DTU saves 188 tonnes of CO2 by recycling IT equipment

Used IT equipment from DTU is given new life through a new sustainable initiative. This minimizes electronic waste and ultimately helps to save Earth’s resources.

Daniel Thuesen and Allan Rosendahl gives new life to old computers. Photo: Mikal Schlosser.
Daniel Thuesen is organizing the old computers.

11 full pallets

Recycle IT was born from the initiative ‘IT at DTU’, which is one of four growth programme initiatives launched by DTU’s Executive Board in 2020. The goal is to create a more efficient and coherent IT organization by increasing transparency, dialogue, collaboration, and knowledge sharing between everyone who works with IT at DTU.

The pilot project began in November 2021, and last year, Daniel Thuesen and Allan Rosendahl signed a contract with the external company that was meant to deliver a large cardboard box for 30 laptops that the pair had found at DTU. But instead, the company delivered a pallet with room for significantly more equipment. And that became the start of something bigger. Word of the collection of used IT equipment spread quickly at DTU, and in the end Allan Rosendahl and Daniel Thuesen ended up with 11 full pallets. This corresponds to more than five tonnes of IT equipment.

Daniel Thuesen repairs old computers.

A sustainable campus

Today, Recycle IT consists of seven DTU employees who all carry out their everday work alongside the pilot project. With the money earned, the project team is currently working on developing a website that will help spread awareness of the recycling programme at DTU as well as preparing internal guidelines for how to handle the large amounts of IT equipment. In addition, they need to find a way for employees and students to hand in their used IT equipment at the DTU Lyngby Campus.

The hope is that the pilot project will become so well known at DTU that employees and students contact Recycle IT before ordering a new computer. In this way, everyone can help further the green transition at the University, says Daniel Thuesen:

“Our goal is not to make money, but to recycle the IT equipment at DTU. For every machine that we recycle, DTU avoids having to buy a new one. We therefore encourage students and staff to look through their desk drawers and see if they have a computer lying around that they don’t use. By giving us their used IT equipment, they’re helping DTU realize its goal of becoming a sustainable campus.”