Best Practices for Businesses to Dispose of Old E-Waste

Best Practices for Businesses to Dispose of Old E-Waste

If you have a business, you’ve probably been wondering how to dispose of old e-waste. You are not alone. Over time and the ongoing need to purchase new equipment, it’s easy for your e-waste to grow out of control. So let’s talk about how you can dispose of old e-waste and the best practices for doing so.

Seven Ways for Businesses to Dispose of Old E-Waste

Here are some of the most common options to make it easy for businesses to dispose of old e-waste:

1. Sell Your Old Equipment

One of the most obvious options for businesses to dispose of old e-waste is to sell it. You can sell it to your employees, on an online platform like eBay, or on your local digital classifieds like Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or whatever is available in your area.

However, selling your old equipment takes time and effort. Additionally, when you sell your old equipment, you risk exposing your company’s sensitive data. You also won’t have any third-party documentation to show that you did, in fact, properly dispose of your customers’ personal information.

2. Donate Your Old Equipment

Donating your old equipment is a bit easier because you won’t spend the time needed to sell it outright. There are many great causes out there that could really use your old equipment—equipment that your company has outgrown or no longer needs but would be a perfect fit for a school or charity.

3. Trade in Old Equipment to Dispose of Old E-Waste

Depending on where you buy your new electronics, some places will offer you a store credit or discount if you trade in your old equipment when buying your new equipment. However, you will have to trust that they will thoroughly wipe your customers’ information from that equipment before reselling it.

4. Take It to a Statewide Recycling Center or Electronics Waste Program

Some states have recycling centers and electronic waste programs. Some states also have electronic waste collection events. Check with your local government to find out if they have any designated drop-off locations or collection events scheduled. This can make it very easy for businesses to dispose of old e-waste!

5. See If the Manufacturer Has an E-Waste Recycling Program

Many major manufacturers of electronic equipment have takeback programs. This is mainly due to stricter legislation that regulates electronic waste. So check with the manufacturer to see if they offer consumers the option of dropping off the old electronics they purchased from them. Some manufacturers also offer a mail-in option.

6. Dispose of Old E-Waste with Third-Party Data Destruction

Some e-waste recyclers offer secure data destruction. Using a third-party electronics recycler (more about that in a moment) will make it easier to not only securely destroy the data on your old devices, but they can also recycle that equipment for you. A reputable electronics recycler will adhere to all levels of regulatory requirements by both industry and government.

7. Use a Third-Party Electronics Recycler

Using a third-party electronics recycler is your best option for disposing of old e-waste. Many of these recycling centers specialize in the safe recycling of electronics. Additionally, many third-party e-waste recyclers strictly adhere to all regulatory requirements and use NIST 800-88 Rev. 1 sanitizing erasure methods and/or will ensure that the information is physically destroyed.

Another reason for using a third-party electronics recycler to dispose of old e-waste is to protect your company from lawsuits–lawsuits that could arise from the improper disposal of sensitive consumer data. Additionally, using a third-party electronics recycler to dispose of old e-waste will give you the documentation you need to prove you made a good-faith effort to dispose of your customers’ information properly.

Having a third-party electronics recycler will also help you and your team have peace of mind knowing that you are doing your part to protect the environment. All e-waste contains deadly chemicals such as mercury, cadmium, lead, beryllium, and brominated flame retardants, all of which contaminate the soil, leach into the waterways, and pollute the air. Recycling your e-waste prevents all that from happening.

Precautions to Take Before Disposing of Old E-Waste

There are several precautions you should take before disposing of old e-waste.

  • Always remove sensitive data from the device by performing a hard factory reset or any other approved method of destroying data. Just make sure you transfer the data to your new device before you begin.
  • Next, you will need to wipe your data. This requires more work than just deleting the files. You must also delete the permanent record of those files on the hard drive. This will help prevent the recovery of the deleted data.  
  • Depending on the device, you might be able to just physically destroy the item with a hammer or drill. This is only recommended for small items like an SSD storage device or flash drive.
  • Remove all batteries before getting rid of your device. Then properly dispose of the batteries as well. Check the EPA recommendations for disposing of batteries properly.  

Why Businesses Must Properly Dispose of Old Equipment If It Contains Their Customers’ Personal Data

The FTC Disposal Rule requires businesses of all sizes to take appropriate measures to dispose of their customers’ sensitive information by any reasonable method. This is to protect consumers from unauthorized access or use of their information in connection with its disposal. The website gives a list of “proper disposal” options they consider reasonable.

What’s Next?

If you need to dispose of old e-waste, please Contact evTerra Recycling today. We provide reverse logistics, secure data destruction, end-of-life recycling, and ITAD/asset management, and we have an online customer portal so you will always know exactly what is happening with your materials and equipment. Let us show you just how easy and cost-effective it can be to dispose of old e-waste when using our services.