Celebrate National Old Stuff Day at the Office!

Old Tech Ready to be Recycled

I’ll be bet you didn’t know National Old Stuff Day is a thing.  I first learned about it three years ago and here we are. I am STILL celebrating and STILL have plenty of stuff to get rid of.  If you thought it was just a personal thing, here are 5 ways you can make it an office event.

Schedule a CYF Day

  • Arrange for extra carts for confidential papers, recycling and trash
  • Post the do’s and don’ts for each:  shredding, recycling and trash
  • Make sure all containers are properly & consistently labeled throughout all areas of the office
  • Notify employees a couple of weeks in advance
  • Post flyers and send out reminder emails
  • Remind employees to wear casual clothes
  • Provide a healthy breakfast or a fun lunch
  • As a courtesy, alert the cleaning and facilities’ teams that the volume may be heavier than usual

Gather Surplus Supplies

Ask employees to bring supplies they may have accumulated at their desk or in their department to a central area.  Encourage others to take what they need and contribute what they don’t. 

Still have surplus?  Allow employees to donate them to schools, churches and other organizations they’re involved with.  It can be a full time job trying to line up donations of office supplies and obsolete products.  Been there, done that, no t-shirt.  If they know a place that can use it, take them up on it.  TRUST ME!

Empty the Electronics Graveyard

Tackle that supply closet that’s full of old computers, printers and miscellaneous peripherals.  Contrary to what your accountant may be thinking, if it’s more than 3 years old it no longer has much value. 

“Somethings cost way more when we keep them.”  Neeraj Agnihotri, author. 

This is especially true of data-containing devices.  As they sit there gathering dust, they are vulnerable to theft, both of the device and the data they may contain.  A data breach could affect customers, employees and business partners.  Sixty-nine percent of people in a 2019 Verizon poll stated they would avoid an organization that suffered a data breach.  In addition to the loss of customers and reputation, the cost to mitigate a breach can run into the millions of dollars, and can bankrupt the organization.

Outsourcing the disposition of your information technology assets is highly recommended.   Information technology asset disposition (ITAD) providers have the ability to wipe large volumes of data containing devices at one time, verify the success of the wipe and have a plan for devices that fail.  Review their security procedure for in transit and at the facility.  Understand the criteria and procedures for refurbishment and resale, which in some cases can offset the cost of data destruction.  Finally, verify that any scrap material will be recycled in compliance with all local, state and federal regulations. 

Make it an Employee Appreciation Event

Some ITAD service providers offer on-site shredding of hard drives and solid state drives.  Frequently, community shred events include the collection of used electronics.  However, most of the time devices are transported back to a facility, which is accepted practice.  Nevertheless, many individuals don’t feel comfortable with it, preferring to hold onto it for “just another year.”  Consider allowing your employees to bring in a limited number of their personal devices.

  • Have a tent for back up in case of inclement weather. 
  • Serve coffee and donuts if it’s in the morning or hire a “snow cone” food truck on warm weather afternoons.
  • Run a contest:  Heaviest computer? Dustiest device?  Be creative!

Clear Out the Old Stuff and Have Some Fun!

Unless you’ve made Clean Your Files an annual event at some point during the year, chances are employees are holding onto stuff.  Many are busy and just put it off.  Working from home, employees may not want to use their limited time in the office to clean their desks.  As a business, you may be considering downsizing your office footprint and getting rid of stuff is inevitable. Whatever the reason, take the opportunity to celebrate National Old Stuff Day.  You’ll have more space, feel confident that your old data and devices were securely and properly disposed of, and may even have some fun.  After all, it’s one of Electronics Value Recovery’s core values.