What do you call an industry that no one really values, created out of more red tape regulations and allowed to operate in the dark world below the bottom line? A pain in the posterior? Confusing? A bit of a con?
Well I call it two things...a living and quite good fun...at times.
But still, let’s look at things objectively. All forms of waste have become a bit of a nuisance because of recycling laws. I mean, at home we all have more bins and buckets than we need or can really cope with most of the time, and we live in sheer terror of the bin men refusing to take something.
In business terms, the bin men won’t even collect; you have to make separate arrangements with a waste management company...or private bin men. You end up with coloured containers of various sizes stuck round the back of your shop or office and you pay for every ounce.
On top of that, there are special items...batteries, toner, electrical kit to name but a few...that need to be sorted out separately. If you are a busy facilities manager, how the hell do you keep up with what is what and where it all goes?
And the paperwork is endless!
It is one of life’s irritants. Like Piers Morgan or Joey Barton or Simon Cowell. Whenever we get an enquiry for an ordinary disposal, not a big fancy asset refresh, there is usually a mixture of things. It is obviously a clear out of junk, with maybe one or two nice bits of kit in amongst the detritus, and I often wince when I give someone a price.
How much? For junk? It seems impossible. How can life work out this way? But in the end it is just a cost of doing business, a tax on waste if you like. Well, I know you don’t like, but there is no use blaming me, is there?
However, I would argue that IT ‘waste’ is slightly different to your run of the mill rubbish. For a start there may well be someone who will give it a new home and extend the life just a little bit. A smaller business perhaps? Maybe even a charity. And if there is, you will be doing something good for the environment.
I have an issue with this point, because most people seem to forget all about the environmental aspect of recycling. Perhaps it is because we are being made to do it. Nigel Farage, now I may be doing him a disservice, but I am not sure he would be a huge recycling fan. Especially as WEEE regulations emanated from Brussels. I suspect he could work himself up into a right old lather about it if we gave him the chance.
And if I am honest, I did not think too much about sustainability before arriving on planet eReco. But now I have, it gives me a warm feeling inside. I am a simple sort of guy. Sustainability simply makes sense to me. Unless ET is delivering a fresh load of natural resources at some stage in the future, this is it; we have what we have. So using it in a way that we can keep on using the same resources again for as long as possible is a bit of no brainer.
But there are costs involved. As always, someone has to pay. And guess what, it’s you, or rather us. It is sort of my job to make sure it is you, but I want you to feel that we are in this together. Recycling IT is not a simple business. Quite apart from the joys of logistics and sorting through the junk, whilst providing all the waste transfer documentation and stuff, there are the demands of data protection and the intricacies of gaining and maintaining meaningful accreditations.
So whilst I understand that no one likes paying to get rid of old stuff, let’s try and look at it as an investment in the planet; something that needs to be done properly.
We all stand together! (Come on, you saw that punch line coming as soon as you read the title, didn’t you?)