How Do Outdated Electronics Get Repurposed?

It is a sad reality that we often end up with the e-waste from our homes and offices. These tossed items can be repaired and reused if still functional. By recycling e-waste you’re allowing valuable metals such as gold or copper to be recovered and then reused for the creation of new which are then used to make new products. 

Deciding the fate of outdated, decommissioned electronics also means deciding the fate of any data they may store. The IT asset disposition process requires security from start to finish to ensure that your company’s data is safe & secure.

At Cobalt, all steps of the process are completed on-site by our experienced team.

Cobalt’s process for collection, evaluation, and processing electronics meets the highest possible standards, prioritizing data the entire way. Our evaluations determine the best path for your outdated electronics, maximizing their lifespans in return.

Three steps take place before your electronics can be refurbished or recycled:

1.) Collection
We will prepare & package the items for you and then provide secure transportation to our processing facility.

2.) Logistics
Every asset is evaluated by our team to determine which path it will take (recycling or refurbishment).

Assets with reuse potential will transition to auditing, where the make, model, and serial numbers of each unit are recorded. Then, auditing units move on to sanitization (otherwise known as data destruction).

3.) Data Destruction (Sanitization)
The data destruction process securely eliminates any information stored on hard drives
and other data-bearing equipment, leaving it completely unreadable and unrecoverable.

This can be achieved by using software to wipe a storage device or by physically shredding it, but this won’t be determined until your outdated assets’ fate is determined.

After these steps are complete, the devices will go one of two ways:

Cobalt's ITAd process step by step
Cobalt's ITAd process step by step


If your electronics did not pass our logistics testing, they will be processed for recycling. In this step, each device is broken down into its raw components. The recycling process extracts plastics and metals, which are then separated into individual commodity components for reuse. The pieces that are reusable in other devices will be pulled aside, and the remaining materials will be sent to shredding. 

Shredding breaks down products into tiny pieces with mechanical grinders or other machines before being sorted at an automated facility using powerful magnets to remove ferrous contamination (such as iron). 

Our customized shredding system prepares the materials for recycling and leaves every piece of data unrecoverable.


Cobalt professionally refurbishes PCs and preinstalls them with a Microsoft software
license, which increases the resale value.

Revenue sharing and rebate programs are in place to make sure that you get the most out of every re-marketable asset.

At the end of the process, your company will be provided with three reports:

A certificate of recycling and destruction that verifies responsible handing and total
data destruction on your old assets.

A settlement that documents the items recycled and verifies the transfer of liability to

An equipment audit that details every item we processed. This includes the make, model, serial number, and asset tag. Your company can use this report for use as a tax deduction.

Why is every step important?

No matter what industry your company is in, your retired devices probably possess reuse value. Don’t let them collect dust. Turn them into profit.

Healthcare and education industries are constantly replacing or upgrading their technologies. It’s highly likely that their outdated devices contain potentially sensitive data, like student or patient information.

For these industries, compliance policies are in place to make sure all in-use devices are protecting the data they house. But what about the outdated, out-of-use devices?

If left stored away or unused, they can become targets for data breaches.

The environmental impact of e-waste is undeniable. It takes up space in landfills and sends valuable resources to their disposal while also releasing harmful pollutants like lead, mercury or even cadmium into our soil which can hurt not only plants but animals as well!

Contact Cobalt today to learn how we can repurpose your retired IT assets.