What is Degaussing and How Does it Work

When it comes to properly managing electronic waste, there are various ways that consumers can go about this. When determining which way to choose, you want to consider if it will allow for keeping your information safe. This is because simply deleting your information on the computer does not mean it’s erased. Information is stored on hard drives, and when a computer is retired, the old information can still be resurfaced. To combat this, taking your e-waste to an electronic recycler is a popular option. Another option is to degauss your hard drive. You may be wondering, what is degaussing? Read on to find out more!


Degaussing is a process that is used in order to make sure that information stored on hard drives cannot be recovered. The process involves putting the hard drive, or other form of media, into a powerful magnetic field. The magnetic field of the degausser is so powerful, the magnetic data that is on the hard disk or tape becomes neutralized, effectively erasing or making information unreadable. Since all forms of magnetic media have a magnetic property, the magnetic property can be interfered with. A degausser is able to erase information because it generates a magnetic field so powerful that it will permanently remove the magnetic properties that allows for the media to store information. If those magnetic properties are removed, then the recorded data becomes unreadable.


Degaussing is a popular option when it comes to getting rid of electronic waste. When you send e-waste to a landfill, it does not guarantee that the information that is stored there will remain safe. Additionally, e-waste in landfills causes harm to the environment and increased the pressure on our natural resources. Degaussing ensures that your information remains safe as all information that was once stored on your e-waste, becomes irretrievable.

Tape Drive vs Hard Drive – Which Should You Use?

When it comes to backing up your companies data and information, there are two major options when it comes to the physical realm of storage. These include tape drive vs hard drive. When making this decision, most companies take into consideration the speed, capacity, and cost between the two. Whichever you decide, when you have old physical devices, consider west coast recycling center to sustainability and securely manage your e-waste.


Briefly, tape drives provide you with the ability to copy entire data packages from a hard drive to a take cartridge, which is then used for backup, storage and recovery purposes. Disk backup on the other hand, consists of copying data onto a hard drive for easy access later on. When it comes to speed, the consensus among IT professionals is that disk backups allow for greater speed when finding data. For example, tapes need to be rewound and physically go through the tape to find something while disks can simply be connected and then searched for specific information. Disk systems also have much more capacity than tape backup systems. While tape backup systems are cheaper across the board, thanks to recent technologies, disk systems have significantly lowered their prices making it more affordable to the general public.


Due to ever increasing technology, tape drives are becoming less and less popular. So what do you do with old tape devices that you no longer need? When it comes to getting rid of e-waste, you want to do it securely and responsibly. Going to a certified e-waste recycler is one of the best options. This is because the physical destruction of the data ensures old information won’t fall into the wrong hands while also keeping e-waste out of landfills. If you have old tapes, old disk drives, or other forms of e-waste, consider hiring a third party e-waste recycling company.


Are you Following the Best Practices for Hardware Asset Management

If you are part of a company or own a small business, it’s important to consider Hardware Asset Management Best Practices. These best practices will help to guide you and your company on what to do when it comes to getting rid of old hardware including answering questions like, ‘where to dispose of computers?’. It is not as simple as tossing old hardware into a landfill somewhere. Environmental and security factors should also be taken into consideration.


Asset Management takes into consideration a multitude of factors in order to create the best strategy that will be good for the company and the clients/customers as well. Hardware asset management is the process of managing and tracking the physical components of computers during its entire lifespan, that is, from acquisition to disposal. Hardware asset management adds allows for full visibility so you’ll always know when a piece of equipment was added to your inventory, you’ll know the expiry date, where different components reside, how these assets are used and more.


One of the best practices for hardware asset management is to designate key people who will be in charge. These people should also have a team that runs things on the ground floor as well. The more people who understand the process and the importance of asset management, the better. Another option to consider is using a software that is built specifically for assisting in managing hardware assets. While you can certainly, use an excel spreadsheet on your own, vendors such as SolarWinds, Oracle, ManageEngine and CA Technologies all offer excellent IT asset management software. Hardware asset management should also take into consideration what happens when a device is no longer working and needs to be retired. If you keep track of old devices, you’ll know when things should be taken down from the shelf and recycled. Another option is the physical destruction of data, which ensures no information falls into the wrong hands after the device is no longer in use.


How Do Solid State Drives Work?

Back in 1956, IBM released the world’s first hard disk drive. The drive only stored 5 megabytes of data, took up the space of more than two refrigerators and cost $50,000, about $500,000 in 2018 dollars. Today, technology has gone far, pouring out smaller, faster and less expensive hard drives every year. Now, thanks to innovative minds, there is even a newer way for computers to store, retrieve and share digital information: the solid state drive.


