Extending a PC's life by delaying an upgrade or by giving it away is between five and 20 times more energy efficient than recycling, according to a United Nations study published last week.
The study was published as businesses are finalising their moves to comply with the EC Directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment, which will make PC recycling mandatory from August this year. Organisations that want to ensure their IT hardware is disposed of in compliance with the directive and with corporate data safely deleted can turn to suppliers for help.
Companies such as Dell are offering users an asset recovery service. Dell charges £15 per machine for collection and recycling, which includes guaranteed destruction of data on the hard disc drive. A monitor and system unit costs from £35.
The firm said there has been a significant increase in the number of machines it has received from customers for either recycling or donation to charities.