU directives on how to recycle computer waste that you need to adhere to. See if your device's manufacturer offers a recycling scheme, or check with your local IT contact who may be able to take it off you for recycling or better still refurbishment.

If you're getting rid of your equipment, there are a number of best practices to follow to make sure you don’t give away potentially sensitive information left behind on the computer. Most importantly scrub your old device clean of any files or personal data before you hand it in.

Some best practices to follow are:

Eliminate access

Ensure that you eliminate any accounts or ways to access work applications or data that are associated with the old equipment.

Remove data

Don't assume that nobody can access your files, so either delete in a secure way or encrypt the data on the drive before doing any deletion to make data even more difficult to recover later if somebody tries.

Destroy the device

You may ultimately feel if a device contains sensitive data and you don't want the risk of it falling into the wrong hands you may want to physically destroy the device that contains the data. There are professional services you can buy who that can safely and effectively render any data on your drives unrecoverable.

Keep track of which systems have been decommissioned

Make sure you keep track of what equipment has been fully decommissioned, ensuring it was done in a secure manner and that you keep records of those who was responsible for the task and that they have signed off on it.

Don't wait

Don't store equipment to be forgotten that need decommissioning. It may provide a hacker with the perfect way into your systems especially if you leave it running on your network. 

Work.Tools provides a comprehensive range of tech products and support services to keep productivity in top shape for your business.

We can provide software licenses, mobile contracts, cyber security assistance, and cloud storage solutions to give you peace of mind when it comes to technology. 

With professional, 24/7 access to our dedicated team of IT support staff your business will keep tech downtime to the minimum. 

Use Work.Tools to stay on top of business, whether that is leasing the latest Apple products or subscribing to one of our affordable IT support Plans.

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Topics: IT, hardware, workplace

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