Posts Tagged ‘electronics’

E-Waste not want not

Are old computers, monitors and power supplies piling up around you? Now is the time to PROPERLY get rid of ALL the old electronics hanging around your place of work. PC Survivors of Massachusetts, LLC (PCS MASS) is your one-stop shop for the responsible disposal of everything electronic.

Why can’t you just throw it all out on the curb, toss in the dumpster or go to the dump? Quite simply, improper disposal of e-waste (electronics waste) is illegal and a danger to the environment. “But it’s just a cell phone/battery/hard drive/etc.” you may ask. “Maybe if I hide it in a trash bag and toss, nobody will notice?” You can be well assured our Earth will notice. As will the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) when they serve you up a severe fine.

Actually the materials inside of electrical devices can be a danger if not securely disposed. Imagine a land-fill chock full of e-waste where they will eventually release pollutants like nickel, lead, cadmium and mercury into our air, ground water and soil. Think of children brushing there teeth with this water – yuck – and extremely health hazardous. How about the fresh produce we eat and the grass-fed beef we consume? Think of the soil from which plants sprout. The long-term effects are scary.

Equally, if not more frightening, according to the EPA Americans disposed of 3,420,000 TONS of e-waste in 2012 (most recent year there is data).

E-waste is defined as any discarded electronic/electrical device (computers, cell phones, televisions, medical equipment, etc.), and is the fastest growing sector of waste in the United States.

Everybody needs to do their part and REUSE, RECOVER and RECYCLE! PCS MASS is one of the few RIOS/R2* certified recyclers in New England who are compliant with state and federal regulators such as NSA*, NIST*, DoD* and HIPPA*. What exactly do all these acronyms mean? Quite simply, they mean that PCS MASS upholds the highest standards for responsible electronics recycling. (If you like to translate acronyms – see below *)

What sets PCS MASS apart from other companies who also recycle e-waste, is that we are certified to ALSO PROVIDE SECURE on-site and off-site DATA DESTRUCTION; regulated by these same mandates.

There are several simple choices as to how to dispose of your e-waste. If you are in New England, first call PCS MASS 1-844-514-5093 or check out our website www.pcsmass.com. PCS MASS has large trucks that will come to your office, hospital, building, lab and safely pick up your e-waste. Or you can call first and schedule to drop it at our warehouse in Weymouth, MA. Every item will be documented and you will receive certification of secure disposal.

Here is a partial list of e-waste that is most-likely accumulating in your office now!

PCs/Laptops/Notebooks/Tablets
Servers/Server Racks/Network Equipment
Hard Drives/DLT Tape/Memory Chips/Circuit Cards
LCD Monitors
Cell Phones/Cameras/CD,DVD, VHS Players
Printers/Faxes/Copiers
Batteries/UPS
Keyboards/Mice/Cords/Cables
POS Equipment
Medical/Lab/Dental Equipment
Plus much more-(see www.pcsmass.com for a complete list)

If everyone puts forth a little extra effort and responsibly disposes of e-waste, we can use the almost 3.5 million tons of space currently taken up year over year, by this needless waste – for something good. How about organic farms? Parks? E-Waste in our landfills – NOT!

* Acronyms:
RIOS/R2: Responsible Industry Operating Standard/Recycle and Reuse
NSA: National Security Agency
NIST:National Institute of Standards and Technology
DoD: Department of Defense
HIPAA: Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

Safeguarding Data: Shred or delete these financial documents

Jeff Jaffe has a great rundown of what to get rid of this year after your taxes are done. Just call it mid-Spring cleaning. You can check out the full article here at the Enterprise. In addition to shredding documents with sensitive materials and information, Jaffe recommends being as vigilant with your computer files.

While getting rid of or changing electronic data doesn’t have the same visceral thrill of shredding the enemy into little bits, literally, it’s a challenge that most consumers need to take on, particularly in light of the Heartbleed bug, which taught us that threats can be sudden and come from nowhere even if initial scares over how much data is vulnerable might be overblown.

Jaffe says that most people keep too much paperwork/information around mostly because they don’t know what to get rid of and don’t have a plan to trim the excess. He offers up a list of forms and files you should examine when trying to rid your self of clutter.

Tax records:

Unless you’re filing fraudulent returns – for which there is no statute of limitations – reduce income tax returns into several stacks of paperwork

Old tax returns – especially those covering the purchase or sale of property – can be important for compiling future returns, possibly decades into the future. Thus, keeping the return documents in perpetuity is prudent, though not necessary when returns are decades old and several residences in the past; most tax preparers keep copies of your documents for the life of your advisory relationship, so you may have back-up there too.

