ITAD vs E-Waste: Understanding the Difference Can Lead To Big Savings

ITAD or IT Asset Disposition helps businesses address IT assets they no longer need with the aim of recovering the value still held by those assets, and putting them to their highest use by returning them to the market.

What is ITAD? How does it differ from e-waste?

When businesses purchase new computers, monitors, phones, printers and other large volume electronics, they have to figure out what to do with all the IT assets they no longer need. Often, businesses incur huge costs to transport and put their unwanted IT assets into storage, or pay for a vendor to take the assets away for recycling as e-waste (electronic waste). But, there is a much better option that businesses often are not aware of: ITAD, or IT Asset disposition.

Understanding the difference between ITAD and e-waste disposal can save a business a lot of money when it is upgrading or relocating.

  • E-waste: E-waste processing focuses on breaking down the electronics into parts that can be recycled or disposed of safely. Transportation and recycling fees can make this costly.
  • ITAD seeks to first determine the residual resale value of the assets and preserve that value through refurbishments when possible, putting the assets back into the market for resale and reuse. ITAD often comes with revenue sharing that helps to lower disposal costs. Besides cost savings, ITAD means less waste going to the landfill. In addition, ITAD can include options for data rescue or destruction, and even data center decommissioning and relocation.

Both ITAD services and e-waste recycling are crucial, and choosing the right one, or a combination thereof, can make a world of difference in cost and logistics.

What happens when the wrong choice is made?

One corporation with offices across the country needed to dispose of 3,500 computer monitors and heavy IT equipment as part of an upgrade.

They decided to ship all the heavy assets from their various locations back to the home office, where the IT assets were then treated as e-waste and recycled. The cost of transportation and the recycling fees ran in the tens of thousands of dollars.

If they had processed the same equipment using ITAD services, it would have potentially cut their costs by 35% or more as the company would have been able to recoup the value of some of their IT assets, and save on heavy shipping costs.

By making the wrong choice, this corporation not only lost the value of their assets, but ended up paying a high price for removal.

What happens when the right choice is made?

By using Great Forest’s IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) service, one client was able to get 6.34 tons
of unwanted IT assets removed for free, and avoid a $16,000 bill. Read the full case study here.


Photo: Farzad, Unsplash

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