Many businesses are throwing away IT equipment before end-of-life

Busy office with iMac computers and people working
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Monkey Business Images)

Many businesses tend not to repair broken hardware, and instead throw it away, even before it reaches end-of-life. These are the findings of a new report from Euro PC which hints that the practice means additional unnecessary expenses.

Surveying 1,200 UK business owners for the report, Euro PC discovered that just a quarter (26%) have a refurbishment partner that fixes broken gear for them. The rest just throw it away.

Drilling deeper, the company found roughly two-thirds (59%) of firms are throwing away IT gear before it reaches end-of-life, while 54% swap out their endpoints every three to five years, on average

Speed, reliability, and security

The main reasons why they replace their endpoints “so often” include improving speed, increasing reliability, and boosting their security. In fact, many business owners don’t believe refurbished gear can be fast, reliable, and secure, and would use it more if they knew otherwise.

In fact, a third said they “naturally” assumed refurbished IT gear would be riskier, while almost four-fifths said they would happily use them if they could achieve the same performance and security as with new gear.

The majority of surveyed business owners said they threw away laptops (87%). However, servers (76%), routers (63%), and monitors (59%) were also high on the list, with desktops (48%) being the only type of endpoint being thrown away too often by less than half of the respondents. 

Euro PC has also raised the issue of e-waste. It states that every year, businesses throw away 145,000 tonnes of commercial and industrial waste, something most business owners (82%) weren’t aware of. 

“Refurbished equipment can achieve the same level of performance and save companies significant amounts of money in the long run,” comments Alan Gilmour, Managing Director at Euro PC. “By extending the life of IT equipment that businesses already have, companies can reduce the amount of e-waste produced at the same time. It’s certainly refreshing to see the sheer number of business owners that are willing to make greener tech choices in the future, by choosing refurbished products over brand-new.”

Almost all (87%) of the respondents agreed they would consider making greener tech choices in the future, mostly for sustainability reasons.

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.