Before you let your employees take a baseball bat to it like the guys in Office Space, consider recycling it. In fact, a little unknown fact about copy machines is that many of them contain materials that can be extremely hazardous to the environment, so it’s good to know the proper way to dispose of one.
Electronic waste, or “e-waste” as it’s called, is one of the fastest growing kinds of waste in our world today. Despite the fact that nearly 100 percent of e-waste is recyclable, very few actually do it. In the United States, which generated an estimated 6.9 million tons of e-waste in 2016 (42 pounds per person), a staggering number of devices are still either quietly exported out of the country, or in many cases, going straight to a landfill each year.
One alternative to tossing your old copier is to donate it to a charitable organization who may have use for it. The only catch is that they will likely need to find a reputable dealer to help main their equipment with a service and supply agreement. In the end, it’s better than the alternative, and you are doing good for someone else. (You may even qualify for a tax credit too!) For a full list of schools, and non-profit organizations that accept donations of electronics, click here.
Another option for donating is through a Xerox partnership with the National Cristina Fund. Equipment must be in working condition to qualify, and they also accept used working computers, monitors, and other peripheral equipment such as scanners and fax machines. Click here to learn more.
Take-Backs by the Manufacturer
Many manufacturers have take-back programs if your equipment no longer works, or you can’t find someone who wants to take it. The only caveat is that most manufacturers, like Xerox for example, will require you to ship the unit to them, and they will cover the recycling fees. This option allows manufacturers to tear down units and reuse most of the raw materials and heavy metal components versus sending them to a landfill.
If you have a Xerox machine manufactured before 1979, it may contain PCBs and Xerox will remove the machine from your site at no additional charge.
Remarkably, in 2016, Xerox’s global combined recycling programs (equipment and consumables) prevented nearly 37,000 metric tons of waste from entering landfills.
Find a Licensed Disposal Facility
If all else fails, most local governments have a running list of recommended, licensed electronics disposal companies. These groups will dispose of your hardware in a safe way by dismantling them and recycling the components that they can use, and getting them back into the manufacturing process.
Whatever you decide, be sure that if your equipment is on a lease, that you have verified the end of your lease agreement before you remove anything.