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Recyclable Storage

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I’ve just had the details through of our new recycling “rules” at home. I now have *four* bins; one for bottles, one for green/garden waste, one for recyclables (plastic bottles, paper, etc) and one for remaining rubbish. Theoretically you’d think that there would be almost nothing in the main bin, but surprisingly, lots of plastic items aren’t recyclable, like yogurt pots and food trays. I don’t know a great deal about plastics, but you would think that we would be using recyclable plastics wherever possible, especially for disposable items.

That got me thinking about recyclable storage. There’s been a lot of discussion about green storage from a power/cooling perspective but how about the recycling of equipment when it reaches the end of “useful” life?

Now, I know that most vendors will recycle components, especially in order to keep older systems running where customers choose not to replace or upgrade, but for some vendors (Netapp seems to be one), there’s an aim to keep older hardware off the market (check out ZeroWait for example). What happens to that kit? Is it reused? What happens to old hard drives? Do they get recycled? It would be useful to see how vendors are reducing the amount of natural resources they consume when manufacturing products.

By the way, the WEEE directive in the EU is worth looking into. Is something like this happening in the US?

About Chris M Evans

Chris M Evans has worked in the technology industry since 1987, starting as a systems programmer on the IBM mainframe platform, while retaining an interest in storage. After working abroad, he co-founded an Internet-based music distribution company during the .com era, returning to consultancy in the new millennium. In 2009 Chris co-founded Langton Blue Ltd (www.langtonblue.com), a boutique consultancy firm focused on delivering business benefit through efficient technology deployments. Chris writes a popular blog at http://blog.architecting.it, attends many conferences and invitation-only events and can be found providing regular industry contributions through Twitter (@chrismevans) and other social media outlets.
  • mike

    Good morning Chris:

    Zerowait receives NetApp components from a variety of sources.Testing and recycling electronic components is fairly common in the business and NetApp has been doing it for years with their RMA parts – here is a link to an article on their efforts. – http://www.zerowait.com/docfiles/supplychain.pdf.

    Zerowait’s policy with drives when we receive them is to zero & sanitize them and then test them completely. We warranty what we sell, and we recognize the critical nature of the data that our drives contain once a customer put them in their filer. Therefore, we need to be very careful. We make certain that everything is tested prior to shipment also.

    Best regards,

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