Cisco Takeback and Reuse Program FAQ

What is the Product Takeback and Reuse Program?

Our Product Takeback and Reuse program makes it simple, secure, and sustainable to return end-of-use gear to Cisco, supporting our vision of a circular economy. We will pick up equipment at no cost and ensure it goes to its next best use. Customers and partners who want to ensure equipment goes to recycling (instead of reuse or remanufacturing) can use our product recycle pick-up form.

Frequently asked questions

How does this compare to other Cisco returns programs?

This program is designed specifically for end-of-use equipment to be returned to Cisco. Returned equipment will be reused or recycled by Cisco, supporting our sustainability and circular economy objectives.

Please visit the Cisco Returns Portal to learn about other returns programs, such as for equipment that is defective and/or under a service contract.

Is this program available globally?

If your equipment can be powered on, we offer the following options in select countries:

• Cisco Returns Program: Available in 100+ territories/countries globally. Not available in China, India, South Africa, or South Korea.

• Send IT Back mobile app: Available in the United States, the United Kingdom, and all European Union countries.

• Phone support (1 844 973 8876): Available in the United States.

• For end-of-use returns from all other countries, please email us with a brief description of the equipment you would like to return and where the equipment is physically located, and we will assist you with your request.

If your product cannot be powered on, use our product recycle pickup form to return your products. Available in all countries globally.

How do I know which tool is right for me?

You can use this decision tree to help you decide which tool best fits your needs or email us at for support.

This returns program states you pick up items at no cost to the customer. Does that apply to partners as well?

Yes. Any Cisco customer, partner, or distributor can use the Product Takeback and Reuse program to return end-of-use Cisco equipment at no cost.

Does this program offer financial incentives/compensation in exchange for returning used equipment to Cisco?

Currently, the financial incentive is pickup and return at no cost. We continue to explore various economic models and will update this FAQ if there is a change. Partners helping customers upgrade their networks may be able to use the Takeback Incentive to earn a larger discount when returning equipment.

How do I identify the Exporter of Record (EOR) for my product?

For products returned to Cisco using the Takeback and Reuse Program, the customer is the EOR and is required to provide the relevant export documentation upon pick-up by Cisco's designated carrier. There are some exceptions to this rule, based on the country of return.

Please review our Exporter of Record (EOR) requirements to understand which countries require the customer to be the EOR and for which countries Cisco is the EOR. This will also help you prepare all required documentation for your return.

What data does Cisco provide for my returns?


If you use the Send IT Back app or Cisco Returns Program platform for your return, you will receive a receipt itemizing all of the Cisco products, and the quantities of each, you have returned. You can access the receipts at any time and use them for your reporting needs.

If your organization requires a Certificate of Recycling, submit a Customer Recycling Solutions request and select “Yes” when asked if a Certificate of Recycling is required.

While Cisco does not report the final destination on a per-load basis, in 2021, Cisco's takeback and reuse program reused or recycled 99.9 percent of all returned material. You can find more detailed information on what happens to products returned to Cisco on our ESG Hub.

What is your data wiping process?

We run data wiping software that is certified to meet U.S. NIST SP 800-88R1 Guidelines for Media Sanitation on the non-volatile storage of equipment that is returned in Cisco’s Takeback and Reuse Program. If the software indicates that the data wipe process failed on returned equipment, the equipment will either be repaired and then run through the process again, or securely destroyed. If the returned equipment is not operational, or the returned equipment has minimal value, the returned equipment will be securely destroyed.

Will Cisco certify that all data is removed from returned equipment?

We cannot certify that all data has been wiped from the returned equipment. It is the customer's responsibility to remove data from all equipment before such equipment is returned to Cisco.

Can we return non-Cisco equipment?

Yes. If you have purchased Cisco equipment, you may return the non-Cisco equipment being replaced as long as you provide us with the order number for your purchase. Please contact your Cisco account manager to obtain an email approving the return of non-Cisco equipment. The account manager must also provide you with email approval from the Cisco regional recycling manager. When completing the returns webform, copy and paste both email approvals into the special instructions field, along with your order number.

How can I request pre-approval to return non-Cisco equipment?

To receive authorization to return non-Cisco equipment, you must follow these steps:

  1. The Account Manager (AM) who made the sale needs to approve Cisco recycling for non-Cisco products. The AM must send a short email to the customer granting approval.
  2. The AM or the customer must contact the Cisco In-Theater Recycling Program Manager, providing:
    1. A copy of AM approval for the recycling of the non-Cisco products.
    2. The sales order number under which the new Cisco products were purchased that displaced the non-Cisco products from the customer's network.
    3. The country from which the items need to be picked up.
    4. Customers should send their request to
  3. If the return is approved by Cisco, you will receive an e-mail confirmation.
  4. The customer must then initiate a pick-up request from the Cisco Takeback and Reuse website and enter the following information into the "Special Instructions" field:
    1. The order number under which the new Cisco products were purchased to replace the non-Cisco products from the customer's network.
    2. Copy and paste the approval from the AM.
    3. Copy and paste the Cisco e-mail confirmation you received, approving the return.
    4. The pick-up request form is accessed by clicking the "Schedule a pick-up" link on the Takeback and Reuse webpage.
  5. Once the request is submitted, the document will be reviewed, and if it is complete, will be forwarded to Cisco's contracted recycler.
  6. The "customer contact" listed on the pick-up request will be contacted via email or phone by Cisco's contracted recycler. Customers will not be contacted by Cisco. Cisco's approved recycler is responsible for the location from which the load will be picked up.