How do companies deal with their electronic waste?
Monday, 02, Apr 2012 02:38
Most companies nowadays have some form of electronic waste, whether they are offices that use technology such as laptops and smartphones, retailers or manufacturers of these kinds of products - but how is defunct machinery dealt with?
Read our guide to discover the various steps that needs to be taken - and why - and how businesses manage these.
Companies and WEEE recycling
Waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE) is part and parcel of business for many firms, and in 2007 new legislation was introduced in the UK to ensure that it is recycled as much as possible - and disposed of in an environmentally-friendly manner.
Under the WEEE Directive, businesses have a duty of care to ensure all their unwanted electrical are disposed of according to its rules. This includes having a clear plan in place for the removal of all such items, and reporting this has been carried out correctly.
As well as environmental considerations, your duty of care will also encompass data security issues, which means including how information stored on electronic devices will be permanently erased in plans you make.
WEEE recycling - points to consider
When it comes to WEEE recycling, it is wise to choose a dedicated corporate recycling firm to help make sure you completely fulfil your duty of care. With many facets to WEEE disposal, clear planning with thorough knowledge of what exactly needs to be done at each stage is invaluable, giving your company more time to focus on its core business.
Whether engaging the services of a recycling partner or not, there is plenty for you to consider. First of all, you must assess all the forms of WEEE your company produces - this includes items such as laptops, desktop computers, hard drives and mobile phones - and establish how each will be dealt with.
This needs to include storage and which items can be disposed of together and which must go separately. Planning the safety and security of its storage is a must; otherwise, WEEE could get mixed up with standard rubbish, damage the environment or even be stolen, resulting in a potential data security issue.
Next, you need to make sure that your WEEE is taken care of by a registered waste carrier and disposed of in such a way to not harm the environment. Equally important is your duty of care regarding data security; after all, it is essential that neither your firm's strategic information nor clients' sensitive details fall into the wrong hands.
Permanent data destruction can only be achieved - aside from by physically destroying the hard disk - by overwriting the data across the whole hard drive and resetting the file size to zero. It is a good idea to seek out firms with ISO 27001 certification to make sure this is done properly.
Dedicated recycling partners
As you can see, there are numerous elements to fulfilling your duty of care. By securing the services of a dedicated recycling partner, you can both make sure this is carried out properly and achieved with relative ease.
This is because such firms can support you at every stage, from assessing your WEEE and planning storage to recycling and wiping data. Some companies will even collect your old electricals for you and provide full reporting on the entire process, as well as certification of data erasure, which will give both you and your clients' peace of mind that the appropriate steps have been being taken.