Begin your program with a new approach to purchases. Buy with reducing or eliminating disposal costs in mind:
- Consider equipment leasing, which eliminates disposal concerns.
- Purchase equipment that is designed for easy repair, upgrades or recycling; extending the life of equipment reduces waste.
- Consider purchasing refurbished equipment and/or equipment containing recycled materials.
- Request that the manufacturer or dealer take back used electronic equipment, or pursue a take-back agreement at the time of purchase.
Recycling allows your business to avoid costly and time-consuming hazardous waste compliance requirements for electronics waste. Recycling electronics has environmental and economic benefits, such as keeping hazardous materials out of landfills and saving valuable components and materials. Individual businesses can realize several direct advantages:
- No hazardous waste generator license is required for these wastes.
- No license fees or reporting is required for these wastes, if no other hazardous waste is generated by your business.
- You can transport your own waste, in accordance with MnDOT's Hazardous Materials transportation requirements, to the processing facility.
- You can record waste shipments on a waste-tracking invoice rather than a hazardous waste manifest.
As with all waste, businesses are responsible for their waste electronics forever. Carefully track and document how yours is managed.
Manufacturer Take-Back Programs
Several leading manufacturers reclaim electronics equipment at the end of its useful life. Increasingly popular as a form of product stewardship, these "take-back" programs remove disposal burdens from businesses while reducing overall waste costs for municipalities. Consult the web sites of the following manufacturers for further information:
- Hewlett Packard
Reuse and Donations
As a viable alternative to disposal, reuse carries benefits for your business as well as the recipient of the equipment.
Donate usable equipment in good condition to a charity, school, non-profit or other organization, or contact the Minnesota Materials Exchange Program at (612) 624-1300. See Donation Opportunities or contact the Minnesota Computers for Schools Program at (651) 779-2816 for more information. Call first, to verify acceptance of your equipment.
Other options include reconditioning, refurbishing and resale. These apply mainly to equipment with resale value, such as computers. If reselling, inquire about how unusable components are to be managed. See Computers, Electronics and Office Equipment.
For more information on managing electronics waste responsibly, download the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency fact sheet Managing Electronic Equipment.
For information on managing electronics under the full requirements of the Hazardous Waste Rules, see Hazardous Waste Management.