If you haven’t heard of this new form of drive, you’re probably not alone, and you might be wondering, how do solid state drives work? In order to to explain this, let’s recap on how a hard drive works. Hard drives rely on spinning disks that need to spin around to the right location in order for the requested information to be found, similar to the way a needle on a vinyl record player needs to spin to a certain location to play a part of the song. SSDs on the hand, use a grid of electrical cells to quickly send and receive data, similar to the way a flash drive saves information to a cluster of memory banks. Instead of having to spin discs around to find the right data, an SSD simply go to a specific grid location where information is stored to retrieve information. In essence, with an SSD, you’ll notice your computer running much faster than with a traditional hard drive.


As solid state drives become more popular, hard drives may turn into e-waste. As more and more hard drives get funneled out in favor SSDs, it will be imperative to ensure that the data on the hard drives do not end up in the wrong hands. Instead of sending hard drives to landfills, considered e-waste recycling services including the physical destruction of the device. Be sure the third party company that you choose offers a hard drive destruction certificate to ensure all your devices are accounted for.


Recent Landfill Data Containing E-Waste

When it comes to determining how prevalent e-waste is, it’s important to look at some landfill data. According to a report conducted by the EPA, computers and other forms of e-waste accounted for 70% of all heavy metals that were found in landfills and today, that number has only increased. One of the best things that consumers can do to help reduce the amount of e-waste in landfills is to recycle printers, desktops and other old electronics that are no longer used.


One of the biggest problems that is affecting the amount of e-waste that ends up in landfills is the rate that consumers are purchasing new electronics. While advancing technology adds greater ease of use and connection between consumers, it also means that people are retiring their cell phones and electronics faster than ever before. In 2010, Americans purchased 71.7 million new laptop and desktop computers. That same year, Americans threw away 423,000 tons of computers which ended up landfills. Thankfully, there are different options you can consider that are not simply having old electronics end up in landfills. Instead, there are options that not only help to reduce the number of electronics in landfills, but also helps to create jobs and keeps pollution in the groundwater and in the air at a minimum.


One option to consider when it comes to old electronic devices is to donate it to a charitable organization, many of which will also offer you a tax deduction for your donations. Many charitable organizations use these old devices to help students or communities that are in need. Retailers such as Office Depot, Staples and Best Buy also offer drop off locations for all old electronics making recycling easy.  Finally, third party e-waste recycling companies are the best option if you’re not planning on making a donation. These companies are certified to safely, securely and ethically recycle various types of electronic waste.

How to Destroy VHS Tapes

Thanks to the increase in technology, consumers are seeing more and more ways to store their information. Gone are the days of floppy disks and instead, more and more people are using the cloud and the internet to store their items. While this saves space, it might leave consumers wondering how to destroy VHS tapes and other old forms of storage devices. One of the best ways to destroy a VHS tape is through secure e-waste destruction.


One difficulty with getting rid of tape media is that it is not a biodegradable product meaning the VHS tape will end up in landfills where it will sit for hundreds of years. Additionally, simply burning the memory tape found in a VHS as well as the plastic will actually release toxic fumes. These toxic fumes get into the air and may even pollute water sources if enough is burned. Instead of burning, consider a third party e-waste recycling and destruction company.


There are two main ways to dispose of a VHS tape. The first is through erasing the existing data from the tape by using a powerful magnet. When the tape is passed through the magnetic field, it will actually scramble and rearrange the magnetic particles on the tape, essentially erasing all the existing data and making it unreadable. The second method is through the physical destruction of the tape. The tape is put into a machine where it is then pulverized into thousands of tiny pieces. If there are any pieces that can be recycled, it will be recycled at this point. If not, the pulverized remaining pieces can then be sent to a landfill. These two ways of disposing a VHS tape will ensure that the media stored on the device will not fall into the wrong hands so you will know your data can remain safe and secure.

How is Electronic Waste Recycled

In today’s world of growing technologies, many companies are now faced with the task of disposing old hard drives and media that is no longer used, known as e-waste. There are different categories of e-waste from household products to items that you would only see at a work office. Office companies with e-waste such as memory sticks, disc drives and hard drives need to determine what to do with this e-waste, especially since sensitive and identifying information has been stored on these devices. Recycling these old products is one of the best ways to get of old data in a secure and environmentally friendly way.