“Support documents” – the receipts, bills and tax forms on which you based your tax math – must be kept for three years after a return is due. Purge the bulging pile of stuff from the 2010 return (filed in 2011, so the three-year holding period has passed).

Investment papers: Due to rules changes phased in since 2011, brokerage houses now provide cost information on stock purchases, mutual funds, options, bonds and other securities.

Don’t be too quick to shred old trading confirmations, however. Financial-services firms had to establish/maintain records beginning the year the rules went into effect (so 2011 for stocks, 2012 for mutual funds, etc.). Until you know the firm’s records are correct and complete, keep your trade confirmations.

Do, however, shred investment papers you don’t need. Year-end statements show all transactions for the year, allowing you to discard all monthly/quarterly documents except that year-ender.

Pay stubs, bank statements, canceled checks and consumer bills/receipts:

Your last paystub is useful for cross-checking your employer’s tax reporting, getting the value of donations made through payroll deductions and, depending on circumstances, recording the amount of money you paid for health-care coverage; all the rest – provided you got what you are entitled to and there are no disputes with your employer – have no value whatsoever.

Canceled checks today generally are mini images on a bank statement. You don’t need to keep records showing that you bought groceries or made a co-pay at the doctor’s office in 2010 or, worse, 1997. You should have clipped images with tax ramifications, making them part of your support documentation.

Old credit-card statements, utility bills, department-store and service-station charge card bills and the alike also get shredded in most circumstances. Anything covering tax-deductible expenses – like your electric bill if you have an office at home and deduct utility costs – gets treated like a support document.

Documents stored on electronic devices:

The rules here are the same – don’t keep things you don’t need – but also be sure your platform is secure. “A lot of people now use apps where they take pictures of documents with their smart phone and it scans them, and they store the documents, but they still have the pictures on their smart phone,” said Becky Frost, senior manager of consumer education, Experian Consumer Services. “You may not worry about clutter the way you do with paper documents, but you do have to worry about safety and identity theft.”

Passwords:

Consider this spring maintenance rather than “spring cleaning,” but several surveys have shown that at least two-thirds of people never change passwords or use one password for all accounts.

If you’re looking for a RELIABLE and RESPONSIBLE asset disposal service, PCS of Massachusetts is ready and willing to help you recycle your electronics and destroy your data.  PC Survivors of Massachusetts, L.L.C.  (R2) Certified,  86 Finnell Drive Unit 6,Weymouth, MA 02188 /Cell: 781-635-6281 /Office: 781-335-1220 / Fax: 781-335-1499 / www.pcsmass.com

30

04 2014

Recycling: Will You Be a Part of the Problem or the Solution

There’s a very interesting article over at PC Magazine called ‘ Are You Part of the E-Waste Problem or the Solution?’. Published to commemorate Earth Day (April 22), author Ibrahim Abdul-Matin calls on consumers to find out the specifics of proper recycling practices.

He asks, “what is your relationship to the planet? Do you know where the basic components of the items you use every day come from? Are you aware of the full life cycle of your products? Do you know where your batteries and other toxic materials land when you’re through with them? If you do not, then today, Earth Day, is the day to figure it out.”

Abdul-Matin also asks readers to self evaulate, adding the problem of e-waste isn’t going away anytime soon.

There are those who deny the existence of a problem. Second, there are those who exist in a constant state of fear, bombarding everyone with doomsday scenarios. Third, there are those who recognize a problem and seek to find a solution.

When Earth Day started we were just beginning to understand the power of computing in the popular imagination. Early innovators were fascinated by Moore’s Law. Now, as we inch closer and closer to singularity we have to wonder – how far are we getting from the planet that has traditionally sustained us? The reality is that the tech community is a critical part of the solution – as much as it is part of the problem.

There’s another PC article here, detailing ‘How to Recycle Your Technology.’

The best thing to do with this growing accumulation of old electronic equipment is to donate or recycle it. Donate your old computers and phones whenever you can to groups that will fix and clean them up and then put them back to good use. Even the oldest computer, something you consider the most obsolete of digital dinosaurs, can probably be used by someone.

If you’re looking for a RELIABLE and RESPONSIBLE asset disposal service, PCS of Massachusetts is ready and willing to help you recycle your electronics and destroy your data.  PC Survivors of Massachusetts, L.L.C.  (R2) Certified,  86 Finnell Drive Unit 6,Weymouth, MA 02188 /Cell: 781-635-6281 /Office: 781-335-1220 / Fax: 781-335-1499 / www.pcsmass.com

29

04 2014

Earth Day 2014 is on April 22

Earth Day is celebrated globally this month and there’s a ton of things you can do to show you care about the earth. Check out the full list of Earth Day pledges you can make here.  Properly recycling your e-waste is also a big part of the green push. Did you know that more than 50 million tons of electronic waste (e-waste) is generated each year in the U.S. alone and that only 20-25% of the waste is responsibly recycled?

