Posts Tagged ‘eWaste Recycling’

Four Tips to Protect your Data

Data breaches from cyber attacks are all over the news today. Although these types of security breaches are becoming more common, and more devastating, to the organizations and people involved, there is another kind of breach that is just as alarming.

Often times, informal transportation or improper storage of end-of-life electronics are the culprit. In untrained hands, sensitive information can be leaked, stolen or lost on the way to recycling centers or can be forgotten in dusty storage areas.

Consumers and businesses alike should be aware that electronic waste that is not disposed of properly poses a threat to sensitive data left on the devices. Finding a responsible electronics recycler will eliminate the risk of data breaches and grant the much-needed peace of mind that companies and individuals need.

Implementing a positive plan to combat electronic waste data breaches is the only realistic way to ensure that sensitive information remains safeguarded for end-of-life electronics.

Here are four tips to protect the valuable data contained on devices within your home, organization or business:

1. Get the best third party data destruction provider available

Laws and regulations ban dumping e-Waste into landfills and require specific methods for collection and disposal based on government guidelines.

When electronics devices reach end-of-life or are no longer wanted, relying on disposal plans managed by employees and staff for data destruction and e-Waste disposal is not effective, and leaves companies open to liability for breaches.

Instead, rely on a responsible R2/RIOS certified company with secure measures in place to handle the proper recycling of e-Waste and secure destruction of the information on hard drives and other data devices.

2. Avoid long-term storage of end-of-life devices

Long-term storage can increase the risk of loss or theft, which leads to serious data breaches. In fact, many data breach cases are the result of computers left to sit in off-site storage facilities with little or no regulation or supervision of the information contained on hard drives and storage devices.

Rather than choosing to place end-of-life devices in storage, creating an electronic waste disposal plan is the better choice. The plan should ensure that storage time is minimal or completely eliminated, thereby decreasing the risk of theft, loss or inadvertent exposure of sensitive information.

3. Know the laws on data destruction

Here in the U.S., most states with electronic recycling laws also require vendors to follow government regulations to ensure that consumer information remains safe. It is important to be aware of which guidelines apply to your organization and to organize an electronic waste disposal plan around them.

4) The best tip of all is too choose a responsible, certified electronics recycler who provides secure data destruction. This is the most effective way to ensure proper management and secure destruction of sensitive information contained on the hard drives of electronic drives.

Recycle with data security at the forefront

We live in a world where company and personal information is a highly valued commodity. It is crucial that companies do everything they can to stop their sensitive information from falling into the wrong and most devastating hands.

Recent mega-breaches by the numbers*:

Target: 40 million – The number of credit and debit cards thieves stole from Target between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, 2013

eBay: 145 million people affected

JP Morgan Chase & Co.: 76 million households and 7 million small businesses affected

CHS Community Health Systems: 4.5 million people affected

Michael’s Stores: 2.6 million people affected

Neiman Marcus: 1.1 million people affected

The result?

Mega breaches are mega expensive! The average cost of a data breach for a company is $188 per record. Based on an average 28,765 records per US breach, one study identified a total organization cost of $5,403,644 per data breach.*

A call for change!

According to eWeek, “An alarming number of widely publicized data breaches is sparking change in the attitudes of business leaders and consumers when it comes to cyber-security. Consumers and regulators alike are demanding more communication and remedies from businesses after data breaches occur. As a result, the topic is one of the highest priorities facing businesses and regulators in 2015.”

Although the spotlight has been on infiltration by a criminal hacker, breaches can happen as a result of a company’s negligence in handling its end-of-life electronics; computers, hard drives, cell phones and all other data-bearing devices.

It is a paradox that while electronic waste is entering the waste stream at an accelerated pace, there’s little to no information on what happens to e-waste in the end – and the chaos that can ensue if not handled properly and responsibly.

By carefully reviewing an organization’s electronics and data disposal process, companies can nip the problem in the bud.

