Archive for the ‘cell phone recycling’Category

DON’T BE A 20/20 INVESTIGATION

The last thing you want is to have David Muir ringing your doorbell because an employee left a laptop at Starbucks. This is how data breaches can start, and you are left holding what’s left of your reputation in a paper bag.

Did you ever consider how much information is on your cell phone, IPad and laptop? Think about all the hardware in your office that also contains sensitive data. What happens to it all when you upgrade your hardware? Are PCs stuffed into closets or are they donated without giving thought to the information on the hard drives? If you are part of a corporation or government office, one discarded, geriatric computer could mean utter destruction of your reputation and revenue.

Fortunately for us, there are measures we can take to make sure your data is safe after electronics have worn out their use.

“R2/RIOS™ certification is solely for electronics recyclers to demonstrate to customers that electronics equipment is being recycled with the highest standards for environmental protection, worker health and safety, and data privacy, and facility security. R2/RIOS™ is a combination of the Responsible Recycling (R2) Practices and the Recycling Industry Operating Standard™ (RIOS™).

R2 was developed by a broad-based cooperative of electronics recycling stakeholders that included the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), state governments, manufacturers, recyclers, trade groups and non-governmental organizations. RIOS™ is the sole program on the market that combines quality, environmental, health and safety requirements in a single management system.”*

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has also developed guidelines for data destruction and e-Waste security to protect your name from being added to this list.

NIST 800-88 Hard Drive Destruction/NIST 800-88 Data Destruction Guidelines: This document assists organizations in implementing proper and applicable techniques and controls for hard drive data disposal. Even the Internal Revenue Service follows the guidance set forth by NIST. Along with NIST, The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) also uphold strict regulations.

Compliance requires more than simply shredding or erasing hard drives. Proper reporting is required under NIST 800-88. The following information is only a portion of the guidelines set forth by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Wiping: “Wiping” a hard drive refers to using specialized software to purge a drive of all accessible data. The upside to this method is that the device is still usable after the process because nothing has affected the hardware.

The downside is that wiping software cannot be guaranteed. The process is lengthy, tedious and open to human error.

Degaussing: Degaussing involves a process where a hard drive is exposed to a high powered magnetic field which changes the alignment of the magnetic domain where the data is stored, thus “erasing” the data.

When functioning properly, the process can be effective. However this process is lengthy and also affected by human error.

Shredding: Shredding is the safest and the most secure option for data destruction because the hard drive or device is physically shredded into tiny particles.

The benefits of shredding? The process is fast and final. You can choose to watch it happen either in person or by video so you can be assured that all your items have been properly disposed. Afterwards, you will get a certificate of destruction.

Although there are different options for handling your data destruction needs, shredding is the only fail-safe solution to guarantee that your sensitive information never ends up in the wrong hands.

*R2/RIOS

Eight Items you Didn’t Know you Could Recycle

Most people know by now that recycling helps save our Earth. With the number of landfills in the United States increasing, and the majority of waste in these landfills being electronics waste, there is so much more work that needs to be done in reducing waste and keeping the environment safe.electronic-waste-trashcan

What exactly is e-Waste?

What exactly is e-Waste and what can be recycled? The term “e-Waste” is an abbreviation of “electronic waste”. According to StEP (Solving the eWaste Problem), who is a United Nations partner organization, “E-Waste is a term used to cover items of all types of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) and its parts that have been discarded by the owner as waste without the intention of re-use.”

End-of-life televisions, computers, copiers, laptops, monitors, medical/lab equipment, refrigerators and GPS devices are just a few examples of e-Waste that needs to be recycled rather than thrown away.

Where does all the e-Waste go?

Accelerating product innovations and replacement – especially in ICT (Information and Communication Technology) and office/medical/lab equipment – combined with the change from analog to digital technologies (ex. to flat-screen TVs and monitors) – are feeding the increase. Fueling this growth is the decrease in the cost of electronic items making them more affordable to consumers.

As more electronics are manufactured, and subsequently replace their out-of-date cousins, where do all the old ones go?

Some of us do try to re-use and recycle our old electronics. However many of us also have e-Waste that remains in basements, attics and storage rooms – out of sight, out of mind.

Although we are doing a better job of recycling paper and cardboard, more attention needs to be given to e-Waste and its proper disposal. Many have steered away from recycling certain products because they weren’t aware that these items can be re-used and recycled – or simply thought it was inconvenient and stashed them away for another day.

PCS of Massachusetts CEO Lisa DiPaolo Bacewicz amidst the current stream of electronics in the process of being recycled at her facility in Weymouth. Chris Bernstein photo

PCS of Massachusetts CEO Lisa DiPaolo Bacewicz amidst the current stream of electronics in the process of being recycled at her facility in Weymouth. Chris Bernstein photo

In addition to recycling computers, printers and such, the following list contains eleven items often thrown away in the past, but can be re-used and recycled today. These items are not allowed in door-side recycling bins. Call a certified electronics recycling company to help you properly dispose of the following items.

1) Batteries: The more batteries that end up in landfills, the more volatile the landfills become – bad for our Earth.

2) VHS and cassette tapes: Are you still holding onto leftover VHS and cassette tapes? These items can be recycled.

3) Ink jet and laser cartridges: Most people toss the empty cartridges in the trash which is a no no.

4) CDs, DVDs, Game Disks: These plastic orbs are stuffing our landfills. These can be efficiently shredded at a responsible recycling company.

5) Fluorescent Bulbs (CFLs): Energy efficient- yes – but there are hidden dangers sealed inside each little bulb, such as Mercury, where the contents of one light bulb contains enough mercury to contaminate 6,000 gallons of water.

6) Cell phones: Only 10% are re-used. In a recent announcement made by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) at this year’s Mobile World Congress “There are more in-use cell phones than there are people on the planet right now.” Where will all the old phones go?

7) Cameras/Camcorders: As technology advances in camera technology, where are all the out-of-use cameras going? Recycle them instead of tossing into the trash/landfills!

8) Power Cords/Power Supplies: As the end-of-life electrics are rendered obsolete – so go their power supplies.

What can we do?

Contact a certified, responsible recycling company who will advise you as to how to properly dispose of your e-Waste. Help keep our environment safe!