Recycling Electronics: What Can and Can’t Be Recycled?

Jun 25, 2024

When it comes to responsible recycling of your company’s electronics, the primary focus should be on security. Discarding electronics improperly can lead to data breaches and environmental harm. Here’s a detailed guide to ensure both data protection and environmental sustainability when recycling e-waste.

Security-First Approach to E-Waste Recycling

Data Breach Prevention Recycling electronics without proper data wiping can lead to significant data breaches. Devices like computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets store vast amounts of sensitive information. To protect your company’s data, always turn these devices over to certified recycling companies that guarantee secure data destruction. Certified providers will typically use methods such as degaussing, shredding, or comprehensive data wiping to ensure no recoverable data remains.

Certified Recycling Partners It’s crucial to choose e-waste recycling partners who possess certifications like NAID AAA, e-Stewards and/or R2, which verify their compliance with data protection and other relevant regulations. Certification ensures that the recycler is committed to data security and environmental responsibility. Additionally, providers should comply with other relevant standards like those set by NIST for further assurance of data protection.

Environmental Considerations

Recyclable Electronics Most electronics can be recycled. This includes:

  • Computers and Laptops: These contain valuable metals like copper, silver, and gold, which can be recovered and reused. Proper recycling also involves ensuring that all data is securely erased.
  • Smartphones and Tablets: These devices have recoverable materials like glass, plastics, and lithium-ion batteries. Certified recyclers can securely wipe these devices before recycling.
  • Printers and Copiers: Containing valuable materials, these devices also may have hazardous components like toner and ink, which require careful handling by certified recyclers.
  • Cables and Accessories: Items such as mice, keyboards, and headsets are also recyclable and should be included in your e-waste recycling efforts.

Hard-to-Recycle Electronics Certain electronics contain hazardous materials and are more challenging to recycle:

  • CRT Monitors: These contain lead and other toxic substances and require specialized recycling processes.
  • Older LCD Monitors: These may contain mercury, which is hazardous and needs special handling.
  • Batteries: While some recyclers may not accept them, certified e-waste recycling companies can safely process batteries.

E-Waste Recycling Services in South Dakota and North Dakota

To ensure both the security of your data and the protection of the environment, always use certified e-waste recyclers for your electronic disposal needs. Certified partners ensure that data is thoroughly destroyed and that hazardous materials are handled responsibly.

For businesses in South Dakota and North Dakota, Secure Enterprise Asset Management (SEAM) offers top-notch services in secure data destruction and e-waste recycling. As the only certified organization in the region, SEAM guarantees the secure and environmentally responsible disposal of your electronics. Contact SEAM for a free quote and ensure your company’s compliance with both data security and environmental regulations.

By choosing the right recycling partner, you protect your company’s data, contribute to environmental sustainability, and comply with relevant regulations, ensuring a safe and responsible approach to e-waste management.

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.