Recycle or Resell Data Center Hardware?

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Should You Sell or Recycle Your Data Center I.T. Hardware?

Author: Chris Keenan

Published: 11/04/2021

What’s the Average Life Cycle for Data Center Equipment?

This is going to sound hard to believe but the granddaddy of all data centers was first built way back in 1946 by the US military. This ‘old school’ data center had the easily pronounceable name of, ‘Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer’, ENIAC for short (thank goodness for acronyms). Perhaps even harder to believe but the US Army used Uncle Sam’s ENIAC for storing defense codes back in the early days of the cold war. Commercial data centers as we know them today are a considerably different beast. It’s probably fair to mention that the boom in data centers really occurred post 9/11, fuelled by concerns about safely backing up business critical information. However, it was the likes of Google, Facebook and big tech that really drove up the scale of data centers around the world. Experts estimate that the average commercial life of a data center is anywhere between 10 to15 years. However, most data centers today are signing up for 25-year leases on their properties. Over that 25-year period a data center will tend to replace its computer hardware (IT network equipment, data storage and servers) every 3 to 5 years. The data center infrastructure (racks, cooling Α power hardware) is usually refreshed every 8 to 10 years. This means that a data center will decommission its equipment at least 5 times and its main infrastructure 2 to 3 times during its entire life cycle.

What Do You Do with Decommissioned Data Center Hardware?

Every 2 to 4 years, most data center IT executives will start planning the replacement of their servers, storage systems and network equipment with hardware that uses less electricity, produces less heat, runs faster and holds larger amounts of memory yet is physically smaller to house. To meet this demand, newer models are constantly being designed with greater energy and material savings. The demand for better data center equipment is so high that every year billions of dollars are spent on new servers, racks, switches, routers and other such data center equipment. In fact, in the first quarter of 2021, the number of global server unit shipments reached 2.8 million units. The issues arising from the disposal of all these servers when they are decommissioned are at best overwhelming. Every single piece of IT hardware in a data center must be decommissioned in accordance with both Federal & State regulations. The term ‘regulations’ really doesn’t sum up the level of complexity. The process is so convoluted that most data center manager simply outsource the decommissioning of their IT hardware to ITAD companies. An ITAD company manages everything from data destruction compliance to ewaste legislation conformity. However, at the end of the day it boils down to one of two choices, namely: do you recycle decommissioned data center hardware or resell it?

Which Data Center Hardware Assets Should NOT Be Resold?

Technically, you can sell every-last circuit board and cable, but what a massive hassle that would be. An IT managers time is a precious commodity, it really shouldn’t be wasted with refurbishing and remarketing used DC hardware. That’s why companies like YBC provide a pain free ITAD service that in one simple transaction can buy and remove all the decommissioned IT hardware directly from any sized data center. Alternatively, YBC can completely manage the refurbishment & resale of IT assets on the behalf of the customer. With all that said, there is one piece of hardware that really should not be resold and that’s the good old fashioned hard drive. Whether a hard drive has been used for apps, data or just temp files it’s always a good idea to have it wiped and destroyed just to be safe. Failing to destroy sensitive data can result in the rapid ending of a career, plus a few rather nasty multi-million-dollar fines. To help protect against prosecution YBC provides the safe and secure destruction of data storage systems for free if a data center qualifies for the YBC premier ITAD service.

Who Buys Used Data Center IT Hardware?

There are plenty of ITAD companies that will buy used data center hardware providing it’s relatively modern and still has a good resell price. If your data center qualifies for the YBC premier ITAD service, then YBC will buy your old servers, network, and computer equipment without cherry picking. This means even if your IT hardware is broken or obsolete YBC will resell what they can and recycle whatever remains without you having to worry about removal, data destruction & disposal costs.

What is the Resell Value of Used DC Hardware?

Many IT directors look to subsidise their IT budget by reselling their old computer systems. However, many more simply aim to zero out the costs of having their decommissioned equipment removed, data wiped and recycled by having ITAD companies directly buyout their old IT assets. Usually equipment like servers, networking hardware, desktops, laptops, CPUs & memory hold the highest monetary value. The amount of money recovered from reselling these items is really dependant on the age, model type, market value and the current working condition of the hardware. The YBC ITAD service operates in the global marketplace under the R2 standards which means YBC’s clients get the best possible prices for their old data center equipment & IT assets.

Does All Data Center Equipment Need to be Recycled?

You may have heard that HP have launched plans to build low-power servers that last longer, providing a more sustainable option. Did you also know that a few server manufacturing companies are also planning to build servers that are easier to recycle? The approach of building hardware that can be easily recycled is a trend that’s building in momentum in just about every industry, from cars to power tools. Eventually all data center equipment needs to be recycled, after all nothing lasts for ever. It’s not really a question of ‘IF’, it’s more a question of ‘HOW’ IT hardware should be recycled.

How friendly is recycling old Data Center IT hardware?

Recycling data center hardware is not as eco-friendly as you might first think. We still need to use large amounts of energy and some pretty-deadly chemicals in the recycling process. The difference is, when you recycle you use less energy and fewer chemicals than used in mining and refining new materials. Plus, recycling can be done locally which means job creation and better controls & legislation over the processes involved.

Why Should a Data Center Recycle Its Network & Server Equipment?

One of the best reasons for a data center to recycle its servers and network equipment is to show its commitment to sustainability and CSR policies. There is no better example to set than ensuring your decommissioned IT hardware is disposed of ethically. The YBC ITAD service empowers data centers not just here in the USA but also in Europe and around the world with the ability to effortlessly recycle their decommissioned DC hardware.

Is It Better to Sell or Recycle Used Data Center Servers?

