Donate your old machines to charity
Are you looking to upgrade your business machines in the new year? Or did you upgrade at the start of 2023 and still have old machines sitting in storage gathering dust? Or maybe you want to get rid of your old machines but the cost of secure disposal is making you wince. Well, there’s a free, secure and charitable resolution to all your disposal problems.
The Air Ambulance Service, amongst other charities, is looking for IT equipment – new or old, working or in need of repair. They collect your unwanted IT and prepare it to be resold, with the profits going to charity. Not only is your old equipment helping great causes, it’s also far more environmentally friendly, reducing the amount of unstable chemicals and plastics which, if dumped into landfill against laws and regulations, can break and become hazardous (see gov.uk and HSE guidance).
How does it work?
First of all, make sure that you have IT equipment that The Air Ambulance Service can take. Examples of things they can’t take are on their website, but pertain to items like white goods, scrap metal and items damaged beyond repair. Then all you have to do is get in touch via their contact page, send them some information on what you have to donate and then wait for them to reach out. Ideally, the charity wants items that can be resold, whether they’re in good working order or need a little repair, but anything they can’t salvage will be recycled responsibly.
How much will it cost me?
Not a penny! Many IT disposal companies charge a substantial amount to collect your unwanted equipment, and a few even charge a surcharge if any data needs wiping beforehand. The Air Ambulance Service offer free, nationwide collection services for all of your IT equipment. Not only are you making a charitable donation, but you’re saving your business money as well.
How can I be certain it’s safe and secure?
Not only will The Air Ambulance Service collect your goods for free, they will also wipe them for free and send you a tamperproof certificate for each item. They use a piece of software called Blancco, a data wiping system also used by the Ministry of Defence, so you can be certain your data is in safe hands. That being said, we always recommend that you perform a factory reset before donating or disposing of your machine, ensuring you have done the utmost to protect your data before handing it over to a third party.
There is a cause especially close to my heart. Can I donate to a different charity?
There are certainly other charities that you can donate your unwanted IT equipment to. Well-established charities should detail any schemes they offer on their websites, but for other reputable options, perhaps local to your business or close to your heart, you can check BBC Make a Difference.
After ensuring the legitimacy of the charity and their offer to collect your goods, the most important thing to check is that they offer secure data removal. If they do not offer this, either take steps to have your data wiped securely beforehand before donating, or go for a different option. Whilst it would be wonderful to help a charity close to your heart, if they can’t wipe your data securely and provide a certificate to prove it, it’s just not worth the risk. The last thing you want is for your charitable actions to result in a breach of your network!
Some other notable services that offer charitable IT donation or disposal are:
- Little Lives UK (IT equipment)
- Three – Reconnected (smartphones)
- Community Laptops (laptops, tablets, smartphones)