When you want to make sure your equipment is recycled safely and your stored data is completely erased, choosing the right equipment recycling service is essential. And according to Brian Musil, founder and director of sales and purchasing at Recycle Your Media , there is no way for companies to properly handle recycling themselves.
Equipment recycling helps the environment and can slow down the amount of materials unnecessarily ending up in landfills. And the biggest problem is that some of this e-waste is toxic. The need to recycle your unused equipment is about much more than simply cutting costs. Musil notes that e-waste is still the fastest growing municipal waste stream in the United States. Recycling old or unused equipment can also help your company save money and make room for new equipment.
Given that, here’s what to look for when choosing an equipment recycling service.
Accepted equipment and services provided. The first things you should look at are what services the recycling company provide and whether your equipment is accepted by the company for recycling. If you’re looking to recycle used tape media or equipment, for example, make sure the service company you choose can handle the type of media you have. The same goes for other equipment such as computers and servers.
Different companies also provide different services. Most will pay you for equipment that can be reused or let you donate your proceeds to charity. Some equipment can’t be reused, but you can still pay to have it recycled and receive data destruction reports or other docu- ments showing that data was erased. The payment you receive or costs you incur will depend on what you are recycling, so be sure to contact the company to get a quote in advance.
The process. Recycling companies have different ways of getting rid of your IT equipment. Musil says that the first step is contacting one of the company’s specialists who can help you decide whether you need onsite destruction or if you want to send equipment to the company for recycling. Most equipment recyclers are flexible and let you choose the easiest option for your individual needs. And if your company or one of your facilities is international, you’ll want to be sure the service provider can arrange and pay for shipping from anywhere in the world.
Check for transparency. You’ll likely want as much transparency as possible, so you should make sure the recycling service you choose keeps a history of all the equipment it recycles. You can track your equipment from start to finish and know that your data hasn’t been compromised. And as an added bonus, if you want to buy equipment from one of these companies, some of them can provide information showing when it was recycled and where it came from.
Data destruction report/certificate. A document proving that data has been safely and completely deleted from equipment you have submitted for recycling.
Data eradication. The complete erasure of data from equipment, such as tapes and disk drives, so that no sensitive information is lost or stolen during the recycling process.
E-waste (electronic waste). One of the biggest problems facing data centers and IT companies. It covers desktop computers, laptops, blade servers, and other larger infrastructure equipment that is thrown away without recycling.
VOLSER (Volume Serial Number Report). A procedure some equipment recycling services use to track equipment from your company to the recycling facility.
Published in Processor, on the 7th of October 2011