Your business can only have outdated electronics lying around for a limited amount of time until it’s time to recycle them. Although e-waste only comprises about 2% of the waste in America’s landfills, it accounts for 70% of the nation’s toxic waste. When you’re ready to dispose of your unused electronics and utilize your space for something more efficient, it’s time to recycle your old electronics.
However, you can not simply toss electronic equipment in your dumpster. To begin with, disposing of electronic equipment in landfills violates environmental regulations; you also run the risk of identity theft and data breaches if the sensitive data stored within your electronics is disposed of improperly.
Recycling your electronic waste with a certified company is the best option for the environment and your company. A certified electronics recycling company will ensure that all sensitive data is wiped from each electronic device and dispose of the equipment in an environmentally compliant process. Furthermore, they will ensure that your company receives documents stating that each of these objectives is accomplished while keeping your costs at a minimum.
Why Electronic Recycling Certifications Matter
A quick online search for electronics recycling companies can leave you overwhelmed with choices. However, many of these electronics recycling companies lack the necessary certifications to complete the recycling process correctly. If a company offers these services at a suspiciously low cost, consider that their processes may not be legal or safe. The United States Environmental Protection Agency encourages everyone to seek the assistance of certified electronics recycling vendors capable of meeting the standards necessary to perform their duties safely.
What Certifications and Specializations Should You Look for?
Both the EPA and environmentalists state that when you are seeking an electronics recycling vendor for your business, it is essential to work with a company with the proper certifications from a reputable third-party organization that states that they are a reliable source for electronic recycling. While there are many certifications to choose from, the most environmentally sound certifications for electronics recycling and data destruction include either the e-Stewards or R2 certifications.
In order to obtain a certification, an electronics recycling company must pass annual audits along with potentially non-routine surprise audits by the certifications themselves. During a certification program, auditors will assess the company’s management practices and confirm that the electronics recycling company complies with standards regarding worker health and safety, data privacy, and environmental health.
Certifications ensure that your recycling vendor adheres to environmentally safe standards that allow optimal recycling and reuse of electronic materials while reducing exposure of unsafe materials to the natural environment or humans. Additionally, electronics recycling certifications require the safe management of materials by workers and the eradication of all data stored within the electronics in question.
Evaluating Potential Partners
If you have old computers, telephones, or other electronic equipment lying around the office, it may be time for you to form a partnership with a reputable, certified electronics recycling vendor that has the resources and experience to properly recycle your devices. Be aware of the many so-called electronics recycling companies that are strictly treating your assets as commodities to sell for profit. These companies have little to no regard for data protection or human health and safety and are simply out to sell the products for the highest price. These practices can severely compromise any data stored on your devices, wreak havoc on the environment, and destroy your business’ reputation. To avoid making this grave mistake, assess the validity of your electronics waste recycler before giving them access to your devices with the following steps:
1. Review Their Compliance Package
When you’re just getting started, the first thing you should do is ask for the recycler’s health and safety policies and evaluate their environmental compliance. You will also need to confirm their procedures. Ensure that their recycling practices align with the legal and corporate requirements your organization must follow. You must also assess the security measures in place to protect your data.
2. Review Their Data Security Practices
In many cases, data security is overlooked by electronics recycling service providers. As data breaches and cybercrime rises, you must work with an electronic recycling company that operates with the most advanced data security measures available. Vendors like First America Metal Corp. (FAMCe) meet all your business’ electronic recycling needs by wiping all of the sensitive information from each electronic device before continuing the recycling process. You can rest at ease knowing that your organization’s privacy and reputation will remain protected.
3. Assess Their Capabilities
Manufacturers use various metals, glass, and plastic when an electronic device is created. Electronic recycling vendors must have access to advanced equipment capable of separating the materials properly. When each material is separated effectively, it is much easier for manufacturers to create new products from recycled materials. Advanced separation technology also enables electronic recyclers to reduce their carbon footprint and resource consumption while ensuring that valuable materials are not piling up in landfills. Ask your recycling vendor about their separation process and the equipment they use to achieve optimal results.
4. Perform an Audit
Once you have assessed the capacity of your electronics recycling vendor and their security practices, it is time to conduct an audit. This confirms the protection of your entire company and all of your client’s information. An in-depth audit will prevent data breaches regarding highly sensitive information, like credit card information and social security numbers. Before working with a particular vendor, ask if they allow a tour of their facility and audits. In some cases, you may also be able to complete a convenient virtual audit to determine whether a service provider provides a safe and well-matched solution for your recycling needs.
Top-Tier Processing with the Electronic Recyclers at FAMCe
Everyone should dispose of their unused computers properly to protect themselves, their business, and the environment. If you’re interested in recycling old computers, enlist the help of First America Metal Corp. (FAMCe). Our organization has over 30 years of experience assisting businesses with recycling and repurposing their outdated devices.
At FAMCe, we deliver environmentally sustainable solutions for businesses who prefer to dispose of their old devices in a better way. Our high level of expertise and exceptional customer service has built our reputation as the leading company for your recycling needs.
Want to recycle your old devices with confidence? Contact FAMCe today for e-waste disposal that’s ethical and secure.