As a direct consequence, large amounts of hazardous materials such as lead, mercury, and cadmium leach into our air and water, contaminating our communities. Help end this dangerous practice by pledging to recycle your e-waste in a safe and responsible manner.

If you’re looking for a RELIABLE and RESPONSIBLE asset disposal service, PCS of Massachusetts is ready and willing to help you recycle your electronics and destroy your data.  PC Survivors of Massachusetts, L.L.C.  (R2) Certified,  86 Finnell Drive Unit 6,Weymouth, MA 02188 /Cell: 781-635-6281 /Office: 781-335-1220 / Fax: 781-335-1499 / www.pcsmass.com

09

04 2014

News: How Do U.S. Computers End Up in Ghana

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the U.S. produces 300 million tons of electronic waste annually, according to an RT.com video.  Americans frequently upgrade their TVs, cell phones, computers and other electronic devices. About 80 percent of that ends up in domestic landfills or is recycled overseas, according to the report.

Disposing of e-waste legally and responsibly has been a political and a practical headache for years and a growing appetite for electronics around the world is only fueling the problem.

If you’re looking for a RELIABLE and RESPONSIBLE asset disposal service, PCS of Massachusetts is ready and willing to help you recycle your electronics and destroy your data.  PC Survivors of Massachusetts, L.L.C.  (R2) Certified,  86 Finnell Drive Unit 6,Weymouth, MA 02188 /Cell: 781-635-6281 /Office: 781-335-1220 / Fax: 781-335-1499 / www.pcsmass.com

09

04 2014

News: 50m tons of e-waste generated every year in the UK

It’s not breaking news that e-waste numbers have been steadily rising, but it a bit shocking to read that in the UK 50 million tons of e-waste is currently being generated every year. In addition, researchers are convinced the number will continue to rise.

In an article over at the Guardian this week, writer Duncan Jeffries spoke with the Electronics TakeBack Coalition (ETBC), a group of organisations that promote green design and responsible recycling in the electronics industry.

“We’re buying more, getting rid of it [more quickly] and design changes are, in some ways, making recycling even more challenging,” says Barbara Kyle, the ETBC’s UK co-ordinator.

In fact, only around 13% of the e-waste generated each year is recycled. The increasing amounts of digital tech brought by middle-class consumers in China, India and Africa is a growing part of the problem. If the trend continues, the annual amount of global e-waste will be 65m tonnes by 2017, according to the STEP initiative (also known as solving the e-waste problem). Couple this with shortages of some rare earth metals and other resources from mining operations, and it is clear that something needs to change.

Part of the solution involves “closing the loop”, which in this context means reclaiming and reusing valuable materials from discarded devices in an ethical, environmentally friendly way.

Environmental Protection Agency figures suggest that recycling 1m mobile phones could recover 50 pounds of gold, 550 pounds of silver, 20 pounds of palladium and more than 20,000 pounds of copper. All of which helps to make the case for “urban mining”, reclaiming some of these valuable resources from the mountains of digital junk already out there.

If you’re looking for a reliable asset disposal service, PCS of Massachusetts is ready and willing to help you recycle your electronics and destroy your data.  PC Survivors of Massachusetts, L.L.C.  (R2) Certified,  86 Finnell Drive Unit 6,Weymouth, MA 02188 /Cell: 781-635-6281 /Office: 781-335-1220 / Fax: 781-335-1499 / www.pcsmass.com

09

04 2014

The Dangers of Dumping E-Waste into Landfills

E-Waste such as old computers, tablets and even cell phones are piling up in American homes as new technology emerges everyday. Improper disposal of this waste can contaminate groundwater and the surrounding environments by releasing the toxic substances used to build these machines.

Take for instance cell phones. Many cell phone batteries contain Arsenic, a highly poisonous substance, which, if allowed to leak out into the environment, can cause severe skin problems even at low levels of exposure.

Cell phone batteries also contain lead, as does the solder used in putting together certain parts of the handset. Lead can damage the nervous system of humans and animals, as well as causing extensive damage to any local plant life. Disastrously, up to 40% of all of the lead found in landfill sites are from consumer electronics.

