The Benefits of Recycling E-Waste

Due to the growing amounts of electronics that are released every year, recycling e waste

Is more important than ever. Recycling e-waste is a great way to reuse precious metals and other materials such as plastics. Read on to learn more about the benefits of recycling electronics.

 

When we reuse the precious metals that are found in electronics such as gold, silver or nickel, we’re conserving the earth’s natural resources. In addition to this, we actually save energy that it would take to mine these resources in the first place while also reducing pollution and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that would be accumulated during the mining process. Extracting fewer raw materials from the earth also helps conserve these resources.

 

When you recycle e-waste, we’re also protecting the environment. Electronics often contain trace amounts of toxic chemicals such as mercury, lead and cadmium. When these devices are left in landfills, chemicals are eventually released where they end up in the soil and can even contaminate water supplies. Mercury poisoning can cause muscle atrophy, twitching, tremors, lack of coordination and more.

 

When we recycle, it also creates jobs locally. About 90% of all electronic equipment is recycle and with so many electronic devices around, starting recycling companies for e-waste can help increase jobs. Existing firms can also employ more people in order to reach the demand of recyclable items coming in.

Recycling E-Waste

Electronic waste, also known as e-waste is one of the fastest growing segments in the solid waste field. One reason for this is because it allows consumers a secure and effective way to get rid of e-waste without resorting to landfills. For example, if you’re wondering how to destroy cassette tapes, e-recycling is a perfect way to ensure the information held on those cassette tapes will be properly destroyed while also ensuring any part of the tape that can be recycled will be recycled. Items such as plastics, precious metals and glass can all be recycled from e-waste. Here are some facts and figures when it comes to e-waste recycling.

 

In 2014, the U.S. generated 11.7 million tons of e-waste in 2014. According to the EPA, in 2012 only about 1 million tons of over 3.4 million tons of e-waste was recycled. Resulting in the U.S. only recycling about 29% of its e-waste, a number that can be significantly increased. However, it’s important to note that in 2011, the recycling rate was at 24.9% and in 2010, only 19.6% of e-waste was being recycled.

 

According to the United Nations, only 16% of total global e-waste that was generated was recycled in 2014. Approximately 15-20% of all e-waste is currently being recycled. You and your agency or company can do its part by ensuring that all e-waste devices such as old computer monitors, old printers and fax machines are all recycled and not thrown away in the dump. Be sure to get in touch with a third party e-waste recycler and help increase the number of e-waste being recycled.

How to Degauss a Hard Drive

When it comes to properly disposing of e-waste, it’s important that it goes through the correct data destruction process. When getting rid of e-waste you want to ensure that sensitive or identifying data will be kept out of the wrong hands. Ways to make sure this happens is through the physical destruction of the device or through degaussing the hard drive.

 

There are certain things that must take place to degauss a hard drive. Degaussing is a process that includes reducing or completely eliminating the data that is stored on device that uses magnetic media to store information. Common forms of magnetic media include hard drives, cassettes, reels, disks and tape. During the degaussing process, an intense magnetic field is generated. This magnetic field is so powerful, that the magnetic data on the tape hard disk becomes deutrailized, or erased.

 

If you have lower to medium sized volumes of hard drives that are needed to be degaussed, a magnetic wand degausser is a good option. Don’t be fooled by these small, hand held magnetic devices. You’ll need to expose the hard drive platter and spindle of the hard drive and then run the degausser over the hard drive platter. Be sure to wave the degausser over both sides of the hard drive platter. For companies that have many e-waste items that need to be degaussed, a handheld degausser is not necessarily the most cost-effective or time efficient process. For bulk items, using a third party e-waste recycling company will save you time and money.

What is the chain of custody and why is it important to you

In legal terms, the chain of custody refers to the movement of physical evidence from the time it is acquired until the time it ends up in court in order to prove that the evidence was not tampered with in any way. You might be surprised, but the chain of custody also relates with data destruction companies.

 

When it comes to the destruction of e-waste, the data is being destroyed in order to prevent sensitive and identifying information from falling into the wrong hands. Often, third party data destruction companies will offer pick up services and then take e-waste to an off site location where it will then be destroyed. During this time, when the e-waste, such as hard drives, are being transformed from one location to another, a chain of custody must be established. This ensures that the hard drive in question, for example, made it from one location to the other in a secure fashion and was not tempered with along the way.

