Securing The Future.

Are You Stockpiling Old IT Equipment? Here’s How To Correctly Dispose Of E-Waste

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With the constant advance of IT, old electrical office equipment, computers, laptops and smartphones are frequently replaced to make way for something newer, faster, smarter or better.

But what is happening to the redundant IT equipment? In this blog post, we look at a problem that many businesses in the UK face, the challenges this brings and how the problem can be resolved.

 

Uswitch weee waste graph e1692178367188

UK ranks second in e-waste production

A study by Uswitch has revealed that the UK generates the second-highest amount of e-waste per capita (23.9kg) in the world following only Norway and that recent research suggests that by 2024 we will have moved into the unenviable first place.

But per capita statistics may be partly concealing the true scale of the problem. With a population of less than 5.5 million, Norway is producing just 139,000 tonnes of e-waste every year; the UK population of nearly 68 million is generating a staggering 1.6 million tonnes.

As for the wider picture, Circular online magazine states that “E-waste is the fastest-growing waste stream in the world and therefore of global concern.”

WEEE reduces landfill, recovers materials

To reduce the volume of electronic waste – which often contains harmful materials – going straight to landfill, WEEE regulations prevent e-waste from being discarded as general waste. Recycling requires toxic materials to be removed and disposed of safely while plastics, steel, aluminium and precious metals such as gold, silver, copper and platinum are recycled.

By extracting and reusing these valuable materials, we are also decreasing our reliance on supplies from other countries and the depletion of the earth’s resources.

What are you doing with your e-waste?

From our experience, many businesses are choosing to stockpile obsolete or broken IT equipment rather than pay for disposal, filling storage rooms and even skips or shipping containers with redundant computers, laptops, fax machines, copiers and printers.

But this accumulation of e-waste carries several risks:

  • Overcrowded storage areas become a health and safety hazard
  • Accumulated devices containing batteries could be a severe fire hazard
  • Toxic substances in some equipment could leak, becoming an environmental hazard
  • Theft from unsecured rooms or storage containers could become a data breach hazard

How can you responsibly recycle e-waste and protect your sensitive data?

Most electronic devices contain data storage components, and although you may have deleted all the files and folders on the device while you were decommissioning it, it’s likely that the data could still be retrieved – read our blog post Hard Drive Shredding: How To Destroy Your Digital Data to find out more about secure electronic data destruction. At the same time, you need a service provider who can dispose of and recycle all components of the equipment in compliance with WEEE.

The only way to ensure complete peace of mind is to place your e-waste recycling requirements into the hands of a secure IT and media destruction service such as SECURETECH®.

How is SECURETECH different from other e-waste recycling services?

SecureTech Process Roadmap Simplified steps

While many e-waste recyclers process a wide range of redundant electrical and electronic items, many of these – domestic and commercial appliances and industrial equipment – contain no sensitive data. Their sole purpose is therefore to separate harmful substances from recyclable materials and ensure these are disposed of or reprocessed appropriately.

SECURETECH from Avena Group is born of a background in the secure destruction of paper-based data – confidential shredding – where Avena has both the expertise and the equipment required to ensure any source of data is irretrievably destroyed by shredding the components into minute particles. The service includes the secure destruction of data storage devices such as

  • portable hard drives, disks, DVDs and CDs
  • PCs and laptops
  • laser and inkjet printers
  • servers and photocopiers
  • network switches, hubs, routers and firewalls
  • other miscellaneous IT equipment

SecureTech Logo with strapline

All SECURETECH employees handling documents or equipment containing sensitive data, from the customer service representatives who collect from your premises to the facility operators who carry out the destruction and recycling process, are security vetted to BS7858. This gives you the peace of mind that your data is professionally protected at all times and destroyed in compliance with GDPR.

Avena also operates a ‘zero waste to landfill’ policy that aims at preventing further e-waste from going to landfill sites. This policy not only benefits the environment but is also a positive, sustainable contribution towards building a circular economy.

As part of the SECURETECH service, you will also receive documentation for every consignment of e-waste to certify that it has been processed following WEEE and GDPR requirements – useful evidence in the event of an environmental or data security audit.

SECURETECH can be used either as an ad hoc service to remove a backlog of IT equipment and media or as a contractual service that meets your ongoing requirements for secure IT and media destruction and recycling. Speak to an industry expert or register your interest below:

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