Computer recycling scheme wins Queen’s Award for Enterprise

A company that processes 30,000 units of computer equipment each month for re-use and recycling has won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for its system that provides companies with a good return for their unwanted computers.

RDC, an Essex-based asset management company that works within the IT industry, runs a scheme that enables the re-use and recycling of computer equipment including servers, printers and networking equipment. The company’s customers include the Inland Revenue, Consignia, and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Most of the computers that are collected are re-sold, but those that are unsuitable for re-use are disposed of appropriately, Gary Griffiths, RDC Environmental and Quality Systems Manager, told edie. There is a good market for the second-hand equipment, says Griffiths.

Prior to re-sale, the equipment undergoes extensive refurbishment, says RDC, which includes erasing all data and carrying out safety checks on electrical components.

“Disposing of computer and electrical equipment is a complex process which must adhere to environmental, legal and data protection regulations,” said Gerry Hackett, Managing Director of RDC. “Businesses have realised that their duty of care extends beyond the selling of redundant IT assets and are looking for a complete end-of-life management service.”

RDC charges companies disposing of computers for the provision of its services, such as the safety checks, and in some cases, upgrading, but when the renovated equipment is then sold most of the revenue goes back to the client. The costs for renovation of computers up to four years old should be more than met by the revenue from their re-sale, says Griffiths. However, there is usually a net charge for computers older than this.

“Waste management is a major concern for all businesses and government departments, who are in a constant cycle of upgrading their IT systems,” said Mike Norris, Chief Executive of RDC’s parent company Computacenter. “By enabling companies to re-use or re-sell computer equipment, RDC is helping businesses to get the best value from their investment in IT hardware.”

The award entitles RDC to display the Queen’s Award emblem on all company material for five years.

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