How can we do our part in helping to thwart data breaches?

Make it a top priority to outsource the management of unwanted electronics equipment to those who are qualified and experienced in handling recycling and data security management.

Be sure to use a R2/RIOS Certified, responsible recyling/data destruction company. These are highly regulated companies who achieve the highest level of excellence. Look for other certifications and compliances as well – HIPAA, DoD, NIST, NAID, NSA. For more information, check out WWW.PCSMASS.com

* According to the 2014 Ponemon Institute Report

** In May 2013, the Ponemon Institute released its 2013 Cost of Data Breach Study: Global Analysis (“Ponemon Study”),

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

Destruction means business!

Reprint: Boston Globe
Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

PCS co-owner Lisa Bacewicz with “The Green Monster.”
By Paul E. Kandarian, Globe Correspondent February 15, 2015

Got unwanted high-tech gear laying about, such as old computers, printers, cellphones, and hard drives, and not sure what to do with them? PCS of Massachusetts (PCS MASS), a Weymouth company started in 2005 by Lisa Bacewicz and her husband, Charles, shreds old equipment to recycle the material, and also specializes in data destruction. We talked with Lisa Bacewicz for this story.

Q. Why did you start doing this?

A. We were involved in the resale of old electronic equipment, which was a big industry before 2005. But the industry changed rapidly, and obsolete and surplus equipment doesn’t hold the value it used to. That’s why we went to the next stage of responsible recycling.

Q. What do you do?

A. We’re a certified responsible recycler of all electronic waste, including secure and compliant on-site hard drive and data destruction. We take in e-waste from companies. We bring a shredder on a 26-foot box truck, a big green box we call “The Green Monster.” We take custody of the data and provide a videotaped seven-step destruction process. Anything with encrypted data can be shredded, and we can reduce hard drives to pieces the size of your pinky finger. The metal can be refined into new products. We also have a drop-off at our office for people to drop off office-related waste for free, though there is a charge for computer terminals.

Q. Who are your customers?

A. We work all over New England with hospitals, health care facilities, attorneys, major corporations. Everyone in this day and age with an office will have electronics that eventually become obsolete: phone systems, printers, fax machines, power supplies, cords, batteries. Everything can be destroyed and recycled. Any company with regard for client information or personal information should be reaching out to a certified recycler. Most recently, we earned our R2/RIOS certification from Sustainable Electronics Recycling International.

Q. Why is data destruction important?

A. For years, people lacked understanding of what happens to data on hard drives, tapes, or other memory material. Breaches have brought awareness to the point they’re looking for viable, secure ways to destroy data so it doesn’t get into the wrong hands.

Q. Business is good?

A. Extremely. We’re hiring more people, and by the middle of the year will move to a larger facility on the South Shore.

Paul E. Kandarian can be reached at pkandarian@ aol.com.

NEWS

AT&T Fined $52 Million for Dumping E-Scrap

Telecommunications giant AT&T has reached a $52 million settlement with the state of California for illegally dumping scrap electronics in state landfills.
The settlement was announced on Nov. 20 by California’s attorney general and was described by state officials as their first e-scrap management enforcement action against a telecom company.

“This settlement holds AT&T accountable for unlawfully dumping electronic waste. The illegal disposal of hazardous waste can lead to serious environmental and health risks for California communities. AT&T will be required to implement strict compliance measures at its facilities that set an example for other companies to safeguard our communities against hazardous waste.” The settlement calls for the company to pay $23.8 million in fines.

Please call PCS MASS to discuss Responsible Electronics/Components Recycling and Secure On-Site Hard Drive Data Destruction Solutions!

PCS MASS is R2:2013 Certified!

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. A facility that has invested R2/RIOS™ certification has upgraded to the highest, most responsible standards in recycling.

Green thought for the day: Spring is a great time to start your businesses Spring cleaning and get organized for Summer. This means clearing out all those old PC’s that have accumulated over the past few months. Please call PCS of MA today to discuss “Green” Recycling Solutions and Secure On-Site Hard Drive Data Destruction services!

