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The grassroots Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition promotes human health and addresses environmental justice problems resulting from toxins in technologies. However, concerns about the impact of e-recycling on human health, the health of recycling workers and environmental degradation remain. Even better is to get a program that will overwrite the hard-drive with zeros, to ensure the data cannot be recovered. Archived from the original on 26 February Craig, Electrician and Computer Technician.

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Computer recycling

Industry standards generally recommend wiping, wiping is also the most environmentally friendly option as it allows potential reuse. ITAM Review readers had many and varied ways of gauging the quality of their asset disposal partners. The most common practices included auditing the quality of service, performing spot checks or visiting the providers premises unannounced.

Certificates of destruction or disposal were also used, but not universally. Some readers cited the industry certifications of the provider and some simply stated they used general market information and customer references.

A collection of other ISO standards and industry references were also mentioned. If an ITAM Review reader were asked to prove that a drive had been disposed, the most common response was to refer to the destruction or disposal certificate.

Finally, we asked ITAM Review readers if their policy for hard drive disposal differed by device type. But encryption, the sensitivity of data and device hurdles such as Ipad or SSD cards were cited as reasons for a change in policy.

If you can recommend any further resources please contact me or leave a message in the comments below. If you can recommend any further utilities or have feedback on the utilities above please contact me or leave a message in the comments below.

Thanks again to everyone who took time to share their views. A common misconception is that a Certificate of Destruction transfers liability associated with data privacy laws to the data destruction vendor.

How do you efficiently destroy data to prevent a data breach after the drives are retired? All data on Solid State Drives SSD should be encrypted for the whole life of the SSD if they are not going to be destroyed at the end of life — this is because SSDs have sophisticated management systems that maintain how many times a sector is written — this prevents full overwriting of the drive by utilities such as those listed above.

Asset disposal partners Roughly half of organizations polled are using a service provider to assist with disposal of hard drives in UK and USA compared to a quarter in all other countries.

Hard drive disposal methods Wiping was the most commonly cited method for hard drive data erasure. Measuring the quality of asset disposal service providers ITAM Review readers had many and varied ways of gauging the quality of their asset disposal partners.

Proof of hard drive disposal If an ITAM Review reader were asked to prove that a drive had been disposed, the most common response was to refer to the destruction or disposal certificate. Disposal by type of device Finally, we asked ITAM Review readers if their policy for hard drive disposal differed by device type. If a piston punch is not done properly the drives are still recoverable.

Also, if the company is taking away the drive remains you should ensure that they are certified for environmentally friendly materials disposal. We caught our disposal vendor trying to outsource destruction to third party. Caught different vendor in the past selling off old devices PCs, laptops, monitors even though contract said not to do so.

Documenting data destruction is essential but not sufficient. What a company wipes is important. What has not been proven wiped is harder to determine, but far more important. ITAM is guilty of sharing vanity metrics with uneducated executives e.

I wish ITAM would start sharing the bad news. I wish they would share information about what they cannot effectively track. Most major computer manufacturers offer some form of recycling. At the user's request they may mail in their old computers, or arrange for pickup from the manufacturer. Hewlett-Packard also offers free recycling, but only one of its "national" recycling programs is available nationally, rather than in one or two specific states.

Manufacturers often offer a free replacement service when purchasing a new PC. Dell Computers and Apple Inc. Both refurbish and resell their own computers with a one-year warranty.

Many companies purchase and recycle all brands of working and broken laptops and notebook computers from individuals and corporations. Building a market for recycling of desktop computers has proven more difficult than exchange programs for laptops, smartphones and other smaller electronics.

With the constant rising costs due to inflation, many families or schools do not have the sufficient funds available for computers to be utilized along with education standards.

Families also impacted by disaster suffer as well due to the financial impact of the situation they have incurred. Many nonprofit organizations, such as InterConnection. The impact can be seen locally and globally, affecting thousands of those in need.

In Canada non profit organizations engaged in computer recycling, such as The Electronic Recycling Association Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, [35] Computers for Schools Canada wide, [36] are very active in collecting and refurbishing computers and laptops to help the non profit and charitable sectors and schools. The term junkyard computing is a colloquial expression for using old or inferior hardware to fulfill computational tasks while handling reliability and availability on software level.