 

Data destruction companies often do this by transporting all e-waste from one location to another by using locked storage bins for example in order to keep the information from getting into the wrong hands while it is being transferred. Once the e-waste arrives at a recycling facility, often the devices are scanned in order to ensure that all devices are accounted for. Finally, at the end of the process, a certificate of destruction is presented in order to prove that all accounted for devices have been properly destroyed and recycled.

HDD & SSD, Which is for you?

You have probably heard of a hard disk drive as this has been one of the most common and popular devices to store information on computers and laptops. However, you may have recently started to hear more about a SSD hard drive, or a solid state drive as these are becoming more popular. SSDs are now being found in not only computers and laptops but also tablets, portable drives and cell phones.

 

A hard drive stores information on magnetic media while a solid state drive does not. A SSD is similar in nature to a USB memory stick. Like a thumb drive, an SSD will store its information on microchips and it does not contain moving parts like a disc found on a hard drive. An SSD’s chips will retain the information even when the power source is turned off. Hard drives have been around since the mid 1950s and as a result, they are much more cost effective than an SSD, which uses newer, and more expensive, technologies. While SSDs can be more expensive, the advantage is that they are faster to start up, faster to transfer data and overall performs better than a hard drive as they are thinner, smaller, lighter and will last longer on a single battery charge than a traditional hard drive.

Just as they function different while in use, considering how to effectively manage these two devices when they become e-waste is different too. Since an SSD does not use any magnetic media to store information, a traditional degausser will not work. Instead, the physical destruction of the device is the best way to go for both hard drives and SSDs to ensure all data is irrecoverable. Always remember to get an SSD or hard drive destruction certificate from the e-waste recycling company as proof that the requested e-waste was properly destroyed.

DoD Data Destruction – What you Need to Know

When dealing with data destruction, there are certain standards that have been put out by the Department of Defense. The DoD data destruction standard most commonly cited is the 5220.22-M standard. This data sanitization method was used by the DoD and emerged in the early 90s when data destruction was beginning to emerge. This standard of destruction paved the road for independent companies to also use similar methods of data destruction in their own companies for commercial use.

 

The DoD 5220.22-M standard consists of a method of using multiple overwriting passes with the thought being that overwriting the original data multiple times will make it more secure. On the first pass, they overwrite information with binary zeroes, on the second pass they overwrite information with ones and on the third pass, they overwrite information with a random bit pattern. After the final overwrite, a certificate is completed in order to verify that the overwriting process took place.

 

Today, the U.S. Department of Defense no longer uses the 5220.22-M standard for classified data. Instead, they use a combination of wiping, degaussing and/or physical destruction for their data. As the DoD 5220.22-M standard was first created over 20 years ago, today, other data sanitization standards have begun to come into play such as the NIST 800-88. However, the process of overwriting data in order to protect information, which was put into practice by the DoD 5220.22-M continues to be used today as an effective way to sanitize data.

What You Need To Know About Hard Drive Degaussers

When it comes to e-waste data destruction, there are various forms of destruction that can take place. It’s necessary for e-waste to be destroyed in a certain way in order to ensure identifying data to be kept out of the wrong hands as well as to ensure that the electronic equipment is recycled ethically and in a way that is good for the environment. One popular option for e-waste destruction is a hard drive degausser.

 

A degausser is used on old electronic devices in order to make information stored on these devices unreadable and irretrievable. Degaussing is the process of demagnetizing a magnetic object that stores information such as a hard disk drive, a computer tape, or CRT monitor. When these devices are exposed to a magnetic field of greater intensity then their own, the place where the information is stored becomes demagnetized, thus the information becomes neutralized and erased. While degaussing is required for agencies that have “classified” or “top secret” information, degaussing is also a great option for those companies and businesses that have personal and identifying information. Whether you are trying to protect your customer’s information or your employees, degaussing is an excellent option.

 

If you are wondering if computer tape and hard drives can be reused after degaussing, the answer depends on which form of media is being degaussed. Analog and digital video cartridges for example can be reused after going through a degausser machine. Other form of media however such as hard disk drives cannot be reused after being degaussed. If the device is not going to be reused after degaussing, then the device can be recycled and precious metals can be reused. If you are looking to simply get rid of old electronic devices in an ethical way that will keep sensitive and identifying information out of the wrong hands, then degaussing is an excellent choice.