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: R2 and BAN clarify stances on CRT management

Recycling industry certification bodies R2 Solutions and Basel Action Network (BAN) released formal clarifications last week on the way certified firms may handle CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) glass.

Issuing a formal rule clarification on March 26, R2 announced board members unanimously moved to ban the use of CRT glass as alternative daily cover (ADC) under the new iteration of the certification. R2 executive director John Lingelbach confirmed there are now no instances in which an R2-certified facility can use CRTs as ADC.

“There are viable downstream options for the subset of CRT glass that top-performing, R2-certified recyclers are processing,” Lingelbach said.

BAN, which administers the e-Stewards certification, issued its own rule clarification today.

Emphasizing the challenges smaller recyclers face in paying for the proper downstream processing of CRT glass, BAN reaffirmed its stance that CRT-to-ADC actions do not constitute recycling but can be “used as a last resort” for disposal by its members.

“We believe that at this juncture where the market is already dangerously constricted, any further prohibitions should only be considered if they are based on sound science and a life-cycle approach examining all significant environmental and social impacts,” the release reads. It also states that the group is engaged in “a science-based review of global CRT management practices” and will be reviewing the definition of “as a last resort” as used in the e-Stewards certification language.

The downstream processor likely to be most affected by R2’s ban on the practice of using CRTs as ADC is Kuusakoski U.S. Through a partnership with Peoria Disposal Company (PDC), Kuusakoski runs a CRT-to-ADC operation in Peoria, Illinois and has hopes to process up to 50,000 tons of glass every year for the next decade.

Kuusakoski’s Philadelphia facility is both R2 and e-Stewards certified. However, the company’s Peoria, Illinois facility, which is actively involved in the ADC operation, is not certified to either standard.

Lingelbach told E-Scrap News R2 Solutions and Kuusakoski held a conference call on Thursday, but he said the certification status of Kuusakoski’s Philadelphia facility was not discussed. Kuusakoski’s Anssi Takala clarified with E-Scrap News its Philadelphia facility can operate as a transfer hub for CRTs bound for Illinois but “our target is that customers with CRT glass or intact CRT devices ship it directly Peoria.”

In addition, Takala told E-Scrap News the recycling firm and PDC “respectfully disagree” with the R2 clarification. “We have shared our concerns with R2 concerning its press release, and have challenged them to provide more information to the public that supports its decision on the viability question,” Takala said. “Furthermore, we have agreed to furnish additional information to R2 on this matter.”

According to a Kuusakoski white paper released last fall, aside from Kuusakoski, there are only three North American final recovery options for U.S. glass in North America. The paper also states annual glass supply far oustrips the industry’s ability to handle the challenging material.

The paper advances the key argument that high levels of lead found in the funnel glass portion of CRTs are essentially locked within the glass by the technology employed by Kuusakoski and PDC, ensuring that it will not leach once used as ADC at landfills.

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

07

04 2014

PC Survivors of Mass. co-sponsors Wounded Nature cleanup

PCS of Mass. is supporting U.S. veterans and the environment in one fell swoop. We’re co-sponsoring a Wounded Nature cleanup boat this year. The boat is staffed with veterans and will travel along the East Coast, kicking off their trip in Charleston, South Carolina.

WoundedNature.org is an IRS approved 501c3 non-profit charity serving to clean up the environment employing veterans reentering the civilian workforce. The organization only raises money through donations, memberships, sponsorships, and grants.WoundedNature.org has minimum overhead and funds raised annually go directly to fund the mission and operation of Wounded Nature, the houseboats.

(PCS of Mass. has American Pride)

In the summer of 2014 the houseboats will move up the East Coast. As the ship moves north it will be docked at the closest large port each month as employees return home for their days off. In general, our employees will work for 20 straight days and have 10 days off each month. Workers will be bused or flown between their home port and the ship’s current work location.

