Recycling Your Old UPS
& other components
When talking about green data centers or moving to a carbon-neutral data center, we focus solely on the amount of energy it takes to run all of the equipment. However, this overlooks another essential aspect of how data centers impact the environment, which is all the waste when components are discarded.
The old adage is: reduce, reuse, and recycle. Given the cost and how much wear any component from a data center goes through during its lifetime; reduce does not apply. Every component serves a need and isn’t wasted. However, the principles of reuse and recycling are underused throughout the Data Center industry.
Only a handful of vendors we are aware of have addressed this need. Even then, it only seems to be the UPS units that are receiving attention. Other components can and should be recycled when their time comes.
We know that many data centers do dispose of everything properly, but we hope by seeing what the vendors are putting forward we can give resources to make it easier or show incentives to consider when the time comes.
UPS Recycling Awareness
An easy step more vendors could pursue is simply sharing knowledge of where and how users can recycle components when it’s time. This isn’t a major deal, but since these components often can’t simply be pitched into the bin, a little knowledge goes a long way.
It’s only a light touch, but they let you know to ask your local recycling center about how to deal with polypropylene compounds, which is what PlenaForm components are made from. These are also referred to as PP in the recycling world. It’s a bit of a special process, that recently has been updated, so it’s worth noting.
This knowledge, combined with some other links from other companies, grants you enough knowledge to ask intelligent questions when dealing with recycling your components.
Eaton has put together some resources to help you dispose of the used batteries of your UPS. Pointing to Call 2 Recycle for single-phase batteries. Then Heritage for Three-Phase battery disposal.
Those resources are of course available for anyone with recycling needs no matter where you purchase your goods.
Going a step further, Tripp Lite gives us a couple more resources and makes themselves available to help with UPS Battery Recycling. They point to Batteries Plus as another resource to use, claiming they will recycle any battery.
A more versatile resource is Earth 911 to help you find recycling centers for other materials not limited to but including: servers, LCD screens, and computers.
But if you still need help from Tripp Lite, they will help you out and list who to contact via your region.
Active UPS Recycling Incentives
While information is a decisive first step, it’s worth noting the companies going far beyond a passive stance with helping you recycle your old parts. The following companies are making an active effort to enable users to recycle by offering incentives.
If you are intrigued by any of these incentives make sure to have 42U help you negotiate this process for the best deal possible.
Offering three options, APC is making it as easy as possible to Recycle your UPS.
Option 1: Replacement Battery Cartridges (RBC); if your battery is over three years old, you’ll qualify for free return shipping.
Option 2: Trade-in UPS; Trade in any old UPS for a 2-year warranty and up to 25% off an APC model, with further discounts on accessories.
Option 3: Recycle Your Unit; APC will offer a prepaid return label for spent UPS batteries.
They offer a prepaid label to dispose of old units to their customers in New York and Maryland. This is a step forward, but clearly, Aten’s recycling program has room for growth.
Gruber will buy back functioning UPS models of almost any brand to refurbish and sell to other customers. You could get some funds back for your replacement and be more eco-friendly at the same time. What’s also great is that others can find refurbished UPS models from a trustworthy source if they’re more budget-conscious.
Vertiv may have a simple process, but there are robust outcomes. Offering to take in UPS or KVMs, you will receive incentives on replacing your units with them. While the deal needs to be registered, discounts can equate to over half of the list price for the replacements. This discount is coupled with them taking and properly disposing of your old components as part of the deal.
DVL (Colorado Only)
DVL offers a great many services for those in the Data Center space. When it comes to UPS recycling DVL will come to your site and pick up the old models and take them to the appropriate recycling center so long as the site is within 100 miles of DCLS service city. For details please contact them. They might be able to work something out if you’re in Utah, New Mexico or Pennsylvania as well.
It’s great to see so many offers and incentives for UPS battery recycling. It would be great to see more programs include KVMs and other components as well moving forward. This article only reviewed what our vendors are offering. We’d enjoy hearing about your disposal process, especially if you know of other incentives or programs others could take part in.
Recycling an old UPS or any other gear is always a chore, but we hope this information will make it easier for you.