Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Apathy, Fear, Suspicion and the SME

Most people work hard and have busy days. Managers and business owners have a lot of things to think about, a lot of rules and regulations to consider, and it all takes time. That is why recycling and the idea of sustainable business is not as high on the agenda as we would like it to be.

EReco sits in a sector fraught with risks, regulations and rules, but the biggest feeling I get from the majority of SME’s I talk to is a strange mixture of apathy, fear and suspicion.

Let me take those three emotional responses in reverse order.

People are suspicious of someone taking away their old IT equipment purely because they suspect that they are missing out on something. It’s not so bad with old wires, keyboards and the like, because they did not cost a lot in the first place and they have been well used and abused, and possibly don't fit the replacement kit which in any case come with new wires etc, but when it comes to desktops, laptops, servers and stuff, the cost kicks in. Remember, this is the man who has just paid to replace this stuff. He knows what it cost him down to the last penny. And even if that pile in the corner is all now redundant, he has this nagging voice in his head that tells him he is giving away money. It makes him reluctant to let go.

Fear is there too. He is no fool. He knows about hard drives, or at least he thinks he does. He does not think there is anything bad on the old machines, he may even have checked, and he does not think any criminal mastermind would be that interested in his old files anyway, but there is a nagging doubt there. He is not really sure what he should do, so he does nothing much at all, except deleting everything he can see.

Which brings me to apathy. Because this is not one of life’s bigger decisions. Not in the great scheme of things. This is redundant kit. If you have bought replacements and you have put the old stuff in a dark corner somewhere whilst your mild fears and suspicions fester, you cannot really be bothered to chase the solution too far. There is no problem hanging on to IT rubbish. It is not decomposing. So unless you need the storage space back, keeping it is relatively risk-free. It is actually easier to do nothing at all.

I absolutely guarantee that if you root around in any business premises you will find a bit of redundant kit somewhere. Damn it, most family homes are the same. I have a Virgin Media box they just left with me when I upgraded to TiVo. It has been at the bottom of my wardrobe for two years for heaven’s sake. And I could just drop that down the dump, for free.

There are thousands of tons of WEEE we could be recycling right now sitting there doing nothing other than take up space. And that is quite important, don’t you think? The idea that our electrical goods can be broken down at worst and reused to make something else is an incredibly good one, but far too often the good message gets lost in the reality of the situation, and that causes fear, suspicion and apathy.

So if you are a slightly nervous, suspicious sort of person who hasn’t summoned the energy to do the right thing with that pile of rubbish in the storeroom, it’s time to buck up. Call me (there are other IT recycling businesses out there, if you really must, but hey, we’ve come this far together, give a guy a break!) and I will sort it for you. It doesn’t hurt, you might get a few quid ahead at the end of the process and you will be doing something good for once.

Come on, you know it makes sense.