Many thought the digital age would herald a new, paperless society which would be better for the environment – and there are certainly fewer fax machines around, spewing out reams of paper.
But a new kind of threat to the planet has emerged in the form of the computers themselves and how to dispose of them once they have passed their shelf life.
Blackmore Ricotech, based in Chitterne near Warminster, specialises in solving that problem.
The firm is one of the UK’s leading secure IT and WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulation) recycling specialists and delivers environmentally-friendly solutions for redundant IT equipment, sending zero waste to landfill. It also makes sure all data is destroyed securely.
The Business Exchange spoke to commercial director Richard Connock as part of Green GB Week this week, a government initiative aimed at celebrating best practice in business.
Richard said: “Our priority has always been in data sanitisation, which means secure removal of data from IT assets they no longer need or use.
“We have been developing robust processes to easily help organisations dispose of their redundant IT, as well as helping them to maximise the value of that equipment. We’re able to refurbish and upcycle more than 90% of the assets and components we collect, and potentially give business owners a generous revenue share from their sale.”
More than 350,000 computer and electrical components are processed at the Chitterne treatment facility every year.
The company regularly assesses the environmental effects of its equipment, premises and operations and adheres to all relevant regulations concerning waste and environmental well-being. All employees are trained in environmental issues and actively promote a healthy, clean environment.
Richard said: “Blackmore Ricotech identifies, recovers and sells tens of thousands of components that are used in just as many assets, from PCs and laptops to tablets and mobile phones, extending their working lives and saving them from being scrapped. Many of these are rare and specialist components that most would think had no value and were only suitable for material recovery, yet Blackmore Ricotech has become one of Europe’s largest retailers of these second-user parts for brands such as HP, Dell, Apple, Fujitsu, and Samsung.”
But of course, it’s not just about being kind to the planet – there are strict rules on the destruction of the data held on those redundant computers.
Richard said: “The recent introduction of GDPR has also heightened companies’ awareness of data, and they’re engaging with us to help them ensure potentially data-holding items are identified and securely cleansed of personal and commercially-sensitive information.”