Unless you ensure that your old electronics are properly recycled, they not only pose a threat to the environment, but your data privacy may also be at risk. If old computers are simply tossed into the trash bin, even data that has been deleted from hard drives can sometimes be retrieved and used by competitors.
The rapid growth of electronics industry and high turnover of products have resulted in substantial growth of e-waste. Many electronics recycling companies have been created in recent years to take care of this growing problem, but it is important to ensure that your recycler is capable of properly managing e-waste.
It is best to look for recycling companies that are certified by either R2 Solutions or e-Stewards. Both certifications require the highest levels for both environmental protection and data privacy throughout the recycling process.
The Importance of Electronics Recycling
Natural resources are being used at a rate that cannot be sustained indefinitely. A commitment to recycling is not only necessary for reclaiming natural resources, it helps to maintain your reputation as a good corporate citizen.
Many toxic chemicals found in electronics can leach into landfills and the environment. These include halogenated compounds, such as PCB, PVC and CFC; and heavy metals and other elements, such as lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic. Even the radio-active element Americium is found in medical equipment, and in smoke and fire detectors.
Other Products Also Need Proper Recycling
Small businesses and homes often have old fluorescent lights, batteries, cell phones, monitors, computers (if data security is not an issue) and other small electronics that require recycling or proper disposal to prevent contamination. Many of these items can be safely disposed of free in a number of places.
Donate or Reuse – Reputable organizations accept donations of functional equipment for reuse. Also, some certified recyclers will refurbish electronics.
Manufacturers Recycling Programs – Many electronics manufacturers have take-back programs for recycling their old products for free. In addition, you may be eligible for incentives, including a money back or a trade-in value offer.
Recycling Events – These events are held in many areas, and offer a place to drop off old electronics, lights and batteries for free.
Cell Phones – Some recyclers allow you to mail old cell phones for free, and will provide the paid shipping label.
Making sure your data secure is an essential part of protecting your company. Properly recycling toxic materials, and preventing them from ending in landfills will let your customers and the world know you are a responsible steward of the environment.