ECER Inc. Explains Why Computer Recycling Is Important For Every Type Of Business
Many companies are not aware of the fact that computer equipment must be properly disposed of and recycled. There are significant risks associated with failing to dispose of computer equipment properly, chief among these being the fact that unsecured data could be copied from old machines and damage your business.
East Coast Electronics Recycling (ECER Inc.) is an expert computer recycler, beginning with wiping the data from an old machine and ending with the proper recycling of all of its components. ECER explains why computer recycling is important and why every company should have an end-of-life plan for their electronic equipment.
What are the Risks Associated with Poor Disposal?
Many companies may neglect the proper disposal of their computers and other electronic equipment like smartphones and thumb drives. Simply throwing an unusable piece of electronics into the trash contaminates the waste stream and causes hazardous conditions for trash and recycling workers.
Worse yet, thieves and bad actors know how to extract data from improperly recycled items. You may believe that your old electronics are being safely taken care of, but unless you deal with a certified computer recycling facility, you can never be sure whether your data is safe.
Properly Wiping Hard Drives
Before giving your products to the computer recycling company to be disposed of, it is very important that you backup your data. Once the company has removed the data from the old machines, it will be impossible to access it in the future. Old customer records, databases, and documents may be useful to your company in the future. Back them up on secure hard drives and keep them safely at your facility.
Simply deleting the hard drive through Windows or another operating system is not enough to completely remove the data. There are recovery programs available that can make data usable again. Don’t take the risk of exposing your data to dishonest users. Take the extra step of giving your old electronics to a company like ECER for proper disposal.
The method that most cybersecurity experts recommend for completely deleting a hard drive is encrypting and writing over data. This means that data cannot be restored or decrypted. Other firms also use strong magnets to remove all data from hard drives in a process called degaussing. Once this data has been removed, physical destruction of the hard drive is the next logical step toward assuring that there is no data left to be stolen.
After the data has been destroyed, there are a great many applications for your recycled computer equipment. Each year, only about 20 percent of all e-waste is recycled, so you will be contributing to the health of the planet by recycling yours.
The disposal of electronic items into the general waste stream also leads to dangerous pollution. Many electronic components contain heavy metals like mercury and lead. These chemicals can be released into the atmosphere, soil, and groundwater if the items are burned or put in a landfill. It is better to make sure that your electronic items are fully recycled by a reputable company like ECER.
The process of recycling old electronics begins with removing any components that are reusable. Screens such as LED screens from monitors and smartphones are in high demand on the resale market.
Next, recyclable materials like plastics are removed from the old machines. Not all plastics are recyclable, so some components need to be broken down in a form that can be put into a landfill or the general waste stream.
Finally, precious metals and heavy metals are removed from the equipment. Over 95 percent of the gold contained in a smartphone or computer can be recycled by a competent facility. The removal process must be carefully managed to make sure that there is no resulting environmental damage. Improperly recycled electronics can also result in serious health risks for the workers involved.
After all of the recyclable or reusable materials have been removed, the old electronics are dismantled into very small pieces to prevent access to sensitive data. Some companies use shredders to dispose of materials.
Companies should also be aware that there are state laws governing what must be recycled. For example, in Massachusetts where East Coast Electronics Recycling is located, all electronic waste must be disposed of properly. Any material containing heavy metal such as lead, cadmium, mercury, etc. must not be put into the regular waste stream. Other states like California have more stringent rules as well as limiting the hazardous materials that can be included in products for sale.
Properly Recycling Your Computers
When working with old electronics, it is highly important to make sure they are recycled properly. ECER is ready to help your company take care of its electronic waste and make sure that it does not damage your data security, the environment, or human health. Being conscientious about e-waste disposal will help not only the environment, but also your bottom line.