Cheltenham IT recycling firm is helping businesses dispose of electronic waste for free

Recycle IT 4 Free is on a mission to help Gloucestershire businesses reduce their waste to landfill, collecting and recycling everything from broken computers to disused office servers – for free! SoGlos speaks to managing director, Adam Murray, to find out more.

By Annabel Lammas  |  Published
Recycle IT 4 Free helps Gloucestershire businesses to dispose of redundant IT equipment and electronic waste in a responsible way.

All businesses have a legal responsibility to dispose of their redundant IT equipment in a secure and environmentally-friendly way — with everything from data protection laws to Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations to consider.

Luckily for local businesses, Cheltenham-based Recycle IT 4 Free is on hand to provide free IT collection and recycling, helping Gloucestershire firms big and small to dispose of their old computers, phones, network equipment and more in a safe and sustainable way that helps them meet their GDPR compliance responsibilities.

From destroying sensitive data to giving old IT equipment a new life, SoGlos finds out how it all works from Recycle IT 4 Free's managing director, Adam Murray.

Can you tell us about Recycle IT 4 Free’s background and environmental objectives?

We have been running for eight years now and our main objective is to help businesses send zero waste to landfill to promote a cleaner and healthier planet.

We do this by providing a service for the removal and responsible recycling or reuse of IT assets that businesses no longer need or use, whether they're broken or redundant. We're licensed by the Environment Agency so you can rest assured that all equipment is transported, sorted and recycled correctly in line with government and EU regulations.

We're also registered with the Information Commissioner's Office as a fully GDPR compliant third party processor — so you know any sensitive data is handled and destroyed securely.

UK businesses are required to recycle all of their electrical waste. How does Recycle IT 4 Free make this easy for them?

It's as simple as taking a photo of the equipment you need to dispose of and attaching it to our contact form — we'll take care of the rest.

We always ask if there is any working equipment to offset any costs of disposing of end-of life-equipment.

We'll then collect the equipment from your business and drop it off at our secure and licensed premises in Cheltenham, where any data is destroyed if this hasn't already been done on-site and everything is assessed and sorted for refurbishment or recycling. 

How do you remove personal data from the IT equipment you receive — and how do you destroy it?

We use dumb machines which boot from a USB stick, so no data from any files or hard drive is visible to us. We de-tag everything and destroy the data to the DoD standard using active Killdisk. If there are any failures, we physically destroy the drives before they go to a refiners.

What kind of paperwork do companies receive to prove that their data has been destroyed?

Our paperwork includes a Data Disposal Contract together with the Asset Transfer Note. Once the data has been destroyed, we issue a certificate of destruction. We can destroy the drives on-site and scan the hard drive serial numbers into a certificate.

How are you able to offer your IT recycling and data destruction service for free?

Once the equipment is wiped clean of data, it's returned to factory settings and refurbished before we re-sell what we can. We're also a registered Microsoft refurbisher, which means we can install genuine Microsoft software on refurbished PCs at an affordable price.

We try and reuse or sell as much of the equipment as possible but anything we can't reuse goes to a refiners in Kent, who we believe are market leaders in recycling end-of-life WEEE waste.

Our standard IT disposal is totally free and includes collection and recycling of quality WEEE assets — we only charge for the disposal of low grade WEEE waste and CRT monitors, but this is all made clear to customers at the time of their booking. 

Can you tell us a bit more about the charity you support and why this is important to you?

Every Cloud Play and Creative Arts Therapy is a multi-award winning not-for-profit charity, providing child-centred play therapy for children and young people in Gloucestershire.

My wife Naomi started this with her business partner, Kay Tibbles, after they both did their Master's degree. They absolutely love what they do and there's such a demand and waiting list.

Recycle IT 4 Free donates into the subsidised fund to help families who would not be able to afford their services and would have to wait up to two years on the NHS. 

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