I have been working in the Information Technology field in some regard or another for just about 25 years. My current employment has been for just about eight years. It is amazing the amount of old technology that accumulates in such a short window of time. IT folks, myself included, are notorious for saving this cable and that electronic gizmo because we never know when we might need it. From time to time a clean out is needed…
I am in the process of doing just that both at home and at the office. Rule of thumb is that if it has been more than six months since it has been used and is not related to a currently installed software licensing it needs to go, regardless of what it is. This is really getting rid of a LOT of stuff and making some nice headway.
This should especially include cables. I have boxes of cables scattered both at home and the office. Some of them are certainly older then my tenure is and I have no idea what some of them would even think about going too. This is something that can just be trashed by the way. While the copper inside is valuable there is no easy or legal way for the lay person to recover that and most (all that I know of) recycling business will not accept. I have hard of people burning off the plastic/rubber coatings, but that is both toxic and probably frowned on by the EPA and other agencies, just so you know. If someone knows of a legit recycle center that will take such, please let me know.
Old equipment is a bit if a different story. Monitors and computers need to go to an approved recycling or disposal center. The reason is simply that the computers and other equipment typically contains some heavy metal elements in them that are not appropriate for the typical municipal dump. A lot of recycling centers will happily take these kind of things as there is money to be made from some of the precious and semi precious metals found in some these type of equipment. Do check with your local municipality though, as some allow broken electronic components that are dissembled and others have special pickup days when they allow such.
If you do throw out anything that has a hard disk in it, I strong suggest pulling the disk out and wiping it. Another alternative the wiping is of course to hit is smartly on a flat hard surface with a hammer several times. You are wanting to insure a non-working drive so none can recover anything of it. My suggestion is a good wipe followed by the hammer personal. I would do the same with any floppies and CD’s, especially if they may contain any personal data. A similar approach with any static memory devices such as USB drives or SIM cards.
What UPS units? Those have batteries contained within and the same general rules apply. The recovery of some of that is valuable enough to some recycle centers they will even pay for it. Others are like above, it is a gimme, but at least you are being responsible about it.
It will feel good once you get rid of the older equipment and such that is sitting around doing nothing. You may even find that you had something that was no longer being used that is drawing some power and that would lead to some savings. Take it a step further, a lot of computer/electronic equipment out today is much more energy-efficient than that of even three or four years back, more so the older you get.