Recycling is a core element of any commercial building’s sustainability program. But what should we do with old, outdated computers, cell phones and other technology? If your office is like mine, I’d venture to say that you have a “computer graveyard” somewhere on-premise.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, more than 40 million computers became obsolete in 2007, and this number is expected to increase as consumers acquire more electronics. Finding environmentally friendly ways to dispose of and/or recycle these products – both at home and at work – has come front and center. Even regulators are getting on board as evidenced by the more than 20 states which have enacted legislation to manage electronic waste recycling.
As building owners and managers of BOMA/Chicago, we have a responsibility to give our tenants a roadmap for how to recycle these frequently used (and quickly outdated) office technologies. So how can we implement an e-cycling program at our buildings? There are three key steps to get started:
- Select an electronics recycling provider. There are a variety of electronics recycling companies on the market. Find one to partner with that has experience working with a building or your size that will be equipped to meet your needs.
- Engage your tenants. Designate one week or month in your building to be “e-cycling week” to kick the effort off and raise awareness about it. You’ll find that most tenants will be eager to unload their out-of-date computers and technologies.
- Be consistent. Ensure that your e-cycling effort becomes part of your larger sustainability strategy. Promote it as you would other recycling/sustainability efforts to keep it top of mind among tenants.