What You Can Do
So what does this mean for CIOs? It means you should implement a well-thought-out disposal plan now. You should first look to an attorney or an environmental consultant to help you develop a deeper understanding of the legal pitfalls and business opportunities. They can help you track regulatory changes; develop methods for achieving your business goals in an environmentally and legally sound manner; determine the point at which your waste volume puts you in a more restrictive category of regulation; evaluate tax liabilities and incentives; and preserve the confidentiality of legal and business-critical information.
The right professional can also help you find alternative options for reusing and recycling your equipment. Maybe your city, state or county has a program in place like the one in King County, Washington (the county where Seattle is located). King County recently established a network of local computer repair and resale shops, nonprofit groups, computer retailers and government agencies where businesses and residents can donate, upgrade or recycle used computer equipment. Finally, such a professional can develop supplier and disposal agreements that shift the burden and financial risk up or down the supply chain to others who may be better situated to manage the issue. For example, maybe you should be leasing computer equipment instead of buying it. Then at the end of the day, it's in the manufacturer's hands to dispose of the equipment. And remember: Your ultimate goal is to develop a plan that looks forward in time but drives action now. With a small time investment today, your rubbish can end up smelling like a rose tomorrow.