Getting Rid Of Used Network Hardware: Ignore These 3 Rules At Your Peril

What do you do with old network hardware when you get new hardware?

I recently asked IT professionals on Spiceworks this question.

I got lots of replies with a variety of answers. It was good that I asked because it was a learning experience.

Here is a sampling of the kinds of responses I received:


  • Thrown out

  • Sold

  • We look for a vendor with a trade-up or trade-in program

  • Donated to churches, schools, charities

  • New hardware? What's that?

  • We run it into the ground.

  • We put our e-waste into a green IT box , fill it up, and have it taken away to environmentally dispose of the contents.


So, what do you do? Ask yourself if you abide by these 3 principles.






(1) Do you get value for your used hardware?

As an organization with financial responsibilities it's a good idea to get value in return for your hardware. What does that mean? How do you get the most value? Well, if you take your hardware and simply chuck it you may be throwing away money (and inviting problems into your life). As the saying goes, one man's trash is another's treasure. So, check if your hardware still has market value. You could get more money than you think for it.

[caption id="attachment_2461" align="aligncenter" width="308" caption=""A penny saved is a penny earned." - Ben Franklin"] Ben Franklin, Save Money[/caption]

Companies like CXtec will buy a wide variety of network hardware, business phones and other devices. Plus, they have a cool option of getting cash for your equipment or you can get credit toward new hardware you want. People who get into this practice understand how much money adds up to over time.



(2) Are you thinking about security?

Far too many people are not thinking about security nearly enough when dealing with their used IT hardware. It's so important. A company's data is so valuable. Do not compromise it or leave it vulnerable in the process of disposing of it. Whatever you do or whomever you are working with, please make sure proper data destruction is being done.



R2 RIOS Certified Electronics Recycler(3) Are you thinking about environmental and other regulations?

Regardless of your situation, considering the environment and regulations is no joke. Sure, there are a lot of people trying to do the most resourceful and environmentally wise thing when it comes to old hardware. No matter what you do, you have to be thinking about environmental and other regulations. There are plenty of them and they are no joke. Unless you enjoy huge fines and really bad press, you had better handle your hardware correctly. That's just how it is.

How does one do this?  Well, you can learn all the rules and regulations and take care all of that yourself. That's commendable.

If you don't have the time or resources for this, you have other options. You can partner up with a company who offers services that handle this process in a way that is fully compliant with regulations and is environmentally friendly.

Again, you can get money for your used hardware from companies who properly handle the hardware. This not only offers a way to be compliant with laws and regulations, but it is the most green option. Re-using something is way more green than recycling or disposing of it.

If you can't get money for your hardware, you can choose services for recycling and disposing of your hardware appropriately. A good company can provide documentation that your hardware has been handled correctly. Look for companies that are well established, financially sound, have industry association and certifications. It's best if you work with an R2/RIOS certified electronics recycler.



The lesson

When you are deciding where your old hardware goes keep these 3 things in mind. Abiding by these 3 principles can make your organization more profitable, resourceful and secure.