You chuckle at the irony of the day's Dilbert comic while the copier just jammed for the fifth time. Fax comes through. BAHAMAS CRUISE - 4 Nights for only $199! You'd probably have enough time to go and come back before Windows 98 finished booting up.

If you've owned a business for any length of time, you've hopefully upgraded your electronics since then, which most likely means one of your utility closets has become a museum of forgotten office relics. Unless you're in the business of collecting old electronics, you're losing space and potentially money by keeping them around.

We've compiled a list of 5 reasons your business should recycle their electronics instead of sticking them in a closet or even worse, trash.

It is ILLEGAL to Trash Electronics

Twenty-six states have made it a crime to throw your electronics in the garbage, where they ultimately end up in landfills. Your business could get slapped with a hefty fine if you get caught in one of these states.

Nearly 100% of electronic waste is recyclable, but only 12.5% is recycled each year. The State of New York banned throwing e-waste in the trash to protect landfills from the highly toxic materials found in old televisions, computers, and other electronics.

In some cases, you can make money off your old electronics. Companies like SellYourTech will give you cash for "anything with a power cord or battery."

Protect Your Sensitive Data

Data is tough to delete. It can live buried long after it meets its demise in your virtual Recycle Bin. Savvy data thieves know this and can use old electronics to find excess information about you, your business, and your customers. 42% of hard drives resold online still contain sensitive dataThe average cost of a company data breach is $8.19 million in the United States. No one wants that.

R2 certified recyclers like Sunnking know how to safely and securely wipe data. Data destruction happens whether a hard drive gets resold or dismantled, stopping valuable information from getting into the wrong hands.

Reduce Operational Costs

We discussed how disposal and landfill costs could rack up pretty quickly. Old technology can also consume more power and resources than newer devices - external storage, RAM upgrades, and dongles are all extra purchases to keep your electronics running.

Consider how the tech giants monetize their environmental efforts:

  • Apple Computer reports a staggering $1 million in savings each year from its robust recycling program.
  • Texas Instruments recycles 81% of non-hazardous solid waste in its operation in the United States, saving them a minimum of 10% every quarter or $16 million.
Urban Mining

Recycling Electronics Helps the Economy

Recycled electronics can also be refurbished and resold. Companies like eCaboose sell refurbished electronics at a fraction of the cost. 

In a circular economy, items are reused or repurposed. Reusing electronics reduces waste and preserves natural resources. Extracting metals from electronics costs 13 times less than mining ore. Manufacturing electronics with existing resources cuts down on production costs, which lowers the retail price. Upgrading office equipment with refurbished electronics saves your company money, and who doesn't like that?

Sustainable business

Give your company some bragging rights

If saving money, our planet, and the economy aren't enough reasons to recycle your electronics, how about bragging rights? 58% of consumers consider a company's impact on the environment when considering making a purchase. With sustainability becoming a significant social issue, taking action within your company should be a no-brainer.

Give prospective and existing customers one more reason to invest in your company. Recycling electronics with certified R2 recyclers is an excellent start or addition to a company's sustainability plan.

There's probably a reason you're not currently recycling old devices, but there are likely more reasons you should be. Whether the concern is environmental, budgetary, or you don't know where to start, these few ideas should at least get you thinking about doing the responsible thing.