It’s nothing to be ashamed of. We know many of you may have store cupboards and dusty corners of your office filled with end-of-life IT hardware. It’s inevitable – the business or the office gets an influx of new computers or technology, and the old stuff has to be displaced. And in many businesses, they simply don’t know what to do with the old kit. So it gets left to gather dust, or perhaps repurposed somewhere else if it’s still running OK.
If any of the first paragraph sounds like you, then we might suggest engaging with an IT recycling partner. A fully accredited IT recycling specialist will collect your end-of-life hardware, process it for you and securely erase anything data-bearing for a (usually) reasonable price. And not only does this free up your much-needed space, it can bring additional value to your business.
Here are 3 reasons secure IT recycling is valuable to your business.
Much of the old IT hardware you displace in your business will be data-bearing. Whether that’s PCs, a server or storage device, the chances are there’ll be some if not a lot of data stored on it. Due to increasing regulatory pressures around data (see our recent post – “How will GDPR affect my business?”), it’s becoming more and more vital to ensure that any data which resides on end-of-life devices is processed correctly and disposed of securely. Many IT recycling companies will offer fully secure data destruction. This means that data will be erased first using specialist software, and for further assurance, hard drives will be put through a shredder.
In order to comply with the latest data protection regulation, in order to demonstrate that data-bearing hardware has been processed correctly and securely, you and your IT recycling partner will need to take a number of steps. Firstly, you will need to ensure that a contract or service level agreement (SLA) is in place, clearly stating each party’s liabilities and responsibilities. Secondly, following the destruction of the data, your IT recycling partner should provide you with a certificate of destruction, which clearly states how each piece of kit was processed and data was disposed of. A reputable company will offer this as standard.
Recycling your end-of-life hardware in this way, and staying compliant, is valuable to your business as it protects you against hefty fines. It also demonstrates to key stakeholders that you are following best practice and behaving in a responsible manner.
Just because your kit is no longer useful to you doesn’t mean it’s not useful to somebody else! Often kit can be refurbished and reused, and this could include an employee purchasing scheme, helping you get back some of the residual value in the kit. If this isn’t possible or feasible, many IT recycling companies offer buy-back and rebates on hardware which is still good quality, in good condition and therefore deemed reusable. Particularly in cases where hardware has been displaced as part of a technology refresh, getting some money back on your old devices can help offset the cost of the investment. It also ensures you get the most value possible out of your kit, even if you no longer need it. After all, you still paid for originally!
Corporate social responsibility
Over and above statutory and regulatory requirements, many businesses put in place their own programs and initiatives in order to take responsibility for their impact on environmental and social wellbeing. And IT recycling can be a massive part of this. If disposed of incorrectly, hardware can end up in all manner of places, as famously covered in the 2011 BBC Panorama documentary “Track My Trash”, in which it was found that Britain’s e-waste was being illegally leaked into West Africa and ending up on mass landfills. This is not only a massive issue from a data security perspective, it’s also really bad for the environment and human health. E-waste contains toxic chemicals which can be emitted into the ground, water and atmosphere of wherever it’s stored and broken down. By using a reputable IT and WEEE recycling partner, you ensure that your IT and e-waste is disposed of in a responsible and environmentally friendly manner. Some IT recycling companies operate zero landfill policies, ensuring that every last component of the destroyed material is recycled.
By engaging with an IT recycling partner, you can realise the value from your end-of-life kit now. At XPO, we hold a number of certifications, including ADISA, 27001, as well as being a partner of industry-leading data destruction software Blancco. We operate both an on-site and mobile shredder for the destruction of data-bearing devices. We ensure the proper contracts and SLAs are in place, and provide the relevant documentation for your records auditing purposes. If you would like to discuss further, get in touch.