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Spring into action

Recycling Tech company with Daisy Lowe at the Trade Inn – Prince Arthur pub in Hoxton rebranded for the week

To highlight the UK’s growing e-waste problem, tech-recirculation service Spring recently took over The Prince Arthur pub in Shoreditch (October 12-16) and invited customers to pay for their food and drink with old and unwanted tech that it could then repair and recirculate. First in line at the Trade-Inn was model Daisy Lowe who traded in her old smartphone for a beer and sandwich (with surplus value automatically deposited in her account). Spring estimates that each UK adult produces 23.9kg in electrical waste every year, equivalent in volume to around eight pints. By 2024, the UK is forecast to replace Norway as Europe’s biggest producer of electrical waste. In order to prevent precious materials from being thrown away, incinerated, landfilled, shipped illegally overseas or just kept in a drawer, Spring is installing 250 pods in supermarkets where consumers can open an account and sell and deposit unwanted tech. Spring accepts almost 14,000 models of device, including phones, iPods, e-readers and smartwatches, and is expecting to collect 100,000 devices through the pods next year. Spring has already recirculated 150,000 devices via its retail partners. Less than 10% of electronics devices are currently re-used. 


Rugged and remanufactured 

In a new partnership with Panasonic, Circular Computing will take legacy TOUGHBOOK devices and remanufacture them for a useful second life, starting with the TOUGHBOOK G1 tablet. The rugged devices will be remanufactured to BS8887 standards by fully qualified technicians within Circular Computing’s purpose-built state of the art production facility, with the first remanufactured versions appearing in mid-2022. Kevin Jones, Director of Operations at Panasonic Mobile Business Solutions Europe, said: “We are very proud to be the first rugged computing provider to embrace this environmentally sustainable opportunity with Circular Computing. Our aim is that in the future our customers and our channel providers need never throw away another TOUGHBOOK device.” 


Waste compensation 

MMD, the brand license partner for Philips monitors, is partnering with Closing the Loop (CTL), a provider of green procurement services, and TCO Development, the organisation behind the TCO Certified IT sustainability certification, in a waste compensation scheme to encourage monitor recycling. One of eight projects funded by the PREVENT Waste Alliance, an initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the pilot aims to extend an existing certified waste-neutral concept to monitors. MMD points out that because monitors have only small built-in circuit boards and baked-in chemicals like lead and mercury, recyclers in Africa and other emerging markets, where old equipment often ends up, have found it hard to make money from recycling and so tend not to bother. This has created a major e-waste problem and a significant risk to human health and the environment. Participants in the pilot aim to solve this problem through a scheme that is already being used for ‘waste-neutral’ phones, laptops and tablets. This involves adding a fee to new devices, identified as TCO Certified Edge, E-waste Compensated, that will fund the audited collection and recycling of equivalent waste by Closing the Loop (CTL) and Nigerian partners Verde Impacto, Hinckley Recycling and SRADev. pilotprojects/nigeria/ 


No heavy lifting

Sarah Lambert-Gibbs

IT managed service provider Digital Space is enhancing its CSR through new partnerships with Circular Computing and asset disposal organisation Re-Tek. These will enable Digital Space customers to dispose of and sell their legacy laptops and IT equipment in a secure, sustainable way. Circular Computing and Re-Tek, which collects, wipes and recycles legacy equipment, will form part of Digital Space’s new Tech Space supply chain service, which enables customers to purchase and dispose of IT and hardware in a quick and efficient manner. As part of its partnership with Digital Space, Circular Computing will plant five trees for every remanufactured laptop sold. Sarah Lambert-Gibbs, Head of Supply Chain Tower at Digital Space, said: “By partnering with Circular Computing and Re-Tek, we have the capacity to provide a quick, easy and environmentally-friendly solution for replacing legacy equipment. We’ll do all the heavy lifting, acting as one point of contact so the process is streamlined and hassle-free.” 

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