It’s much harder to recycle old servers than it is to resell them. This is partly because of the manhours needed to take apart the servers and reclaim their materials. However, recycling responsibly is by far the best option as it prevents environmental damage, pollution, toxic contamination and exploitation. That said, recycling comes with costs from removal, de-manufacturing and hard drive data destruction. To help eliminate these costs the YBC ITAD service has been designed to zero out many of these expenses. For more information call the YBC head office today on: 908 431 0090 EST (this is a nationwide and international service for out of hours support please email:

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The YBC I.T. asset disposition service covers every make, model & manufacturer.

Recycle corporate laptops.

Recycle Laptop Computers

The following list shows the most commonly recycled ‘work place’ laptops that the YBC ITAD service disposes of:

  • Recycle business laptops
  • Recycle governmental laptops
  • Recycle laptops used for R & D
  • Recycle office laptops
  • Recycle sales team laptops
  • Recycle support team laptops
  • Recycle field engineer laptops
  • Recycle medical laptops
  • Recycle company laptops
  • Recycle corporate laptops
  • Recycle legal firm laptops
  • Recycle call center laptops

Click here for more information about recycling business laptops and the latest pickup and disposal prices.

Recycle business pcs and computer hardware.

Recycle Office Computers

Listed below are the most commonly accepted computers that the YBC ITAD disposal solution removes and recycles:

  • Recycle workstation computers
  • Recycle desktop computers
  • Recycle tower computers
  • Recycle office computers
  • Recycle call center PCs
  • Recycle support team pcs
  • Recycle work computers
  • Recycle medical computers
  • Recycle company computers
  • Recycle corporate computers
  • Recycle business computers
  • Recycle customer center PCs

Click here for more information about recycling business PCs and the latest pickup and disposal prices.

Award winning server recycling service.

Recycle Servers

The following is a list of the most commonly accepted computer servers YBC disposes of via recycling or reselling:

  • Recycle business servers
  • Recycle Cloud servers
  • Recycle data center servers
  • Recycle server room hardware
  • Recycle proxy server
  • Recycle mail server
  • Recycle server platforms
  • Recycle web server
  • Recycle application server
  • Recycle office server
  • Recycle ftp server
  • Recycle works servers

Click here for more information about recycling business servers and the latest pickup and disposal prices.

Recycling service for I.T. network equipment.

Recycle Network Hardware

The following is a list of the most commonly accepted IT hardware YBC disposes of via recycling or reselling:

  • Recycle network cables
  • Recycle routers
  • Recycle repeaters
  • Recycle hubs
  • Recycle switches
  • Recycle bridges
  • Recycle gateways
  • Recycle wireless hardware
  • Recycle firewalls
  • Recycle modem
  • Recycle controllers
  • Recycle network hardware
  • Recycle I.T. hardware

Click here for more information about recycling IT hardware and the latest pickup and disposal prices.

FREE recycling for all android and apple smartphones.

Recycle Cell Phones, Mobile and Smartphones

The following is a list of the most commonly accepted telephones YBC disposes of via recycling or reselling:

  • Recycle Android smartphones
  • Recycle Apple smartphones
  • Recycle Samsung smartphones
  • Recycle Blackberry phones
  • Recycle Windows smartphones
  • Recycle smartphones
  • Recycle business smartphones
  • Recycle business phones
  • Recycle company smartphones
  • Recycle work phones
  • Recycle mobile phones
  • Recycle telephone systems

Click here for more information about recycling business phones and the latest pickup and disposal prices.

Where to recycle used company office computer equipment?

Recycle Office Computer Equipment

The following is a list of the most commonly accepted office computer equipment collected & disposes of:

  • Recycle office workstations
  • Recycle office docking stations
  • Recycle office servers
  • Recycle computer monitors
  • Recycle LCD & LED screens
  • Recycle printers
  • Recycle photocopiers
  • Recycle external hard drives
  • Recycle keyboards & mice
  • Recycle UPS
  • Recycle iPads & tablets
  • Recycle server room equipment

Click here for more information about recycling office computer hardware and the latest disposal prices.

FREE data destruction

Digital Data Destruction Hard Drive Disposal

The following overwrite and degaussing standards are compliant with NIST 800-88 & available at YBC:

  • US DoD 5220.22-M
  • CCE & VS
  • Sarbanes-Oxley
  • FACTA standards
  • US Army AR380-19
  • US Air Force SSI 5020
  • US Navy SOP P-5329-26
  • US NCSC TG-025
  • 25k Degauss flux
  • & more…

Click here for more information about digital data destruction and the latest wiping and shredding prices.

Table computer recycling.

Recycle Android and IOS Tablet Computers

The following is a list of the most commonly accepted tablet computers YBC collects & recycles:

  • Recycle Apple iPad
  • Recycle Galaxy Tab
  • Recycle Surface Pro
  • Recycle HP Elite
  • Recycle Business iPads
  • Recycle company tablets
  • Recycle mobile devices
  • Recycle Thinkpad
  • Recycle Computer tablets
  • Recycle PC tablet
  • Recycle work tablets
  • Recycle business iPads

Click here for more info about FREE recycling for business tablet computer.


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YBC, an award-winning asset recovery and asset management firm, was founded in 1994. Our principals have over 60 years of I.T. Asset Disposition experience. Today, we are recognized as the nation’s most experienced partner specializing in managing technology lifecycle services for Corporate America. Our headquarters is located in Hillsborough, New Jersey (49,000 square foot) with affiliated offices throughout the U.S.. For over 25 years, YBC has provided significant cost savings for businesses seeking assistance in all stages of the technology lifecycle. YBC has earned the reputation within the industry as one of the most trusted partners in developing unique, yet simple solutions for Computer Asset Recovery and Reverse Logistics.

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