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What Does it Mean to Decommission a Business?

Simply put, to decommission is to remove. But, when a business experiences a change that leads to decommissioning, like growth, downsizing or closing its doors, removing, relocating or discarding items from a workspace can get complicated.

Whether a business is moving spaces, consolidating or looking to liquidate entirely, it is important to assess and execute a process that will most effectively dissolve assets, including finding ways to safely and responsibly reuse, repurpose or recycle items.

Let’s break it down.

With any business or organization, the first step of decommissioning is to assess and quote the cost of what items need to be removed, whether or not a third party, like Greener Source, is used. This includes furniture, miscellaneous materials, hardware, and other temporary structural pieces that contribute to the layout and functionality of an office or workspace.

At Greener Source, we survey every square foot of a project area to ensure that we implement a removal plan that will both support the business’ budget and timeline and result in the least waste possible.

After a proposal or plan is agreed upon, decommissioning, or the removal of assets, can then begin.

Greener Source reduces landfill waste by tons for each business and improves workspace performance for each nonprofit affected.

This is when a business will first likely choose to liquidate by reselling items that remain functional and in good condition, and as a result, collect the proceeds. Not only does this deliver value back to some of its initial investment, but provides an opportunity for others to purchase necessary office items at a lower cost.

There are times, however, when a business is unable to resell any or all of their items due to factors such as timeline restrictions or barriers to access. They may then choose to generously donate resellable items back into the community to a charitable organization or group.

Greener Source regularly collects items eligible for donation and provides zero-cost access of this inventory to registered nonprofits. This extra step in the decommissioning process significantly reduces furniture waste and helps support charitable causes throughout communities across the San Francisco Bay Area and nationally.

Once all the furniture has been evaluated and either resold or donated, any leftover items can then be collected or broken down by material, such as metal, plastic and glass, to be recycled.

Pieces that absolutely cannot be resold, donated or recycled should be carefully and responsibly disposed of through an appropriate waste facility. When the project area has been thoroughly cleared and cleaned, a final report itemizing the decommissioning process is expected, and highly recommended, whether or not a third party is used. This provides any necessary documentation, such as tax information, that may be needed for records in the future.

By taking the steps to decommission a business in the most eco-friendly way possible and choosing to reuse, donate and recycle furniture first, before disposing, Greener Source reduces landfill waste by tons for each business and improves workspace performance for each nonprofit affected.

Whether you are in the beginning stages of decommissioning your business and unsure where to start, seeking a budget-friendly alternative to outfitting your nonprofit workspace without sacrificing your cause, or anywhere in between, we encourage you to go green. By taking a few extra steps to decommission or source furniture, waste is diverted and our communities become stronger, safer and more sustainable.