Short Term Remote Work Requires Secure and Responsible E-Waste Destruction

E-waste is the aftermath created by discarded electronics. With short-term remote work happening on a grand scale, companies need to be diligent and responsible when disposing of the excess electronics that will no longer be needed once workers are back in the office.

Pile of electronic waste, Motherboard computer and cpu microchips electronic equipment, Printed Circuit Board on white background, E-waste is a problem with environmental concepts.

What is Fueling the Increase in E-Waste?

There is a great increase in E-waste right now. The surge seems to be fueled by consumer purchases and an increase in companies buying equipment they may only need for a short time. When the pandemic led employees to work from home, companies rushed to buy technology to facilitate the transition. Many employees had to allow their personal devices to be used by their children for remote schoolwork, which meant that they needed additional technology for their own work. The switch to remote work and school led to an increase in technology purchases by companies, schools, and individuals. As the demand for technology increases, so does the amount of E-waste.

Concerns Regarding E-Waste Destruction

Companies want to think about how they dispose of all electronic waste, whether the devices are simply at the end of their life or are no longer needed. Many companies do have policies in place, but these policies are not always adequate. When it comes to E-waste destruction, there are two main areas of concern.

  • Responsibility:

The increase in E-waste is substantial enough to be an environmental concern. Companies need to dispose of their electronics in a responsible way. Dumping electronics creates a substantial increase in the amount of lead, cadmium, and mercury in the environment. Currently, 80% of E-waste ends up in landfills, which is an extreme environmental concern. Some companies send their waste to certified recyclers and others try to repurpose functional devices by donating to charities. However, donating devices comes with additional concerns.

  • Security:

Another big challenge for companies is data security. Before you can dispose of a device, you need to deal with the data on those devices. When you are preparing for electronic disposal, simply deleting the information or wiping the hard drive is not enough. Often, data security is overlooked during disposal, and it’s important these devices are completely destroyed and recycled.

What to Do with Old Computer Parts

With environmental responsibility and data security leading the charge of legitimate concerns, what to actually do with old computer parts presents more questions. It’s crucial that the process is handled correctly from the beginning and not overlooked. Many data security companies have established E-waste recycling programs that will handle the issue of what to do with old computer parts in a secure and environmentally friendly way. Shredding is the only way to ensure complete destruction of the data stored on computer parts, and not all data destruction companies have the capabilities to do this. Once the electronic equipment is destroyed down to the core components, it can be recycled in commodity form. A responsible data destruction service will never resell any intact computer equipment, as even “wiping” a hard drive cannot guarantee security. Using a data destruction service who can handle destruction and recycling of computers, monitors, mainframes, servers, modems, keyboards, printers, copiers, fax machines, cell phones, and tablets is worth searching for. Ask the right questions, like:

  • What do you do with the old parts?
  • Will the parts be completely destroyed?
  • Do you recycle the parts after destruction?

The surge in remote work has presented companies with many challenges over the last year, but data security should never be taken lightly. Although recycling is very important, ensuring that all data is completely destroyed can help your company avoid a data breach and all the stress and financial hardship that it can bring. Data management and data protection following a process of best practices is key to developing a cohesive system of expectations for you and your employees. We can help. AccuShred has the experience, knowledge, certifications, and capabilities to completely destroy and recycle your business E-waste. Contact us to learn more about how we can help keep your company’s information safe with complete and responsible data destruction services.