You might be wondering, how is electronic waste recycled? One of the main ways this takes place is through the physical destruction of the devices. The process begins though before that, when a request is made from a company that is wanting to get rid of its e-waste. A third party e-waste recycling company will go directly to the company and pick up the e-waste, storing it in a locked container, before taking it to the destruction facility. Once it arrives at the facility, all the e-waste devices are recorded in an itemized list and scanned once it is ready for shredding. The devices are put in a machine that will physically destroy the e-waste, after that, all recyclable materials are gathered and recycled. A certificate of destruction, along with a detailed destruction log, will be provided back to the company once all items have been destroyed and recycled.

Recent Data on Recycling

When it comes to e-waste, you probably have heard of the dangers and harm of e-waste ending up in landfills. From polluting our natural water reserves and soil to wasting precious resources such as gold and silver, there are plenty of reasons why companies and individuals should recycle. The advantages of e-waste recycling are also numerous as well. Here are some of the most recent data on recycling.


The United States Environmental Protection Agency produced a Materials and Waste Management report of its key facts and figures. The 2014 report is the most recent report of key findings. In 2014, of the 258 million tons of municipal solid waste that was created in the U.S., over 89 million tons were recycled and composted. This equals out to a 34.6% recycling rate in the U.S. Of that percentage, the most recycled items were corrugated boxes, which came out to 89.5%. The next most recycled items at 61% was yard trimmings being composted. Additionally, in 2014, of the 89 million tons of municipal solid waste that was recycled, it created an annual reduction of over 181 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions. This is comparable to getting rid of emissions from over 38 million passenger cars.


There are also other benefits to e-waste recycling. For example, according to the EPA’s Recycling Economic Information Report, they found that recycling and reuse of materials not only creates jobs, but it also generates local and state tax revenues. In 2007 in the US, recycling and reuse activities accounted for 757,000 jobs, $36.6 billion in wages and $6.7 billion in tax revenues. While e-waste recycling is great for the environment as well as protecting sensitive data found on electronic devices, it is also a great way to create more jobs and boost the economy.


Do you Know the Patron Saint of Electronics?

Did you know that there is a patron saint of electronics? Declared by Pope John Paul II in 1997, Isidore of Seville became the patron saint of the internet and electronics. Isidore became the Bishop of Seville in 600 and during his time, he took it upon himself to record all the information ever known and ended up creating a 20 book encyclopedia entitled Etymologia, meaning, “the study of origins”. His 20 book encyclopedia consisted of knowledge not only about languages, kingdoms, and geography of the world but also of furniture, agriculture and even the different names of women’s outer garments. Just as Isidore of Seville is the patron saint of the internet, today, there also needs to be something watching over the world of electronics. In some ways, r2 rios is exactly that.


R2 specifically refers to the best practices that are used by the electronics industry including best practices for electronic waste. When a company is R2 certified, it means that the business is qualified to be able to properly handle electronic waste in a responsible, safe and ethical manner. RIOS was created in order to offer standards in the recycling industry, including the recycling of electronics. RIOS stands for Recycling Industry Operating Systems and was developed by the International Organization for Standardization. Together, R2 and RIOS provide guidelines and standards for companies to use in order to ensure employee safety, customer data security, environmental ethics, quality performance and more. The combined R2/RIOS certification is provided by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries.


The only way a company can get these certifications is if they go through an intense audit to ensure that all business practices are up to the national codes and standards. If you or your company is looking to recycle e-waste, be sure to consider a company that has R2 and/or RIOS certifications.


What Services are Typically Offered by E-Waste Recycling Companies?

When it comes to electronic waste, it’s important that you or your company refrain from simply throwing away the e-waste in the garbage where it will eventually wind up in a landfill. Instead, you’ll want to find a certified e-waste recycling company that can offer a variety of electronics recycling services that may be right for you. If you’ve never worked with an e-waste recycling company before, here are some typical services that you might expect to be offered.


First and foremost, the certified company will be able to offer you recycling services for your electronics. The problem with throwing away electronics is that precious metals such as gold and reusable resources such as plastic are simply being wasted. An e-waste recycling company will be able to separate the waste from the recyclable materials and other materials that can be reused.


E-Waste recycling companies will also likely offer data destruction services. The physical destruction of equipment is the best way to ensure that sensitive and identifying data will not fall into the wrong hands. Even when data is deleted from a computer for example, it can still be found in the hard drive. Therefore, the only way to ensure the data is gone for good is by using a high powered shredder that e-waste companies offer.


Some e-waste companies might also offer resources to make it easier for you or your company to get services. For example, a company might offer a simple drop off location if you have a small amount of devices that need to be recycled. If you have a large amount of e-waste that needs to be recycled, companies will also offer a secure pickup option. This means that the company will drive to your location, pick the equipment for you and securely transport it to their off site location. These are just some of the resources you can expect from an e-waste company.