RecycleIT – Sustainability Project

Business • Burnley, Hyndburn, Manchester

Recycling IT equipment for the community, and planting a tree for every tonne of e-waste collected.

  • Crow Wood Leisure - Tree planting scheme
  • Ribble River Trust - Partnership to plant trees and educate children
  • Recycled laptops donated to Burnley Football Club Community Champions

RecycleIT's story

We are fully committed to the global circular economy for the IT Industry, working strategically through the UK. Our ethos as a business is to Reuse and Refurbish where possible: 85% of all devices last year were refurbished; the remaining 15% were recycled with 0% going to landfill. Our Sustainability Project has seen us now pledge to plant 1 tree for every one tonne of e-waste we collect through our clients. The Project also involved partnerships with a number of organisations to plant trees and make donations to the community.

Last year we donated over 25k pieces of equipment at the heart of the pandemic. RecycleIT has we teamed up with a number organisations in Lancashire to plant trees for every tonne of E-waste we collect. We also work with community schemes to offer laptop and desktop computer donations to Burnley Football Club, Accrington Stanley Football Club, Healthier Heroes and Pendleside Hospice, which allows under privileged children and adults to access IT.

The Economic pillar of our Project allows our refurbished and re-manufactured kit to thrive through our secure warehouse. We ensure that our clients have a much better margin on units, which in turn ensures our operation doesn't harm the long-term success of the company. We offer rebates on unwanted kit and free kit collections, all of which contribute to both financial and sustainabilty considerations of our clients.

Because we use the same dedicated teams to populate new devices to desk, we can also remove all redundant devices minimising risk, resource, and carbon emissions.

To tick the environmental pillar of our Project, we have also teamed up with Lancashire-based Crow Wood Leisure. The partnership involves us contributing towards the woodland planting thousands of trees over the next 10 years. We've also partnered and contribute to the Ribble Rivers Trust, working with over 7,000 children to deliver education programmes and create 180 hectares of new woodland. Essentially by our clients using our stocks and services, we now pledge as a company to plant one tree for every tonne of e-waste which will capture carbon whilst ensuring our clients e-waste will either be reused and redeployed, rather than going to landfill.

The Project has seen many other companies reach out and offer donations for us to refurbish and ensure the units are given away in the form of a charitable donation.

Useful learnings from RecycleIT

Before Starting ...
Our Sustainability Project started at the heart of COVID-19 when we recognised a real struggle for keyworkers to access IT equipment at affordable prices. It was also essential for both children and adults to access IT to keep their businesses open, teach their children or - in a lot of cases - look for jobs.

We looked what was being done in the the local area to explore whether we could create partnerships with companies that fitted our ethos. We were looking for partners with a good fit with activities connected to the circular economy including tree planting, working with the community, whilst still offering a premium product.

Along the way....
Along the way we picked up several different partners one by one by networking and finding out how we can both work together in a way that was mutually beneficial. This saw us as a company look at sponsoring the Burnley Football Club 'Community Champion Award', support Accrington Stanley youth players to access home workouts at the heart of the pandemic, and look at how we could help the most needed in our community, eventually becoming a gold partner to Pendleside Hospice.

We are also in the process of looking to support Manchester City Council on a very similar project they have planned, involving the council providing devices to less privileged communities and donating laptops through a city scheme.

We also looked at partners that had land in the area to plant trees, and what such companies were doing both internally and externally to sustain the land / trees / rivers and contribute towards a sustainable product.

Our most challenging aspect of the Sustainability Project was looking at how we could make it more affordable for our company, whilst ensuring we delivered on what we set out to do and sustain our promise.

Looking back, on reflection, we as a company would have done more research around trees. What they cost, how many different tree species there are, when is tree planting season, what trees do what for the environment etc. We would also suggest looking into the investment needed to make any project sustainable and how to best market your product, should that be locally or on a national scale.

RecycleIT's metrics

Weight (200,000 kg in 2021)
Number of devices (over 20,000 in 2021)
Number of devices up-cycled versus down-cycled
Number and % saved from landfill (87%)
Number and % to landfill (0%)

Feeling inspired? Discover more about this story...

Positive Impacts

Less Waste

Response to climate crisis





Business, 10 to 49 people

Shared by

North West Net Zero Hub

Updated Nov, 2023

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