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Deciphering The Green Grid's electronics disposal metric

What is electronics disposal efficiency? Where does this fit in the scheme of data center metrics?

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IT equipment is replaced every few years to take advantage of new computing resources, greater power efficiency and affordable service or maintenance agreements. But what happens to failed equipment or systems replaced by a technology refresh?

Some older equipment may be redistributed across the business, but some of it will be thrown into the trash, often resulting in e-waste that can pile up in landfills. The Green Grid has recently proposed a new metric to help organizations measure electronics disposal efficiency (EDE).

The EDE metric is a way to objectively measure recycling or reuse effectiveness by expressing the weight of equipment "responsibly" disposed of versus the total equipment weight disposed of. This leaves a ratio ranging from a dismal state of 0.0 -- with no responsible disposal -- to the ideal 1.0, which indicates all electronic equipment has been responsibly disposed of.

The more electronic equipment you reuse, refurbish or recycle through a compliant recycler as a proportion of your total equipment disposal, the more efficient your EDE will be.

As with other metrics from The Green Grid, such as power usage effectiveness, carbon usage effectiveness or water usage effectiveness, EDE metrics are not an industry or government standard; organizations typically are not compelled to apply EDE. But organizations eager to showcase their environmental initiatives have adopted other metrics as a standard means of comparing one company to another or to industry averages. The Green Grid hopes that EDE will raise awareness of e-waste and prompt organizations to watch waste streams more closely.

This was first published in May 2013

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