Archive for the ‘landfills’Category

One easy solution for Hospitals to comply with HIPAA

Over the past several years, advances in technology for medical and lab equipment have been exploding, rendering new-ish, cutting edge equipment obsolete often before there is time for wear and tear. So where does the out-of-network technology go when its taken its last breath to make room for the even more cutting edge equipment? There are solutions to keeping all this metal and plastic out of the waste stream and comply with regulations set forth by HIPAA.

In addition to medical equipment, hospitals also generate other types of electronic waste such as out-of-use computers, monitors, copy machines and a host of other items referred to as e-Waste. Most importantly, these types of electronic waste do require secure handling of the sensitive data that is contained on their hard drives and other data containing devices.

Photo by renjith krishnan

Photo by renjith krishnan

Hospitals do seem to be cognizant of the piles of un-needed apparatus, and do make attempts to find solutions for proper disposal. Many often turn to asset re-sellers, who buy out-of-use equipment and sell them on the secondary market. But is it safe to give these materials to un-certified vendors who may not comply with HIPAA regulations?

It is crucial that hospitals turn to certified, and secure electronics recyclers who have the ability to handle all of the different types of e-Waste, and to be able to destroy the data contained on electronic devices in line with the standards set forth by R2/RIOS, as well as to comply with the standards set forth by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

What is HIPAA? In 1996, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or the HIPAA was endorsed by the U.S. Congress. The HIPAA Privacy Rule, also called the Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information, provided the first nationally-recognizable regulations for the use/disclosure of an individual’s health information. Essentially, the Privacy Rule defines how covered entities use individually-identifiable health information or the PHI (Personal Health Information). Hospitals and health care facilities of all kinds must comply with these regulations.

Hospitals must consider their large amount of electronics waste and examine secure, safe solutions for handling all of these out-of-use assets. Hospitals need to look for a vendor that offers secure and certified IT Life Cycle Management services, who also offer strategic solutions for the handling of off network technology.

If you are looking for a certified, safe solution to properly and securely dispose of ALL of these different types of e-Waste, turn to PCS of Massachusetts. They are skilled in handling the vast amounts e-Waste generated by hospitals, and provide secure on-site destruction of hard drives and other data-containing devices; while also offering effective and strategic asset re-marketing solutions.

PCS is R2/RIOS certified and meets/exceeds the regulations put forth by not only HIPAA, but by the Department of Defense (DoD), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Security Agency (NSA) and the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST).

INDUSTRY NEWS: Majority of e-waste collected in 2014 not recycled correctly

Waste Dive Brief:
By Nicole Wrona | April 21, 2015 Re-Printed from Waste Dive Website

According to a new report, The Global E-waste Monitor 2014: Quantities, Flows and Resources, the volume of electronic waste discarded around the globe reached 41.8 million tons in 2014. Less than one-sixth of that was considered to be reused or recycled properly.
The report, released by the United Nations University, concluded that almost 60% of e-waste generated worldwide was comprised of kitchen, bath, and laundry appliances.
Two countries, the U.S. and China, disposed of almost one-third of the world’s total volume of electronic waste last year.

Dive Insight:

Computers, cell phones, printers, and other technology made up 7% of the waste; small household appliances like microwaves and toasters accounted for 12.8 million tons of waste; screens made up 6.3 million tons of waste.

The 41.8 million tons of electronics tossed in 2014 had a potential value of $52 billion worth of reusable resources. The report estimates that electronic waste thrown out in 2014 had approximately 16,500 kilotons of iron, 1,900 kilotons of copper and 331 tons of gold, not to mention quantities of silver, aluminum, and palladium.

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!