Remarket vs. Recycle: How to Decide Which Is Best for Your Old IT Equipment

Dec 1, 2023

When it comes to the disposal of your old IT equipment, there are plenty of good reasons to avoid simply throwing such items in the trash. It’s bad for the environment, for one, but it also poses privacy concerns, and you could even be leaving money on the table.

With that being said, remarketing and recycling are both good options, but you may have a hard time determining which is right for your needs at first.

Remarketing vs. Recycling: What’s the Difference?

IT Remarketing and Electronics Recycling are two terms that refer to two different ways through which you dispose of old IT equipment, including desktop PCs, laptops, cell phones, tablets, servers, and a wide range of other equipment.

Remarketing refers to reselling your old equipment and thus recovering any remaining value. Depending on how often your organization upgrades its equipment, your old hardware could still be highly valuable, but you need to ensure that you maintain effective privacy protections when you remarket IT assets.

Recycling, on the other hand, is the ultimate disposal of IT assets, accomplished by breaking them down into their base components and reclaiming them. Glass, steel, aluminum, copper, plastics, and even small amounts of gold and silver can be recovered from old IT assets.

How to Make Your Choice

There are a variety of criteria to consider when evaluating your situation. With so many variables at play, it can be difficult to determine which option is best, but you can ask yourself these two questions to help make your decision:

Is It Worth Remarketing?

The simple fact of the matter is that some IT assets aren’t worth anything due to their age or condition. If you have severely outdated hardware, broken or faulty IT assets, or machines with missing components, you may not be able to remarket them successfully. Recycling, in contrast, lets you ensure that these assets are disposed of responsibly — however, it’s important to remember that not all “recyclers” are created equal. Choose a  vendor certified to e-Stewards, R2 and NAID AAA to ensure everything will be responsibly and securely recycled, even if it has no value.

Are There Data Risks?

Another important consideration to keep in mind involves the risk of data breaches after remarketing your devices. If you simply sold an old computer without any protections in place, whoever buys it can access all of the data that may have been left on it, even if you deleted files and formatted the drive itself, as plenty of data is easily recoverable with the right tools. There are plenty of horror stories pointing to examples of this happening, including healthcare facilities, colleges, and other organizations that need to protect their data in accordance with strict privacy regulations.

If you’re interested in recovering value from IT assets through remarketing, make sure to go with certified professionals who can ensure data privacy. Since you could be liable for employee or customer data breaches, it’s best to leave the removal of sensitive data to the professionals. Certifications that require verified data wiping and erasure include NAID AAA, R2 and e-Stewards.

Responsible IT Asset Disposal

If you are interested in maximizing the value of your old IT assets in South Dakota and North Dakota without compromising security, let SEAM handle your resale and remarketing efforts.

We implement safe and certified data wiping procedures and carry out thorough audits to ensure success, along with handling details such as cleaning and refurbishing. Reach out today to see how much your IT assets could be worth.

SEAM provides IT recycling and data destruction services including onsite shredding and hard drive wiping to South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska.

Schedule a pickup or contact us for more information.