Onsite Data Destruction vs Dropping Items Off

When it comes to keeping data secure, one of the best things to do is to utilize a third party e-waste recycler. These companies will be able to securely and ethically destroy e-waste therefore destroying sensitive data so that it becomes irrecoverable. Make sure you choose a company that will be able to provide a hard drive destruction certificate after services are completed. After deciding that you’ll use an e-waste recycler, the next step is to choose between onsite data destruction or choose to simply drop the items off.

 

When you choose on site data destruction, it adds a layer of convenience for you and your company. This is because the company will come to your location at the time and date that you set. You don’t have to make time to go and travel to an off-site location. Instead, they will come to your place of business and destroy your e-waste then and there. This is an added bonus because you can keep an eye on the entire process. From the moment they arrive and gain access to your retired hard drives and other forms of storage media, until the moment they have been destroyed, you’ll know exactly where your devices are. This is the best way to ensure that any sensitive information will not somehow get out because the data is destroyed while still on your property.

 

Off-site data destruction sometimes does not offer the same level of convenience at on-site data destruction. However, many off-site data destruction agencies will offer pick up services. They will come to your place of business, pick up all e-waste devices and then securely transport them to an off-site location. The con of this system is that while they can pick up your devices so you don’t have to spend time dropping them off yourself, once the data leaves your place of business, it’s no longer in your hands. E-waste companies will offer a certificate of destruction for all devices that they picked up from you and this is how you will be able to ensure that all devices have been properly destroyed.

Top 3 Benefits of Techwaste Recycling

When it comes to techwaste recycling, also known as e-waste recycling, you should always consider the benefits of recycling. It’s also important to remember that there are different electronic waste types, and sometimes this has an effect on the type of recycling that is necessary. If you are considering recycling your techwaste, read on to learn about the top benefits of recycling!

 

  1. It’s beneficial for the environment. There are a number of negative effects that comes from mining. Some of the negative effects of mining include water pollution, negative effects on biodiversity, formation of sinkholes, destroying natural resources, and contamination of soil and groundwater among others. When you recycle, we reduce the need for mining to occur because we are reusing natural resources that are found in technology. When we do this, we also conserve and help to regenerate the amount of biodiversity. Additionally, when we recycle, we keep harmful materials that are found in electronic devices, such as mercury, out of landfills.
  2. It beneficial for the economy. Another bonus to tech waste recycling is the economic growth that will take place as the demand for recycling materials increases. Part of this is due to the fact that when it comes to e-waste management, it consists of a varied process which of course means more jobs along the way. The more jobs available means that the economy rises, which is always good for a nation as a whole.
  3. It’s beneficial for humans. Whenever you throw away an old piece of electronic device, it ends up in a landfill where it does more harm than good. Harmful materials found in electronic devices that are in landfills end up seeping into the ground and can get into groundwater and even the air. When we recycle, we also cut the amount of harmful greenhouses gas emissions that are let out.

 

Computer Security Day

Are you ready for national computer security day? Every year, this annual event is held on November 30th and is meant as way to remind users of the importance of computer safety and security when it comes to personal and workplace responsibility. The day helps to promote and raise awareness about best practices when it comes to information and data security. Learning that you still need to consider security precautions with types of e waste is one of these best practices.

 

There are a number of ways that you can participate in the national Computer Security Day. Some of the ways include updating your antivirus software and make sure it is properly installed and runnings. Consider changing your passwords and making sure they are strong passwords. Strong passwords will include capital and lowercase letters, numbers, symbols and will not use common words or phrases. If you have any unused programs, consider removing them from your computer. Make sure your work as well as your home wireless network is secured and if you have any important data, make sure it’s’ backed up either on the cloud or on an external hard drive.

 

Another important way to take part in national Computer Security Day is to properly get rid of e-waste. Individuals and companies can often forget that old electronic devices, or e-waste, contain a large amount of identifying and personal information. Just because you delete these files does not mean the information will not be irretrievable. Instead, the information remains on the harddrive and can be found by someone who knows what they are doing. One way to make sure old information remains out of the wrong hands is to send e-waste to a third party electronic recycler who will properly dispose of your device. The physical destruction of hard drives and other forms of e-waste can ensure that your information stays secure.