Recycled E-Waste: Where Does It Go?

Nov 10, 2022

Computing has transformed how businesses operate, offering greater efficiency and removing the barriers to entry for smaller organizations.

Computing devices and equipment have grown at a rapid pace, making it essential for businesses to continuously upgrade and make improvements to their infrastructure to stay competitive. However, the increased reliance on electronics has led to a growing amount of e-waste that companies must learn to deal with.

The Problem of E-Waste

E-waste is both costly and bad for the environment. Old drives and storage devices that have been improperly disposed of present a huge security risk to companies. This opens them up to potential attacks as well as legal liabilities.

Luckily, electronics recycling provides a reliable method for recovering value while securely disposing of assets.

Most people don’t give it a second thought, but there’s actually a fairly complicated process for disposing of recycled e-waste.

Where Does Recycled E-Waste Go?

When companies are done with their e-waste, they don’t just throw it away. Instead, it goes through an IT Asset Disposal (ITAD) process that ensures any valuable digital assets or private user data aren’t exposed.

Equipment that can’t be recovered goes through a destruction process, where it’s either shredded, punctured, or burned to remove any existing data. Any recyclable materials then go through a chain of handlers until they’re either resold into the market or disposed of in a landfill.


The first step in recycling e-waste is having it shipped to a specialized sorting plant capable of retrieving any valuable materials that can be recovered. E-waste is often sold to processing centers within the country or overseas.


The second step in the process of disposing of e-waste is sorting. This is fairly complicated in practice but generally consists of separating usable parts from unusable ones. Iron and steel are extracted with a magnet, while other materials are shredded into smaller pieces.


Once they’ve been sorted, plastics, metals, and other materials are sent for processing. Generally, processing involves dust extraction and water separation to purify the waste stream. Thus prepared, recycled materials can be sold for a profit on the market or reused in new products.

While it might seem like a closed loop, the sad truth is that most e-waste ends up in landfills, where it either sits indefinitely or gets incinerated. Such an end not only wastes valuable materials but also allows toxins to enter the environment, contaminating local ecosystems.

SEAM Manages Your E-Waste From Start to Finish

Is your company’s e-waste disposal process becoming unmanageable? Having a partner that thoroughly understands the electronics recycling process will ensure you retain maximum cost-savings on your old equipment.

With Secure Enterprise Asset Management (SEAM), you won’t be left wondering whether your e-waste was properly handled. We offer secure data destruction and disposal backed by proprietary tracking and reporting capabilities.

Companies in North Dakota and South Dakota that want to reduce their e-waste turn to SEAM for efficient value recovery and remarketing services. Our environmentally safe process is carried out following strict certification requirements, meaning you can maintain compliance and avoid liabilities.

Don’t let your e-waste get out of hand. Contact SEAM today!

SEAM provides IT recycling and data destruction services including onsite shredding and hard drive wiping to South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska.

Schedule a pickup or contact us for more information.