By Tony Perrotta on May 04, 2022

Secure E Waste: How to Ensure Ironclad Data Erasure

By following this process, secure e waste is obtainable before it hits the bin

Looking to securely recycle your electronics without compromising any data? 

Below we share the step-by-step process of how to ensure secure e waste, a primer to e-waste recycling, and the sort of certifications to look for in a vendor that are integral to protecting data and security.

Wiping Your Data

If you are considering only dropping off a few devices and you want to do the data wipe yourself, we have guides for various devices.

That being said, to ensure full erasure and to wipe in bulk, we would recommend going to a trusted vendor to inventory, wipe, transport, and properly dispose of your old IT equipment.

Logistics

The first stage in the e-waste recycling process is the collection of electronic devices through on-site location pick-up or collection bins.

If you allow a vendor to come pickup your electronics, make sure that there is a chain of custody in place where the model and serial numbers of the equipment is inventoried before packing up. The team there should be vetted and certified in helping you to secure your e waste.

If you are considering discarding your old devices in a collection bin, there are various places to drop off your equipment, and we're biased when we say you should drop off at one of our locations.

There are places like Best Buy can take your electronics...but at the cost of your data. As Securis states, it should be obvious not to take your electronics to Best Buy, because they are not a computer recycling company. Over the years, data has been known to be leaked with these providers. Therefore, make sure to do your research when you are considering a company to handle your electronics.

Once gathered, the electronics are then transported to a specialized e-waste recycling facility where they are sorted by product type. Any electronic devices with hazardous components that shouldn’t be shredded such as batteries and fluorescent lights are removed.

This is where places like Best Buy can get you into trouble because they farm the work out to third parties which may not be vetted. They may also just crush everything up, thus harming the environment.

Processing

Once sorted, certified data erasure takes place to recover devices for refurbish and reuse. Even if you have wiped the data yourself, a company will most likely wipe your devices again. It just makes it much more difficult for data miners to access the various fragments of data.

The e-waste that remains is shredded into smaller pieces and sorted into core materials and components. This is ironclad data erasure as the physical components of the devices are stripped away or destroyed.

Ferrous metallic materials such as iron or steel are removed by a strong overhead magnet. Non-ferrous metallic materials such as aluminum and copper are separated using eddy current systems. Circuit boards, plastics, and glass are separated using optical, metal, and inferred sorting systems. Once the raw materials have been separated, the final stage is to prepare the recycled materials for reuse.

Reporting

Each service provider or vendor has its own reporting and certification processes which makes it important to find one that meets your needs. You may simply need a "peace of mind" document that puts the risk of data being leaked off of your organization.

At Greentec, we offer full documentation for services performed, including:

  • backup for compliance with data security,
  • environmental regulations,
  • invoicing,
  • financial return,
  • a complete range of available certificates and audit reports.

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Certifications

A great way to ensure secure e-waste disposal is to work with a data destruction company that follows the best industry standards and regulations. The following certifications can help key stakeholders verify accountability and credibility when it comes to secure electronics disposal:

ISO 9001

ISO 9001 is defined as the international standard that provides guidelines for how to establish, implement, and maintain a quality management system. It was developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and published in 1987. ISO 9001 is used by organizations to improve their performance and meet customer needs.

ISO 14001

ISO 14001 is an international standard for environmental management. Published in 1994, the ISO 14001 standard was created to help organizations manage their environmental impacts and to help them identify and correct any adverse effects they may have on the environment.

ISO 45001

ISO 45001 is a global standard that provides guidance on how to protect your people. It is the first ISO standard to address occupational health and safety management systems.

The ISO 45001 standard was developed in response to the need for a global, harmonized approach to occupational health and safety management systems. The goal of this new standard is to help organizations improve their performance in protecting their people from harm at work.

NAID AAA Certification

NAID AAA Certification is a voluntary program for companies that provide information destruction services. This certification helps verify that an e-waste company is in compliance with the standards of the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID).

SERI R2v3 Certification

The SERI R2v3 standard establishes responsible practices for the recycling of electronics globally. Implemented in more than 20 countries, this program focuses on minimizing the environmental and health risks caused by e-waste. It has helped limit Greentec's use of new resources, reduced the need for landfills and incinerators, and decreased our dependence on fossil fuels. Certifying to this standard helps reduce liability, increase customer confidence, and promote safe practices. 

Greentec is a certified electronics recycling company specializing in secure e-waste and data destruction. Check out our certifications and awards here.

The Best Way to Secure E Waste

Partner with a professional that has experience in secure e-waste handling. The security and privacy of your sensitive data should be a top priority. At Greentec, we have more than 25 years of experience in secure data destruction and electronics recycling. Important elements to consider when selecting the right data destruction company include the type of processes that are used and whether or not the company is certified.

For more information on how Greentec can securely recycle your electronics and provide ironclad data erasure, schedule a free Tech Lifecycle Roadmap call with our experienced team. 


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Published by Tony Perrotta May 4, 2022