Electronics Recycling: Compliance Without Compromise

By: In: IT Equipment Destruction On: Nov 19, 2015
Electronics Recycling: Compliance Without Compromise

As the amount of e-waste continues to grow, secure electronics recycling and disposal is more important than ever. A recent report from United Nations University (UNU) reveals that the planet produced 41.8 million metric tonnes of e-waste in 2014. Your organisation’s contribution to e-waste may include:

  • servers, desktop computers and laptops
  • smartphones and tablets
  • printers, scanners and related peripherals.

By design, these devices have short lifespans, and IT asset disposition is a business imperative. Organisations must stay in compliance with environmental regulations, as well as an increasing amount of litigation governing the proper disposition of sensitive data that may remain within this equipment. 87 percent of respondents to a 2015 Spiceworks survey said their main goal in disposing of old assets was to reduce clutter. Remarketing and recycling your old IT assets can meet this goal, while also providing the option to retain some of their value.

Re-marketing: A Path to Greater Returns

Retired IT assets aren’t worthless. You may no longer need these assets, but someone else may be able to extend their useful life, meaning you can reclaim some of their value. However, re-marketing IT assets presents a potential security risk: What if some of your vital and proprietary business data is lingering inside? It’s important to work with an IT asset disposition vendor that adheres to security best practices to make sure your reward comes without risk.

A Secure IT Asset Disposition Vendor Should:

  • assign a fair market value to your unneeded IT assets
  • erase data on devices and remove any other identifying information prior to re-marketing
  • cover shutdown/power down, de-installation, removal, processing and resetting to factory defaults
  • securely destroy or recycle any hardware that has no market value
  • use the same security and chain-of-custody measures it uses during destruction and e-waste recycling.

Recycling: Save the World, Save Yourself

Keeping potentially toxic materials out of landfills and recovering some of the raw materials so they can be used again are two great environmental reasons to recycle ITAD effectively. (The EPA says that recyclers recover more than 50,000 tons of materials from electronics annually). But you should also be concerned about safety. Your e-waste must be recycled by a WEEE-compliant vendor that conforms to recycling regulations and strictly follows destruction practices to avoid any possible data loss or theft. Work with a professional media and IT asset disposition vendor that:

  • destroys any remaining data on your assets prior to recycling
  • de-manufactures e-waste into its component parts and recycle each piece in an environmentally sound way
  • promises to never export or incinerate e-waste or send it to a landfill, at home or abroad
  • offers clear chains of custody and supporting documentation throughout the process — from pickup at your office to final processing
  • complies with e-Stewards® and WEEE standards that outline safe, environmentally favourable and regulation-friendly methods of e-waste disposal.

To learn more about choosing a responsible ITAD vendor, download our free vendor guide and checklist, and watch the video below to learn how Iron Mountain is different.


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About the author

John Woolley

Head of Technical Sales at Iron Mountain John is a sales and marketing leader with over 20 years of experience within the IT industry. For the last 10 years, John has been an evangelist for data centre virtualization and data management, working to bring innovative solutions to solve real data issues. As Head of Technical Sales for Iron Mountain, John defines and drives Iron Mountain’s Cloud Data Management solutions. He also recommends and defines the strategy for Data Management products and services based on customer interactions. Prior to Iron Mountain, John held several roles as a Sales Manager and, most recently, as a Data Protection Specialist.