Small.biz shuns IT recycling (mostly)

What a load of rubbish

Most small firms are still not assessing the environmental impact of their operations according to the latest research.

A study by electronic recycling and refurbishment firm MIREC Asset Management found only 35 per cent of UK businesses are getting rid of their old computers and other items in a manner which complied with an EU directive encouraging the safe disposal of IT waste.

A similar percentage also admitted they were simply dumping electric and electrical equipment rather than recycling it as the directive states.

On a more positive note the research identifies more firms adopting resale and reuse policies, with one in four recycling equipment compared to 15 per cent in last year’s survey and almost half saying they resold their equipment or passed it on for reuse.

The results of the MIREC survey follow the publication last week of a government report revealing that fewer than one in four small companies has an environmental policy.

The study of 8,000 small businesses by the government website NetRegs shows few had taken any practical steps to reduce their impact on the environment, despite recognising the business benefits of going green.

The research surmised that the lack of action may have been largely a result of the low awareness of environmental obligations among small firms with the survey revealing many did not recognize the potential effects of their activities on the environment and had a poor knowledge of environmental legislation.

Time and resource pressure, along with a slowdown in the economy also contributed to the low priority given to environmental matters, according to the survey.

“Ultimately environmental issues are unlikely to take precedence over day-to-day running of the business or winning orders but if they can be addressed as an intrinsic part of these activities then improvements can be made that have a positive effect on the bottom line,” the report concludes.

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