Mercury is found in many different parts of a cellphone, and because it is in a liquid form at room temperature, it can very easily find its way into streams and rivers. From there, it starts to build up and finds its way into the food chain. To put it bluntly, fish ingests it and then we consume fish. Mercury can cause all sorts of problems to health as a result of exposure which range from brain damage, to birth defects and miscarriage.

Instead, Recycle

Electronic products are made from valuable resources and materials, including metals, plastics, and glass, all of which require energy to mine and manufacture. Donating or recycling consumer electronics conserves our natural resources and avoids air and water pollution, as well as greenhouse gas emissions that are caused by manufacturing virgin materials.

Here are a few interesting facts about e-waste recycling and some tips on how to prepare your electronics for the process via the U.S. EPA

For example:

  • Recycling one million laptops saves the energy equivalent to the electricity used by more than 3,500 US homes in a year.
  • For every million cell phones we recycle, 35 thousand pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold, and 33 pounds of palladium can be recovered.

Before Donating or Recycling Your Used Electronics

  • For your computer or laptop, consider upgrading the hardware or software instead of buying a brand new product.
  • Delete all personal information from your electronics.
  • Remove any batteries from your electronics, they may need to be recycled separately.

 

If you’re looking for a reliable asset disposal service, PCS of Massachusetts is ready and willing to help you recycle your electronics and destroy your data.  PC Survivors of Massachusetts, L.L.C.  (R2) Certified,  86 Finnell Drive Unit 6,Weymouth, MA 02188 /Cell: 781-635-6281 /Office: 781-335-1220 / Fax: 781-335-1499 / www.pcsmass.com

18

03 2014

News: Apple celebrates 30 years of Macintosh

The Mac computer turned 30 last week. Apple’s version of a home computer hit the market on January 24, 1984. Since then Apple has grown into a giant, invented incredible new technology (iPod, iPhone, iPod) and changed the way people purchase music.  But, the Mac is where it all started for Apple.

In an article over at Personal Tech, Beth Pinsker interviewed a slurry of Mac enthusiasts about their first purchases and how much they’ve spent on Apple products to date. The numbers are pretty intense.

Laurie Duncan, owner of MacSamurai Consulting and founder of a fan site for owners of the short-lived Power Mac G4 Cube

First Mac: A used Mac Classic in 1991, from the classified section of a free paper, for US$1,200, plus US$1,100 to max out the memory. “It had considerably less memory than a phone has today,” Duncan says.

The big list: Duncan switched to a Mac Portable next. She then bought a series of PowerBooks, probably about a dozen over time.

Now Duncan upgrades constantly and says she has averaged about US$6,000 a year for the past decade. And yes, she knows that adds up to more than US$60,000. “I had 12 iPods at one point.”

Her obsession with the G4 Cube, which Apple quickly discontinued, turned into a business that offers consulting services, custom cases, components and repairs. “It’s a great machine,” she says. “Was it Apple’s best mistake? Worst mistake? I don’t know.”

Total: At least US$75,000

Over to the fine folks of iPhone Canada who found a collection of advertisements and key note speeches given by Steve Jobs at the time of the initial Mac launch.  The group responsible for the collection is EverySteveJobsVideo, a YouTube channel that aims to be a digital archive for the former Apple co-founder. On Friday they released a special YouTube list that is strongly related to this groundbreaking event that took place on January 24, 1984.

If you’re looking for even more Mac. Well, let me point you to Steven Levy at Wired, who sums the anniversary and Jobs success up nicely. In 1984, Levy interviewed Jobs for Rolling Stone. In the following excerpt, he talks about meeting with jobs just prior to the launch of the ad campaign.

I have to admit my first moments with Jobs were not auspicious. He complained again that the story would not be on the cover. Then he proceeded to use scatological terms to describe a recent Rolling Stone story about MTV. I interrupted the rant by informing him that I had written that story. Jobs simply changed the subject.

At dinner, though, he was loquacious, candid, and of course wildly enthusiastic about the launch. He portrayed Apple as a pirate aggregation that was civilization’s last hope against an evil dominant force — just like in the commercial. (He spoke about the 1984 ad with some wistfulness, since at that time the Apple board had decided not to run it on television. Of course, it reversed that decision).

He was also wildly dramatic about what he might do if the world didn’t understand the excellence of his creation — perhaps go to Italy and ride motorcycles, he said. He also talked about the future of Apple, sharing its dream that it would grow to be worth $10 billion. But, he said, he hoped it would be a $10 billion company that did not lose its soul.

That brings us to the end. 30 years of Mac computers also means 30 years of junked hardware. Over at MacWorld, they have a rundown of how to recycle your computer, which i’ll sum up for you here. 1. Don’t Throw it Out 2. Erase your Hard Drive 3. Donate It.

