thumbnail image for blog post: Why You Shouldn't Throw Old Electronics in the Trash

We live in a disposable culture.  For convenience, we have all kinds of disposable goods, from bottles and straws, to plates and cups, to Q-tips and diapers.  Even our electronics can seem disposable at times.  Instead of fixing old televisions or toasters, we simply get rid of them and upgrade to something newer and better.

When it’s time for your business to purchase new equipment, you might well think the best course of action is to dump old electronics and move on.  However, there are several reasons why this is the wrong way to go.  Here are just a few things to consider before throwing your old electronics in the trash.

Trash Becomes Public Property

As soon as something goes in the trash, it becomes public property, which means anyone can dig around in your dumpsters and claim it.  The old adage about one man’s trash being another man’s treasure is apropos, since data mining has become so incredibly lucrative.

When you toss old electronics in the trash, even if you wipe them first, there’s always a chance some remnants of confidential data could remain, allowing for reclamation by savvy thieves with the right software.  In order to protect your customers and your business from the repercussions of such theft, you must properly destroy and recycle at least certain components of your old equipment and devices.

It Can be Illegal

Dumping e-waste is a major no-no.  Although environmental laws related to e-waste vary from state to state, it’s important to take a forward-thinking stance where e-waste disposal is concerned as laws become stricter all the time.

When you send old electronics to the landfill, there’s a chance of pollution from toxic materials like lead, mercury, cadmium, and beryllium, just for example.  If you want to be a responsible company and a contributing member of your community, avoiding polluting the local environs is a good start.

Of course, there are privacy laws to consider, as well.  If you want to remain in compliance with applicable federal, state, and local laws, as well as notable industry regulations, dumping electronics is out of the question.  You must dispose of them in keeping with the law to avoid issues like data breach and identity theft, as well as resulting penalties and other repercussions.

It’s an Unnecessary Risk

Even if you think you have a system in place to completely eradicate confidential data from hard drives and devices, tossing old equipment is still an unnecessary risk, from both a privacy and an environmental standpoint.  Considering there are so many other avenues to explore, there’s just no reason to shoulder such undue risk in this day and age.

There’s a Better Option

If you’re adept at wiping and overwriting hard drives, you might consider using a local e-waste disposal facility to recycle outdated equipment.  The only issue here is that these public service providers aren’t exactly known for their level of security or follow-through.

The best option is to partner with a reputable and certified data destruction specialist like SEAM that not only eradicates data before physically destroying equipment, but also provides you with proof of destruction for your records and your peace of mind.  Contact SEAM today at 605-274-SEAM (7326) to lock down proper destruction of your old electronics.