Although waste is always carefully monitored in today’s business world, there will be times when some aging office equipment needs to go. Perhaps senior management has decided to change the computer operating systems in the entire company, and those PCs must now make way for brand new Apples. Maybe the company is cutting payroll, and now there are a dozen desks, chairs, monitors, surge protectors and filing cabinets that are redundant. Or the business is ready to upgrade to a new fleet of company cars, and those used vehicles need to be put out to pasture. It’s a difficult problem, because you’re usually dealing in bulk items that can’t just simply be tossed in a trash can and put out on the curb. But you should be able to get through the process fairly smoothly by following these five tips for disposing of your old office equipment.
First of all, see if there are people at the company that might be willing to take that old stuff off your hands. The employees at your firm all have homes, and you never know if their family members run home businesses or have some other circumstance that requires additional equipment. Perhaps your assistant’s wife is a teacher, and those extra desks could be a lifesaver in her classroom. You’re probably just looking for fair value and not to make a profit, so offer them up to your people with a payment plan that comes interest free. You should find takers for most things on your list. Otherwise, look for a company that specializes in reselling items for a small commission.
Next, look for options that help you barter the old stuff off for something you need. There are actually online barter services that will set you up with the other party and facilitate either a sale or an exchange of goods. Just because you don’t need these things doesn’t mean someone close by couldn’t put them right back into use. Just remember that even if you barter and no money changes hands you must still consider this a sale when it comes time to file your taxes.
You should also have no problem finding charitable organizations that could use that old office equipment. With the economy still constricted from the recession charitable donations are down across the board. You’ll take a financial loss going this way, but you’ll also be able to claim these donations on your taxes and enjoy a nice break next April. On top of that you’ll also enjoy the feeling that comes with giving, and knowing you’ve just made a huge difference for a group that is supporting people far worse off than you are.
If you just want to get rid of the stuff as quickly as possible, head to a website called FreeCycle. This is almost like a Craigslist service, in that people hop online searching for something in particular. But instead of selling whatever you list, you are giving these items away. The other party will come and pick them up, so you won’t waste any time running back and forth to Goodwill. You won’t get any sort of tax deduction, but the equipment will still be going to people who need it who might not have been able to afford these things otherwise.
Finally, consider recycling. This is the best option for outdated technology. After all, who would want a fax machine when something like onlinefaxservice.com exists and is so simple and efficient? For a small fee these companies will even bring a truck and pick up whatever you want to dispose. Just make sure you check with the manufacturers of any expensive pieces, such as computers and smartphones. There might be a buyback program that will give you a little bit of money for your trouble, while insuring these devices are properly and safely recycled.