“First of all, we’re an environmental management company. We offer a total package to businesses that have electronic equipment for which they no longer have any use”, says Yannick Adriaenssens, COO of Out of Use, the company that provides this service. Specifically, they handle the marketing, recycling, dismantling or destruction of electronic equipment. They go well beyond ordinary laptops. Think, for example, of large server rooms or scanners used at airports. Everything and anything that electricity runs through,” says Adriaenssens.
Economic and ecological
In processing the material, Out of Use aims to maximise value. Both economically and ecologically. “A company may see unused devices as waste items that are of no worth but there is still potential value in them. By selling them or recycling them,” says Adriaenssens. “But also ecologically, we make sure to maximise ‘profit’. First of all, we will try to sell the devices. After all, raw materials have been extracted and energy has been generated to produce them. So the message is to keep them in circulation as long as possible. This also means that the person who buys a second-hand model is not buying a new one. And so we save energy and raw materials there as well. The social factor is also crucial to us. Not only does a second-hand laptop not end up in landfill, but it also comes onto the market at a cheaper price. This is how we make technology accessible to everyone in our society.”
Sell or recycle
Is the product still usable? And does your company want to get rid of it in a caring and sustainable way? Then Out of Use gives it a second life by selling it. Depending on the value of the devices, you as a company will receive compensation from Out of Use. The devices themselves go through a process to delete all data and are fully anonymised. After that, everything is functionally tested and the device is then ready to find its way back to the market.
Devices not reusable? Then the materials they contain are recovered as far as possible into secondary raw materials, so that they can serve a new purpose. For this purpose, devices are first depolluted. All polluting substances are removed. They are then dismantled into recyclable fractions and sent to the end processor.
Over and above our our core business, Out of Use has demonstrated through social and community involvement that their slogan “giving purpose” is not just empty words. “We have sustainable partnerships with organisations such as Natuurpunt and Natagora. Customers can choose to donate the proceeds from the sale of their equipment to charity so that trees can be planted,” Adriaenssens explains. Furthermore, customers can also choose to donate used equipment to a school of their choice. And to complete the circle, Out of Use works with customisation companies for various dismantling tasks. “This also enables us to process very large quantities of equipment.”
Advice worth its weight in gold
“Take a look around your own company. Is there a pile of equipment that deserves a new life? Then don’t sit on it, but turn your waste into profit,” Adriaenssens concludes.