For help with the first two of those options, PCS of Massachusetts is there for you. That’s exactly what we do. We recycle and provide Data Destruction for your computers and hard drives.

If you’re looking for a reliable asset disposal service, PCS of Massachusetts is ready and willing to help you recycle your electronics and destroy your data.  PC Survivors of Massachusetts, L.L.C.  (R2) Certified,  86 Finnell Drive Unit 6,Weymouth, MA 02188 /Cell: 781-635-6281 /Office: 781-335-1220 / Fax: 781-335-1499 / www.pcsmass.com

28

01 2014

News: America Recycles Day celebrated on Nov. 15

America Recycles Day may sound like a new holiday but it was founded in 1997 and since then has cause to encourage people to recycle 365 days a year. Given that the United States is second only to China in most trash produced, it may be one of the most important days of the year.

According to the America Recycles Day website, 48,512 people signed up to pledge that they would recycle more going forward.

Sponsored by Keep America Beautiful, America Recycles Days is designated to educate citizens how to recycle in their communities and to renew their recycling efforts.

In a recent opinion piece Mary Beth Calan on Wickedlocal.com, the of Mary Beth Calnan/Belmont Recycling Coordinator of Belmont wrote about the holiday and what Massachusetts residents can do to boost their own recycling production.

It is especially important to follow recycling collection regulations now more than ever. China is enforcing strict standards for waste imports and prohibiting containers filled with contaminated recycling to be unloaded at their docks. These actions have been labeled ‘Operation Green Fence’ and are imposed to protect China’s environment, which has been polluted by the recycling industry. These stricter regulations are having an effect in the U.S. forcing higher standards at the recycling facilities. The contaminated recycling that routinely went to China now needs to be dealt with here.

Don’t focus on recycling more, focus on trashing less. A crazy statement coming from a recycling coordinator, but the goal is to have fewer items go in the trash. It would be better for a family of four to put out one trash barrel with one bin full of paper and one bin full of containers rather than three trash barrels with four bins of containers (mostly single serve plastic water bottles) and four bags of paper. Why? A family of four that has only one barrel of trash is doing a great job of reducing and reusing. They reduce by buying less stuff, buying in bulk, and looking for products that have less packaging. They reuse by donating unwanted clothing, books, and toys, using reusable mugs, water bottles and bags, and renting or sharing items that are used less frequently. Learning how to reduce and reuse results in having less stuff to throw away.

If you’re looking for a reliable asset disposal service, PCS of Massachusetts is ready and willing to help you recycle your electronics and destroy your dataPC Survivors of Massachusetts, L.L.C.  (R2) Certified,  86 Finnell Drive Unit 6,Weymouth, MA 02188 /Cell: 781-635-6281 /Office: 781-335-1220 / Fax: 781-335-1499 / www.pcsmass.com

17

11 2013

News: California Recycler Dumps Electronics, Keeps Cash

Last week, a CBS affiliate out of San Francisco reported that Dow Management (a third party, who is supposed to safely process the most toxic part of electronic waste: the leaded CRT glass) has skipped town, trashed and left behind hundreds of pounds of e-waste (in Arizona) and kept half a million dollars in public funds.

Consumers who buy a new TV or computer pay an extra fee to dispose of old electronics. But the owner of a company that disposes of electronic waste has made off with hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees, and left behind quite a mess.

“Arizona has become a dumping ground. We have seen at least three warehouses chock full of this material and the owners have abandoned ship,” Jim Puckett, the founder of the Basel Action Network said.

 In the desert town of Yuma, glass from old TVs and monitors, called CRT or Cathode Ray Tube glass, have been abandoned in huge warehouses. “It’s got lead in the glass, it’s got toxic phosphors, this very thin powder all over this material, there is cadmium and lead compounds in that fine dust,” he said.

Currently, the state is now ordering eight California recyclers who sent their glass to Dow Management to clear out the warehouses in Yuma and truck it to a new processor, at their own expense.

“California’s e-waste recycling program pays California businesses to do the right thing, and if they don’t do the right thing, if they are caught, they will either not be paid or we will come after them and get our money back,” Jeff Hunts with CalRecycle said.

According to PC Survivors of Masschusetts CEO Lisa Bacewicz , “PCS is R2 Certified and has a closure plan  in place to ensure that this situation would never occur at our site.” So, there.

If you’re looking for a reliable asset disposal service, PCS of Massachusetts is ready and willing to help you recycle your electronics and destroy your data.  Give us a call at (781) 335-1220 or contact us online here

26

09 2013