Life and death of IT equipment, and how Recycling makes sure they Re incarnate

By Joseph
  Published 18 Mar 2014
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Life and death of IT equipment, and how Recycling makes sure they Re incarnate
Guest Post By:Sabahat Momin

For this particular article, we will be delving into the fascinating, yet slightly complicated life of the IT machinery. I am not a big fan of Jargons, definitely not IT jargons, they tend to go over everyone’s head, so although we will be talking about some core IT stuff, my primary aim is to simplify the details so all the readers know the life cycle of IT equipment and how it is possible to blow some life into them and No, we are not talking about the CPR method.

So how do we go about creating computers and other IT systems? what is the process like? where does it all end? (Not being racist towards cell phones and other gadgets but we will just be sticking with computers for now). The process is long, organized yet quite interesting to have a look at, this is what a system development lifecycle looks like :

SDLC Source :

If we narrow this process down, we come down to five major activities that are usually more prominent in the lifecycle of IT machinery, in a nutshell, it looks something like this :


The actuality of IT services stop at maintenance, after which they are usually disposed of as electronic waste. This is where recycling i.e. refurbished companies comes into picture, and this is where they make sure that your computers do not die down, their IT machinery lifecycle looks something like this :


Refurbishing : The term and Process

Alot of individuals often mix the term “used” with “refurbished”, while used products are simply products that are polished from the surface and re sold, refurbished products go through a more complex procedure that involves internal renovation as well as external renovation of the products, bringing us back to the question : “How exactly are IT products refurbished and what are the procedures involved?”


Collection : A company aiming to refurbish first goes through the rather lengthy procedure of collecting scrap materials from various sources. Often individuals may deliver batteries, companies might deliver monitor screens, cables/wires and sometimes an entire computer may be delivered.

Checking : collection of scrap, then calls for an extensive checking of these materials, they are used, possible hazardous and it becomes vital at that point to know the extent of damage that these scraps have undergone, based on this, they are either recycled or remanufactured.

Production and Testing : A rough plan will now be made at this stage, either the scrap materials will be a part of the finished product or they will be recreated into a new refurbished ( as funny as that sounds !) product. These scraps are given a complete makeover internally and externally and then, integrated with one another to create a final product, sort of like fitting pieces of Lego blocks together to create a nice house!, These refurbished products are then tested to ensure their quality, reliability and warranty, after which they live happily ever after for good 3-5 years.

Stocking/Warehousing : This segment includes stocking the reincarnated versions of IT equipment, they will then be warehoused and eventually shipped to subsidiaries.

Reselling and Support : This where, you and I, come into the process, we are concerned about the E waste, have heard about refurbished products, and want to give them a try. So we purchase them, after which the resellers ensure us that they will offer us support and maintenance services for those products. This is then followed by smiles from the reseller, you, and of course from the environment which really doesn't seem to be getting along well with it’s new neighbor, E waste and is glad to know we are doing something about this rising issue!

It always helps to gain valuable feedback on what YOU think about the concept of refurbishing products, do you think it is actively tackling the rising problem of E waste? what other measures can we take?

Sabahat Mominis a Web Marketing assistant at IB Remarketing, Global Recycling & IT Maintenance Company

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