Is It Time to Find a New Partner for E-waste Disposal?

While often overlooked, choosing the right ITAD provider is a vitally important decision for your company. ITAD — also known as IT asset disposition — involves safely decommissioning electronic equipment. When such e-waste disposal isn’t handled correctly, it has toxic effects on the environment and places your company in danger of experiencing a data breach.

Unfortunately, you can’t simply restore your out-of-date electronic devices to factory settings and toss them in the trash. For example, even when you delete files from your laptop, sensitive information can remain deep within the computer’s hard drive. If that information falls into the wrong hands, it could cause devastating harm to your business and reputation.

That’s why the best way to get rid of your unwanted electronics safely and securely is by partnering with a certified ITAD provider. However, you must perform your due diligence before selecting an ITAD provider, or your company could get into quite a bit of trouble.

Morgan Stanley discovered the perils of working with the wrong e-waste recyclers firsthand upon hiring a company to decommission their unwanted electronic equipment. The company that Morgan Stanley chose failed to erase data from the electronic devices properly. Accusing them of “ignoring industry standards,” the following suit eventually resulted in $60 million in fines and penalties. 

This is just one example that illustrates why it’s in your company’s best interest to choose an ITAD provider that adheres to established environmental and data safety protocols. If you’re questioning whether or not your current ITAD provider is the best partner, this article will help you make the right choice for your company.

The Dangers of Untrustworthy E-Waste Recyclers

It is only natural for companies to desire the newest, most efficient electronic devices. As a result, most organizations upgrade their electronic devices regularly. However, this leaves them with unwanted electronic devices that must be disposed of properly.

In an attempt to reduce expenses, many companies export electronic waste to developing countries, such as Ghana, India, and China — despite most countries having laws against the importation of electronic waste. But this practice can incite problems that could have been easily avoided with an American-based, certified e-waste recycling company.

When agencies in developing countries obtain these devices, they typically dump the electronics straight into landfills, where the chemicals corrode the environment. Toxic substances like mercury, lead, lithium, and other chemicals break down from electronic components, contaminating the soil and plants. 

In addition, these chemicals also damage groundwater, which disrupts the food chain while also posing numerous health risks, including reproductive issues, cancer, and immune system damage. When e-waste isn’t disposed of ethically, even the air isn’t safe from pollution. Many unethical e-waste disposal companies burn unwanted electronics, releasing greenhouse gases that deplete the ozone layer.

Data Security and E-Waste Recycling

Certified ITAD servicers can bring significant value to your company. When you partner with high-quality ITAD providers, they should have the qualifications necessary to ensure that the ITAD process is low-cost, efficient, and meets regulatory requirements for data security standards and environmental compliance. If they do not have these certifications and a record of reliability, you could be putting your data at risk with untrustworthy partners.

Studies show that 25% of data breaches are caused by negligence, including improper e-waste recycling practices. The leading cause of negligence-related data breaches is failing to eradicate sensitive company data from electronic assets. Your company’s electronic devices may store employee and client information, including Social Security numbers, addresses, credit card numbers, and more. This information must be properly handled to defend against illicit access. However, it can be difficult to ensure that all traces of such data is destroyed.

When companies send their e-waste to an untrustworthy recycling company, they may not fully erase the information within the device before reselling its components. As a result, people who purchase these devices could gain access to the company’s sensitive data. Reports state that a negligent data breach could cost your company $128 per record, not to mention the cost of legal fees and repairing a damaged reputation.

Choosing the Right ITAD Provider

Avoid issues in environmental non-compliance or data vulnerability by working with a certified ITAD provider. The most widely accredited electronic waste recycling certifications available are the R2 and eStewards certifications. These certifications adhere to the EPA’s e-waste recycling standards, which ensure environmental compliance and a commitment to protecting your sensitive data. ITAD providers with these certifications are the most reliable companies in the industry. Furthermore, certified e-waste recycling companies also provide proof of data destruction for your company records and liability protection.

In addition to the proper certifications, there are a few other qualities that your ITAD provider should possess. Ask the following questions before working with an ITAD provider.

  • Do they offer full life cycle management? The best ITAD providers will work with you throughout each step of the disposition process and help you remain organized each step of the way. ITAD providers may even help you implement a program that defines your asset types, the protocol for tracking them, how to access the data, and the best methods of disposal.
  • Do they offer commodities recycling and device resale? Although electronic assets lose their value quickly, the materials and parts remain valuable. ITAD providers will extract useful materials within the electronics and resell them to earn a profit. When reputable e-waste recyclers resell your devices or their materials, they will share a portion of the profits with you to reinvest the funds back into your company. Finding these opportunities to reuse assets is better for your bottom line and the environment.
  • Do they display rigor in their process? The best ITAD companies have effective workflows and compliance checks to ensure that everything goes smoothly. At FAMCe, we’ll listen to your specific needs and work with you to create a convenient plan for your company.

Safely Dispose of Your Company’s E-Waste with FAMCe

Choosing the right e-waste recycling company can be challenging, but there are certified, reputable e-waste recyclers that will dispose of your company’s electronic devices properly. So when you’re looking for an e-waste recycler, partner with a company you can trust.

FAMCe has over 30 years of experience helping businesses safely and responsibly recycle their outdated devices. Offering ITAD services, data destruction, and commodities processing, we provide comprehensive asset management for your team. Our high level of expertise and exceptional customer service have built our reputation as an industry leader, and we are committed to exceeding each client’s needs and expectations.

Want to recycle your old devices with confidence? Contact FAMCe today for e-waste disposal that’s ethical and secure.

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