Employing Veterans

Wounded Nature hires prequalified unemployed veterans through the Veterans Administration’s job assistance program.  These workers are hired as temporary workers for 120 days.

The veterans will spend the first two days being trained about boat life, safety rules, and clean-up procedures. According to the website, veterans learn to regain confidence as they participate in public relations and educational events as paid employees and members of the Wounded Nature staff.

Each veteran will perform a number of tasks exposing them to a number of disciplines. These disciplines include manual labor, environmental remediation, wildlife rescue, maintenance, ship and boat handling, public relations, community relations, social media marketing, event planning and hosting, cooking, marine research, etc.

Our program allows veterans to earn a paycheck while performing a wide variety of tasks over a short period of time. This will help our veterans focus their job hunting or attend college and choose an area of study in a discipline with which they have found an interest or comfort zone.

Italian Cowboy Harry James boat

As we announced before, we’re teaming up to become honorary crew members for the new Italian Cowboy Harry James sponsored coastal cleanup boat.

As a National Guard veteran and someone who cares deeply about the environment, Harry and his team were looking for a way to give back and make the world a better place.  When Harry James heard that Wounded Nature and Working Veterans needed to purchase 5 cleanup boats that would be staff by veterans, he contacted the non-profit immediately and said “what can we do to get one of your boats funded?”

And that’s where PC Survivors of Mass. stepped in. We’re proud to support veterans as well as do our part to take care of the environment.

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

01

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

How to Find a Responsible Electronic Recycler

With technology often evolving faster than perceived market demand, electronics have officially become the largest growing recyclable material in the U.S., with over 7 million tons of electronics equipment available for recycling each year.

Electronics recyclers must take special care to ensure that any hazardous substances or residues removed during the recycling process (such as batteries, leaded-glass, and mercury) are recovered safely and recycled. Over at Earth911, they’ve got a run down of how to recycle everything from clothes to iPods. Recently, they posted an interesting look at the Electronic Recycling industry.

Electronics Recycling Faces Regulation

As recycling is a business endeavor, these companies must do all this while trying to maximize the profit on what is collected. Herein lies the challenge – the responsible de-manufacturing of electronics costs money.

According to a report from the International Data Corporation, in 2011 the ever-growing electronics recycling industry responsibly processed between three and four million tons of used electronics equipment. However, there is an estimated 7 million tons of electronics equipment (predominately from households) available for recycling, meaning about 3 million tons are still being sent to landfills. To ensure responsible practices are used for disposal as well as  privacy, safety and environmental practice, some states have passed laws to ensure the responsible recycling of used electronics.

Half of all U.S. states now fall under some type of e-cycling or landfill ban. From manufacturer-financed end of life management to mandatory consumer take-back programs, 25 states now have laws on electronics recycling in one form or another: the common driver within each law being the increased recovery and safe recycling of used electronics.

 The Importance of Electronics Certification

A trend on the rise across the industry is the requirement for electronic recyclers to be certified by an accredited third party, which helps them conform the recycling process to a set standard of privacy and environmental compliance.

One such certification on the rise is the R2/ RIOS standard, a dual standard combing the R2 certification with the Recycling Industry Operating Standard (RIOS).

PCS of MA has a RIOS Certification pending in the fall of 2014!

The Right Way to Recycle Electronics

As a consumer, there are some important things to know or ask when preparing to recycle your used electronics.

First, are electronics covered in your city collection program? Many municipalities offer electronic recycling pickup or drop-off services as part of residential solid waste programs. If your city does not offer e-cycling, many retailers and independent recyclers can be found with a simple internet search.

Another question to look into is how to prepare your electronics for e-cycling. Many electronic recyclers will guarantee data destruction as part of their services, but others will not, meaning you would want to wipe your hard drive data before turning it over to the facility.

Or you can have PCS of Mass take care of it all for you! Learn more here.

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