It utilizes abstraction of computational resources via software, allowing hardware replacement at very low effort. Ease of replacement is hereby a corner point since hardware failures are expected at any time due to the condition of the underlying infrastructure. This paradigm became more widely used with the introduction of cluster orchestration software like Kubernetes or Apache Mesos , since large monolithic applications require reliability and availability on machine level whereas this kind of software is fault tolerant by design.

Those orchestration tools also introduced fairly fast set-up processes allowing to use junkyard computing economically and even making this pattern applicable in the first place. Further use cases were introduced when continuous delivery was getting more widely accepted. Infrastructure to execute tests and static code analysis was needed which requires as much performance as possible while being extremely cost effective.

From an economical and technological perspective, junkyard computing is only practicable for a small amount of users or companies. It already requires a decent amount of physical machines to compensate hardware failures while maintaining the required reliability and availability. This implies a direct need for a matching underling infrastructure to house all the computers and servers.

Scaling this paradigm is also quite limited due to the increasing importance of factors like power efficiency and maintenance efforts, making this kind of computing perfect for mid-sized applications. Although consumer electronics such as the radio have been popular since the s, recycling was almost unheard of until the early s.

New innovations appeared more quickly, making older equipment considered obsolete. Increased complexity and sophistication of manufacture made local repair more difficult.

The retail market shifted gradually, but substantially from a few high-value items that were cherished for years and repaired when necessary, to short-lived items that were rapidly replaced owing to wear or simply fashion, and discarded rather than repaired.

This was particularly evident in computing, highlighted by Moore's Law. In two severe incidents highlighted the approaching e-waste crisis. The cargo barge Khian Sea , was loaded with more than 14, tons of toxic ash from Pennsylvania which had been refused acceptance in New Jersey and the Caribbean.

After sailing for 16 months, all the waste was dumped as "topsoil fertiliser" in Haiti and in the Bay of Bengal by November In June , a large illegal toxic waste dump which had been created by an Italian company was discovered.

In , the first electronic waste recycling system was implemented in Switzerland, beginning with collection of old refrigerators but gradually expanding to cover all devices.

The first publication to report the recycling of computers and electronic waste was published on the front page of the New York Times on April 14, by columnist Steve Lohr. It detailed the work of Advanced Recovery Inc. After these schemes were set up, many countries did not have the capacity to deal with the sheer quantity of e-waste they generated or its hazardous nature.

They began to export the problem to developing countries without enforced environmental legislation. Demand in Asia for electronic waste began to grow when scrap yards found they could extract valuable substances such as copper, iron, silicon, nickel and gold, during the recycling process.

The s saw a large increase in both the sale of electronic devices and their growth as a waste stream: Generically, the term refers to the process of collecting, brokering, disassembling, repairing and recycling the components or metals contained in used or discarded electronic equipment, otherwise known as electronic waste e-waste. The higher metal prices is also having more recycling taking place.

The controversy around methods stems from a lack of agreement over preferred outcomes. Debate and certification standards may be leading to better definitions, though civil law contracts, governing the expected process are still vital to any contracted process, as poorly defined as "e-cycling". The e-waste disposal occurring after processing for reuse, repair of equipment, and recovery of metals may be unethical or illegal when e-scrap of many kinds is transported overseas to developing countries for such processing.

Another point of view is that the net environmental cost must be compared to and include the mining, refining and extraction with its waste and pollution cost of new products manufactured to replace secondary products which are routinely destroyed in wealthier nations, and which cannot economically be repaired in older or obsolete products. Either thorough e-cycling processing, domestic processing or overseas repair, can help the environment by avoiding pollution.

Such e-cycling can theoretically be a sustainable alternative to disposing of e-waste in landfills. In addition, e-cycling allows for the reclamation of potential conflict minerals , like gold and wolframite , which requires less of those to be mined and lessens the potential money flow to militias and other exploitative actors in third-world that profit from mining them.

Supporters of one form of "required e-cycling" legislation argue that e-cycling saves taxpayers money, [49] as the financial responsibility would be shifted from the taxpayer to the manufacturers. Advocates of more simple legislation such as landfill bans for e-waste argue that involving manufacturers does not reduce the cost to consumers, if reuse value is lost, and the resulting costs are then passed on to consumers in new products, particularly affecting markets which can hardly afford new products.

It is theorized that manufacturers who take part in e-cycling would be motivated to use fewer materials in the production process, create longer lasting products, and implement safer, more efficient recycling systems. The critics of e-cycling are just as vocal as its advocates. According to the Reason Foundation , e-cycling only raises the product and waste management costs of e-waste for consumers and limits innovation on the part of high-tech companies.

