The Risks of Electronics Recycling on America Recycles Day

As we celebrate America Recycles Day, organizations across the country are pledging and showing their support for recycling. At SEAM, we want to remind Sioux Falls and surrounding area businesses of the risks they face when recycling electronics and IT equipment.

Properly managing the disposal of end-of-life IT assets is a great way to promote sustainability, but it also exposes you to great risks if done incorrectly.

What are the risks?

Data Security. While most data security programs are focused on keeping threats out of your network, the need for proper handling of retired physical assets is often overlooked. Securing data on end-of-use assets is vital to preventing exposure of protected information (i.e. PII, PHI, proprietary and other confidential data).

Reputation. The strength of a company’s brand and image is key to the success of any organization. Stakeholders want to invest in and work for companies that take their responsibilities seriously. With hundreds of assets leaving your facilities over time, it only takes one incident of a lost, misplaced or exposed asset ending up in the wrong place to do significant damage to your brand.

Environmental. Ensuring electronics do not reach landfills or get exported to developing countries is not just good for the environment, it's good business. A direct link can be made between commitments to corporate sustainability and financial performance. Environmental requirements mandated by local, state and federal authorities also carry hefty fines and penalties if not in compliance.

Financial. By properly handling end-of-use or end-of-life electronic equipment, you can effectively take control of the costs associated with the removal, safe handling, transport and processing of equipment and mitigate any financial risk of fines or penalties from improper disposal.

Time & Efficiency. Unless your business is rooted in IT asset disposition, off-network equipment management is not a core concern. A well thought out and managed program will create the efficiencies that will allow you to focus on your primary goals.

Compliance. The ever-changing regulatory landscape makes it nearly impossible to comply with industry standards and corporate policies. When managing electronic assets, a transparent, well-documented, chain-of-custody lets you breathe easy.

How risky is your current program? Take SEAM's online Risk Assessment quiz to see how you stack up.

Choosing the right ITAD Vendor:

When looking for an ITAD partner, not just anyone will do. With so many options, there are many companies who take inappropriate disposal shortcuts to make a quick buck, putting you at risk. An organization seeking an IT asset disposition vendor should consider the compliance track record, data security, and environmental policies of the potential provider. References, expertise and pricing should also play a factor when deciding who to go with.

Luckily, the ITAD industry has recognized third-party certifications to do much of this research for you. If an electronics recycling and resale vendor is certified to R2, e-Stewards and/or NAID, you can trust they will handle your IT assets securely and responsibly. However, BE CAREFUL, as some vendors will make false certification claims just to get your business. Always double check a company is certified by going to the third-party certification website and finding their company name in the official directories.

As an IT executive, the disposition of IT assets isn’t usually at the top of your priority list. However, it is essential to follow best practices to ensure your organization isn’t compromised during IT equipment disposition.

SEAM provides a full range of secure ITAD services and supports your corporate sustainability goals by cost-effectively refurbishing and recycling IT equipment. Contact us today to see how we can help you, or take our online Risk Assessment quiz to see how risky your current program really is.

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.