Asset Recovery: What is it and why is it important?

We live in a fast paced world with advanced software and hardware being released at an astonishing rate, and our phones and computers are becoming obsolete faster than we want them to0. Our electronic items come with a thing known as embodied energy, which is the entire amount of energy it took to produce that item. Based on the amount of energy and emissions it took to MAKE a phone or computer they should be lasting for a minimum of 25 years, and yet we’re getting rid of them within 2 to 3 years.

Here at asset recovery, we want to extend the life of these electronic items. Thereby limiting the amount of working or partially broken electronics entering landfill, or being pulled apart for recycling.

While recycling is an important step in our war on waste, it should be the final step. First we aim to repair and refurbish electronics. That’s where asset recovery division of Total Green Recycling comes in.

You can learn all about what we do and how in our latest video below.

Step 1: The Triage

The first stage of the Asset Recovery process is the triage (like the ER at the hospital we must quickly understand what is the item and what is wrong with it) then we can sort and direct the items that we receive quickly to the correct next process.

So depending on what the item is, and what needs to happen to it next: such as data destruction, testing/diagnostics, or repair. The Triage process ensures that items are registered into our system, securely tracked and quickly directed to where they need to go.

Step 2: Data Destruction

The next very important step is data destruction. One of the barriers to recycling and re-using electronics is driven by the uncertainty associated with how data is managed. Our data wiping station uses Blancco certified software to securely sanitize data to Federally recognised standards such as “NIST 800.88 Purge & Clear” or “US DoD 5220.20” which are used to target and permanently erase all the data on the drive. 

Today these are the highest and most commonly used data erasure algorithms in the world, trusted by both the Australian and USA Federal Government as acceptable modes of destruction for sensitive data. You can read more about data destruction here.

Stage 3: Test & Audit

A technician then tests and audits each item individually. They are testing the health of the computer, checking the CPU, the RAM, the battery life etc. Some items are completely healthy and ready for a clean and resale. Others need simple repairs, which are done right then and there. Such as installing a new hard drive, a battery replacement, or a RAM upgrade.
Other items need a little bit more TLC, and are sent over to the repair ward for the more complex and time-consuming component surgery.

Stage 4: Repair & Upgrade

A computer ends up in the repair zone, for the more difficult and time consuming repair jobs, like broken screens, or a damaged keyboard. 

When a full repair is not possible, the item can still serve as a viable organ donor to give new life to other computers on the transplant waiting list, these life-giving operations are a routine part of daily life here in the computer hospital, which is where many of our replacement parts come from.

Stage 5: Materials Recovery

If it can’t be repaired, and it’s parts can’t be re-used, then it is finally sent to our recycling plant, where we promise more than 90% diversion from landfill. You can read more about how these materials are broken down here.


Stage 6: Certification

The client receives an updated report, with data destruction certification and a detailed asset report, outlining what happened to each item, whether it was fixed or sent to recycling.

Organisations and companies receive certification stating the safe and environmental recycling of their IT to Australian Standards. 


Stage 7: Redeployment

We then send these electronics to their new life. And together we are working towards a more sustainable system!



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