Only three of the seven departments had agreements with anyone that would take care of used equipment — and they got very little money in return.
Poorly formulated agreements also prevented circularity. According to an agreement with a supplier, the City of Aalborg received a discount on new purchases if the old equipment was destroyed. On top of this, she discovered that one of the biggest obstacles to re-selling IT products was an old policy stating that the city logo must be engraved on all notebook computers.
This was a political decision from a time when computers were extremely expensive and the discussion of sustainability and circularity was non-existent. These factors made reuse and resale almost impossible. Instead, the vast majority of fully functioning computers and phones were turned into e-waste.
Once these discoveries were made, Birgitte started to identify ways to implement more sustainable practices, not least when it came to product lifetime and end-of-life handling. She calculated that simply by keeping notebook computers six years instead of three, the city could cut CO2 emissions equivalent to heating and powering all municipality buildings in the city for a whole year. It would also reduce waste equivalent to that produced annually by 3,000 households.