Another opposition to e-cycling is that many problems are posed in disassembly: A final problem that people find is that identity fraud is all too common in regards to the disposal of electronic products.

A hefty criticism often lobbed at reuse based recyclers is that people think that they are recycling their electronic waste, when in reality it is actually being exported to developing countries like China, India, and Nigeria. For instance, at free recycling drives, "recyclers" may not be staying true to their word, but selling e-waste overseas [48] or to parts brokers. Although not possible in all circumstances, the best way to e-cycle is to upcycle e-waste.

Reuse-based e-recyclers believe that fair-trade incentives for export markets will lead to better results than domestic shredding.

There has been a continued debate between export-friendly e-cycling and increased regulation of that practice. In the European Union, debate regarding the export of e-waste has resulted in a significant amendment to the WEEE directive January with a view to significantly diminishing the export of WEEE untreated e-waste.

The changes went further by placing the burden upon registered exporters to prove that used equipment leaving Europe was "fit for purpose". Currently, pieces of government legislation and a number of grassroots efforts have contributed to the growth of e-cycling processes which emphasize decreased exports over increased reuse rates. It is the only state that legislates against e-waste through this kind of consumer fee; the other states' efforts focus on producer responsibility laws or waste disposal bans.

No study has shown that per capita recovery is greater in one type of legislated program e. California versus ordinary waste disposal bans e. Massachusetts , though recovery has greatly increased in states which use either method.

Manufacturers and retailers such as Best Buy, Sony, and Samsung have also set up recycling programs. It has been signed by numerous recyclers promising to recycle responsibly. Grassroots efforts have also played a big part in this issue, as they and other community organizations are being formed to help responsibly recycle e-waste.

No study has shown any difference in recycling methods under the Pledge, and no data is available to demonstrate difference in management between "Pledge" and non-Pledge companies, though it is assumed that the risk of making false claims will prevent Pledge companies from wrongly describing their processes.

Many people believe that the U. This refers to the concept of Extended Producer Responsibility, which was started in Sweden in British Columbia has more than 20 EPR programs under the Recycling Regulation legislation, which stops e-waste from being put into landfills and recycles them instead.

There are more than 80 programs in Canada as of Another longer-term solution is for computers to be composed of less dangerous products and many people disagree. No data has been provided to show that people who agree with the European model have based their agreement on measured outcomes or experience-based scientific method.

E-waste presents a potential security threat to individuals and exporting countries. Hard drives that are not properly erased before the computer is disposed of can be reopened, exposing sensitive information. Credit card numbers, private financial data, account information and records of online transactions can be accessed by most willing individuals. Organized criminals in Ghana commonly search the drives for information to use in local scams.

Government contracts have been discovered on hard drives found in Agbogbloshie , Ghana. There are ways to ensure that not only hardware is destroyed but also the private data on the hard drive. Having customer data stolen, lost, or misplaced contributes to the ever-growing number of people who are affected by identity theft , which can cause corporations to lose more than just money. The image of a company that holds secure data, such as banks, law firms, pharmaceuticals, and credit corporations is also at risk.

If a company's public image is hurt, it could cause consumers to not use their services and could cost millions in business losses and positive public relation campaigns.

There is also a major backlash from the consumer if there is a data breach in a company that is supposed to be trusted to protect their private information. If an organization has any consumer info on file, they must by law Red Flags Clarification act of have written information protection policies and procedures in place, that serve to combat, mitigate, and detect vulnerable areas that could result in identity theft.

Countries have developed standards, aimed at businesses and with the purpose of ensuring the security of Data contained in 'confidential' computer media [NIST National Association for Information Destruction NAID "is the international trade association for companies providing information destruction services. Suppliers of products, equipment and services to destruction companies are also eligible for membership.

NAID's mission is to promote the information destruction industry and the standards and ethics of its member companies. The typical process for computer recycling aims to securely destroy hard drives while still recycling the byproduct. A typical process for effective computer recycling:. It also conducts periodic audits of disposal vendors. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Electronic waste by country.

Americans discard more than million computers, cellphones and other electronic devices each year. As "e-waste" piles up, so does concern about this growing threat to the environment".

Electronics Recycling, Data Destruction and Related Services