Separating ITAD Fact from Fiction:

How you can properly dispose of your used servers and make the sustainable IT choice.

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Did you know you can sell your used servers and excess IT equipment for cash or trade-in and dispose them even more responsibly? Or that there is an endless list of reliable ITAD companies and certified recyclers that will take care of everything for you? If your answer was no to either of those questions, let us walk you through how to properly dispose of your used or excess gear.

After 27 years in the industry, we’ve developed a path of “Smarter ITAD™” that over delivers on saving and sustainability goals, built on unparalleled standards for quality and responsibility.

How do I dispose of excess used servers?

The optimal method to dispose of excess used servers is to find a reuse option or partner who can deploy the equipment to a second user, which will maximize and extend its lifespan. Since reuse is the highest form of recycling, many IT users are shifting their focus to the world of reuse versus other disposal options.

Established companies will even offer a cash return or trade-in credit for your used server instead of you paying for a recycler to come in and remove the equipment. This can save time, money, and energy for you and your team; while helping reduce e-waste!

How do I recycle excess servers?

Excess servers can certainly be recycled responsibly by aligning with a reputable recycler to avoid any negative environmental impacts. By contacting a local recycler, preferably with R2 Certification, they will either schedule a pickup or drop off for any servers you would like recycled.

Upon receiving the used servers, the recycler thoroughly sanitizes and wipes all hard drives back to their original factory setting. Once the data is wiped clean, the recycler will break down the server into separate components to be refurbished or disposed of entirely. Most recyclers will even send a certification of completion once your servers are reset.

While many recyclers require that you pay for the decommissioning and processing of your equipment, savvy IT managers are asking for more. Your enterprise IT equipment often qualifies as valuable, and rather than paying thousands for its disposal, you may get thousands for the right to take it out.

When considering ITAD services, work with long-standing, credentialed and trusted refurbishers to offer maximum value and reuse sustainability commitments, along with data erasure certificates and commitments to take custody and responsibility for your hardware.

Where to sell used servers?

IT users looking to sell used servers have many options due to the recent upward shift in demand. Selling used servers have become more accessible than ever. Online platforms like eBay and Craigslist or finding a reputable ITAD (IT Asset Disposition Services) to work with directly are all options that many sellers find beneficial - each one coming with its own advantages and setbacks.

While using online platforms like eBay and Craigslist, it's important to note that posted listings may not be the best available price. By contacting a well-established ITAD directly, preferably over the phone, you can save an average of 30% more than online. Not only can you save even more money, but this also almost always guarantees quicker response and better support.

Who are the top ITAD companies for used servers?

The top ITAD companies for used servers include the following: 

  • Alta Technologies
    • ITAD encompasses recycling and reuse, and Alta is the leading provider of new, used, and refurbished servers, storage, and networking equipment. Since 1995, we have offered a best-in-class quality and customer experience with our product experts and techs recognized as the best in the business. With our inventory stretching over 1.3 million systems and parts, we can ship your in-stock systems, switches, or parts same day! Because of our global network of buyers, we’re typically able to pay more for your excess IT.
  • Dell Computer
    • That's right! One of the largest IT manufacturers also dabbles in the resale and recycling of used equipment. They offer cash or regulated recycling for any IT brand, not just Dell.
  • Waste Management
    • You may have heard of them by the green garbage at the end of your or your neighbor's driveway, but did you know they are also considered an IT disposition service? They have many disposal options that are convenient, trusted, and efficient for recycling electronics the right way. They even hold certifications like R2/RIOS, ISO 9001, and 14001.
  • Ingram Micro
    • Ingram Micro focuses primarily on the value of a company's technology to maximize how they make, sell, and use equipment. With a deep understanding of services like technology repair, they support brands across the globe.
  • Arrow Electronics
    • Arrow assists IT users across the globe by providing their expertise and innovative solutions to real-world problems. They focus on simplifying a business's operations while driving growth and efficiency.
  • SIMS Lifecycle Services
    • Sims is a global ITAD offering reuse and recycling services with verified data destruction, logistics management, and a wide range of other assets.
  • Iron Mountain
    • Iron Mountain is an enterprise information management company with 742 facilities that stretch across North America. With over 70 years of experience, they pride themselves on being a cost-effective and trusted partner in lifecycle management solutions.
  • IRT (Integrated Recycling Technologies)
    • IRT is an R2-certified metals-focused recycler in Minnesota that handles up to 100 million pounds of electronic waste annually. They have committed to providing the best customer experience while ensuring your data is safe and at a more than optimal price.

To fully understand what these companies do, it's valuable to know what qualifies them as ITAD. An ITAD company is an Asset Disposition Company. When looking for the right ITAD company for your used servers, look for certifications and accreditations like RIOS (Recycling Industry operating standard) Certification, ISO Standards, and R2 Certification. These companies devote all their time and energy to being the best in the business - and setting a gold standard for proper IT disposal.

When working with reuse companies, most will boast these certifications, plus participation in industry associations such as the ASCDI, the SIA, and UNEDA, which hold them to the highest levels of ethical trading and business practices. They’ll also have access to global wholesale trading networks such as Brokerbin and Tradeloop, not to mention many years in service.

Summary: Whether you are looking to sell your used servers for some extra cash or trade-in your current equipment for like-new, finding a reputable ITAD or certified recycler will keep the process quick and simple. Focusing on reuse can deliver green results – in both savings and sustainability.

Additional Reading & Resources:

Author: Corey Donovan

Corey is a reuse advocate with 20 years experience in ITAD and serves as President of Alta Technologies, the gold standard for quality in testing and refurbishing servers, networking and data storage hardware, since 1995.

An active member of the Right-To-Repair movement, Corey also serves on the ASCDI Board, is a member of the Forbes Business Council, Vistage, SIA and UNEDA. He enjoys local adventures with his family and dog, Freya, near Minneapolis, MN.

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