Recycle, Don't Pitch, Your Cisco PIX


Wondering what to do with your end-of-life Cisco PIX security appliance? Security vendor Astaro is urging users not to toss it into the scrap heap or landfill, but swap it out for an Astaro box and they'll have it recycled.

Astaro on Thursday announced a new partnership with Go Green Global Recycling, a company serving Massachusetts and Rhode Island that aims to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. Through the partnership, which Astaro has dubbed the "Upgrade Your PIX Promotion," Burlington, Mass.-based Astaro will offer users of Cisco Systems' PIX appliance a 20 percent discount on Astaro Security Gateway appliances in exchange for their PIX units. Go Green will then recycle those retired PIX boxes.

Cisco announced the end-of-sale and end-of-life of Cisco PIX security appliances, software, accessories and licenses in January. The last day for purchasing Cisco PIX platforms and bundles will be July 28 and the last day to buy accessories and licenses will be Jan. 27, 2009. Cisco added, however, that it will continue to support PIX appliances through July 27, 2013.

While highlighting green concerns is becoming a wide-spreading trend in the networking industry, Astaro is taking the green buzz one step further by using it to take a competitive poke at Cisco, the San Jose, Calif.-based networking giant.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, e-waste is one of the fastest growing global waste problems. The EPA predicts that within the next 10 years more than 13 billion pounds of e-waste plastics will be produced from computer e-waste alone.

"This crisis relates not only to quantity, but also to the toxic nature of e-waste," the EPA noted. "Vast amounts of toxic materials such as lead, beryllium, mercury, cadmium and brominated flame retardants are continued within the growing mountains of e-waste around the world."

The purpose for Astaro's PIX recycling program is two-fold: to help the environment and get into customer networks where PIX is being retired, while also taking a good-natured jab at the competition.

"Astaro wants to do its part to reduce the physical waste and environmental toxins produced through the disposal of electronics that have been end-of-lifed," Astaro CEO Jan Hichert said in a statement. "In addition, recycling the materials from hardware appliances will help to conserve our natural resources, as well as reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions that result from the mining and manufacturing process."