Recycling kit the way to greener IT?

CIO Jury: Waste not, want not

Businesses are increasingly recycling old office PCs and IT equipment by donating it to schools, charities and the developing world.

Eleven of's 12-strong CIO Jury IT user panel said their organisation now recycles old PCs and IT kit.

Allan Paterson, director of the IS division for the Isle of Man government, said: "We have a managed churn of our PC estate, recycling as much as possible of the old - beyond useful or economic life - into Island charities or third-world organisations contributing to overseas aid. All machines are forensically cleaned before they leave us."

The recycling extends not only to donating the kit to worthy causes but also extending its useful life within the organisation in the first place.

Green IT from A to Z

Click on the links below to find out more...

A is for Abroad
B is for Blades
C is for Carbon footprint
D is for Data centres
E is for Energy sources
F is for Freecycle
G is for Government
H is for Homeworking
I is for Ice caps
J is for Jobs (Steve)
K is for Kilowatts
L is for Landfill
M is for Mercury
N is for Nanogeneration
O is for Offsetting
P is for Paperless office
Q is for Queen
R is for Recycling
S is for
T is for Travel
U is for Upgrade
V is for Virtualisation
W is for WEEE
X is for Xmas
Y is for You
Z is for Zero emissions

Gavin Whatrup, group IT director for advertising and marketing agency Creston, said: "We either reuse it within the group, for low level tasks, or use repurposing companies, to collect, recondition and ship to either national or international destinations."

This, however, isn't without problems.

Whatrup added: "I did hear that one batch of our old PCs had been 'blocked' at an international customs depot for not being able to be verified as Y2K compliant and not seen again."

There are also lingering issues about what happens to old IT kit once it has been donated, how long its useful life is and how it is then disposed of.

David Supple, head of IT, marketing and creative services for Ecotec research and consulting, said: "We pay for all equipment to be recycled - it does help us to keep a smaller equipment store, but I do have ongoing concerns about what happens to the equipment further down the recycle chain."

But old IT kit can also be recycled closer to home.

Nicholas Bellenberg, IT director for London-based publisher Hachette Filipacchi UK, said: "Southwark council has an IT recycling team that we pay to dispose of kit."

Kevin Fitzpatrick, European CIO for Sodexho UK, added: "We actively support use by other groups like schools."

Today's CIO Jury was…

Russell Altendorff, IS director, London Business School
Ian Auger, head of IT and communications, ITN
Alastair Behenna, CIO, Harvey Nash
Nicholas Bellenberg, IT director, Hachette Filipacchi UK
Chris Broad, head of IM&T, UK Atomic Energy Authority
Kevin Fitzpatrick, European CIO, Sodexho UK
Jane Kimberlin, IT director, Domino's Pizza Group
Allan Paterson, IS director, Isle of Man government
Richard Storey, head of IT, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust
David Supple, head of IT, marketing and creative services, Ecotec
Gavin Whatrup, group IT director, Creston
Steve Williams, head of ICT, Sunderland City Council

Want to be part of's CIO Jury and have your say on the hot issues for IT departments? If you are a CIO, CTO, IT director or equivalent at a large or small company in the private or public sector and you want to be part of's CIO Jury pool, or you know an IT chief who should be, then drop us a line at