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Green IT for Dummies® by Jhana Senxian, Arnold Reinhold, Jeffrey Hill, Carol Baroudi

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Chapter 19. e-Waste Not, e-Want Not

In This Chapter

  • Buying sensibly

  • Knowing what you have

  • Extending a lifecycle

  • Donating usable machines where they can do some good

  • Disposing of equipment safely and legally

  • Making data disappear from disk drives

Few things are more universal in the IT industry than the constant replacement of hardware by new machines, each cooler in concept and hotter in performance (and often in thermal dissipation) than the last.

Warning

Along with new technology's coolness factor comes a serious problem — what to do with the stuff you don't need anymore. Here's what you mustn't do — just throw them away. Computers are full of hazardous material that, if disposed of improperly, creates serious health problems. This chapter offers some better alternatives and talks about what you can do to live a green IT lifecycle.

The good news is that no organization is too small to do the right thing. We help you figure out some of the ways that might be right for you. Developing a better approach to this cycle of obsolescence can yield one of the biggest and most lasting impacts you can have in reducing your organization's environmental footprint.

Your organization probably has a range of equipment, from stuff that just arrived on your loading dock, to a Windows 95 machine in a closet that no one uses. An ideal asset retirement plan addresses the entire equipment lifecycle from purchasing to trash pickup.

Buying Wisely

Take some steps now to ensure a cleaner tech death a few years from ...

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