Orange Business Services steps up e-waste recycling

Global IT and communications firm Orange Business Services has partnered with recycling specialist Stone Group to recycle its end-of-life hardware and dispose of its data-bearing ICT securely, in line with EU data laws.

The company, which forms the business services arm of mobile network operator Orange, has been recycling ‘end-of-life’ IT hardware such as desktop PCs, laptops, notebooks and cabling since 2007. But its approach to e-waste has had to change in line with stricter data and waste regulations.

“Recycling and waste management, particularly of IT hardware, has become a ‘must’ rather than a ‘nice to have’ for businesses like ours,” explained Orange Business Services’ senior engineer David Kirkbride.


The new partnership will see Orange Business Services pass on all ‘end-of-life’ IT hardware to the Stone Group, which will assess each piece of equipment and work out how and where it can be redeployed.

Collection vehicles will store devices that can be re-conditioned, while all other hardware is secured and taken away free-of-charge.

Orange is provided with full traceability information for each collected unit, allowing the company to track its IT equipment through the entire life-cycle.

“The fact that Stone doesn’t charge for recycling and disposal of IT was very attractive, but I was also very impressed by its waste management credentials and commitment to re-purposing all possible devices for secondary use,” added Kirkbride.

Stone Group’s operations director Gary Buxton said: “We work with a number of organisations that supply reconditioned devices such as laptops to families and charities across England, and the IT Schools Africa campaign, which places units with schoolchildren in need too.

“We aim to supply devices that, although not suitable anymore for the organisation that has recycled them, have plenty of capacity, memory, durability and power to be an asset to those who might need them, especially for education purposes.”

Circular thinking

In its 2013 CSR report, Orange laid out plans for new circular economy models to increase reuse and efficient management of resources. This will require the participation of all actors: customers, employees, suppliers, collection and refurbishing partners, processing providers and local authorities.

The report states that product life-cycle management incorporates the three following key aspects:

  • Extend equipment life cycles by increasing reuse by Orange customers or others. 
  • Optimise the management of waste and end-of-life products generated internally by introducing processing channels suited to each category of waste and ensuring their end-to-end traceability. 
  • Collect and process waste electronic equipment with approved external partners or waste management service providers.

Lois Vallely

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