Every corporation has the responsibility to reduce its damaging effects on the environment. One of the biggest threats to the environment is electronic waste. Electronic waste, sometimes called e-waste, is waste that comes from all kinds of electronics, including computers, tablets and cell phones. The improper or incorrect disposal of e-waste poses a genuine threat to the global environment. It has adverse effects on the water, soil and air. For instance, when electronics that contain lead, lithium and other heavy metals are not correctly disposed of, the waste can leach through the ground to permeate groundwater channels. It eventually runs to the surface of small lakes and streams. This process directly impacts the quality of groundwater and results in the death of animals and plants.
Not only does the improper disposal of electronics create hazardous environmental conditions but it is also a threat to the security of your company’s data. Data breaches are a common occurrence. If you don’t correctly ensure the security of your IT recycling program, then your essential business or customer data could quickly end up in the wrong hands. If this happens, it could ruin your company’s reputation.
Since mobile phones, computers and other smart devices contain valuable information, it can be a considerable temptation for criminals to extract that data for nefarious purposes. To avoid the chance of a data breach that could wreak havoc on your business reputation, it is essential to make sure that your electronic information is disposed of properly.
Here are a few simple things that you can do to ensure the security of your company’s data.
Investigate Your Recycler
There has been a rise in the number of recycling companies over the past couple of years. However, it is likely that not all of those recyclers are legitimate. So, take the time to thoroughly investigate the recycler that you choose to handle your electronic equipment. After all, you are trusting them to manage vital business data. Do an internet search of the company. Look for reviews from previous clients or ask for references.
Look For R2 Certification
Never recycle with a company that does not possess R2 certification. Responsible Recycling or R2 accreditation is awarded to recyclers that use only accountable methods when recycling electronics. The United States EPA recommends that all electronic recyclers receive this certification. The R2 certification provides a standard set of safety procedures and processes that were developed by the EPA to ensure the responsible and safe recycling of electronics. There are over 600 facilities with the R2 designation so make sure that the one you choose is certified. For more information about R2 Certification, check out this informative blog post.
Have a Formal Plan For Electronics Recycling
Make sure that your company has a plan to formally manage, remove and dispose of all electronics safely and responsibly. Include specific protocols for disposition. Make sure that everyone in your company is aware of the plan and consistently follows the protocols that have been established.
Ensure That All Data Is Wiped Clean
Even if you have a trustworthy recycler, you must ensure that you completely and correctly wipe all data from your electronic assets before disposing of them. When correctly performed, more than 99.9 percent of all data can be erased successfully. Although you can purchase a program to wipe the data yourself, it is best to outsource this job to a company that has expertise in this area. This move will save you time and money. Plus, you can rest assured that all data will be correctly wiped from your company’s devices.
Reuse or Resell Your Electronics Carefully and Responsibly
Selling old devices can be a great way to maximize your investment. If your assets are resold, make sure that you understand the resale channels. Also, confirm that ethical methods will be used for resale or reuse of the electronics devices. It is best to work with one vendor when selling or reusing old devices.