The verdict is in: Cloud environments are reliable, scalable, and offer high availability of applications and data. Has your organization already migrated to the cloud? If so, it may be time to think about what to do with all of that older IT gear and computers that are taking up storage space. Computer recycling provides a responsible way to dispose of your old equipment properly.

Allowing your IT staff to toss out your old hardware in trash bins behind your building can have far-reaching, adverse consequences. Listed below are the top 3 benefits of using a reputable company to recycle your outdated computer systems.

The Benefits of Computer Recycling

Protect Both the Environment and Human Health

Computers, servers, networking equipment, and other electronic devices contain heavy metals like Lead (Pb), Cadmium (Cd), and Beryllium (Be). They also contain PVC plastic, brominated flame retardants, and other hazardous chemicals. Old IT equipment that is landfilled can cause acidification of soil and can contaminate groundwater. Open-air burning of electronic equipment deposits highly toxic chemicals into the air that can have global implications.

Carelessly dumping computer hardware in a landfill not only negatively impacts the environment, but the threat to human health is significant.

For example, the solder in printed circuit boards, glass panels, and gaskets in computer monitors all contain Lead. Lead causes damage to the central and peripheral nervous system, blood system, and causes kidney damage. Lead also affects a child’s early brain development. 

Chip resistors and semiconductors contain Cadmium. Cadmium causes irreversible neural damage as well as congenital disabilities. Computer motherboards contain Beryllium, which causes lung cancer and skin disease. Burning PVC plastic produces dioxin, which damages the immune system and causes reproductive and developmental problems.

Regulatory Compliance Requirements

Your old storage devices may still contain sensitive data. Regulatory compliance regulations such as Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act (HIPPA), Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), and the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA) require businesses to store confidential and sensitive information securely. Working with a reputable computer recycling facility ensures that if there is any remaining data on your storage devices, it will be completely and totally inaccessible. 

There are two ways to destroy data permanently. The first method is to shred the storage device. Shredding is highly effective because it completely destroys the device itself along with any data that was on it. The second option is to perform a thorough data wipe that meets the Department of Defense standards (DOD 5220.22-M). This process ensures that the storage device is so rigorously cleaned that data recovery tools can never access the old data. Also, this method leaves the physical storage device intact so that it can be repurposed for future use.

It is best to work with a computer recycling company that provides a unique Certificate of Data Destruction for each storage asset. These best practices for data removal will protect your organization from civil and criminal liability. You’ll also avoid any negative press which can do irreparable harm to your brand.

Refurbishing and Repurposing 

Although your end-of-life computer systems and IT equipment may no longer be of use to you, they may still have value in other settings. They may be instrumental in adding to the technological advancements of others.

For example, schools, homeless shelters, prisons, libraries, and adult learning centers may be able to use your old equipment in their facilities. In some instances, older computer systems can be shipped to developing nations for use in their educational programs. 

These organizations are often underfunded and don’t have technology budgets large enough to purchase new equipment. Older computers that have been refurbished, are in good working order, and are donated to them fits the bill perfectly.