R2 Recycling Explains the Importance of Electronics Recycling for the Environment and Data Security
Around the world, the problem of electronic waste is growing. Globally, only 17.4% of e-waste is properly recycled every year. Today’s computer and electronic equipment contains many components that can damage the environment and human health.
In addition to environmental damage, improperly recycled e-waste can also lead to sensitive data falling into the wrong hands. R2 Recycling, an experienced electronics recycling firm based in Lakewood, NJ, explains the problem of electronic waste and how companies can protect both the environment and their proprietary data through proper recycling.
What is E-Waste?
Electronic waste (or e-waste) is defined as a plug or battery powered device that has reached the end of its life cycle. Televisions, computers, monitors, and smartphones all fall under the umbrella of e-waste, along with many other types of equipment.
Many companies neglect their responsibility to recycle their e-waste. Frequently, merchandise that goes unsold is improperly disposed of. Consumers are often careless with their e-waste as well. This carelessness can lead to environmental damage as well as important personal data being scavenged.
The problem of e-waste is growing. Around the world, electronic waste rose 21% between 2014 and 2019. Computers and other electronic equipment are not made to last, and they are victims of “planned obsolescence.”
Growing companies often find that they need better and more sophisticated computer equipment, and they may need to dispose of a large volume of e-waste at one time. In this case, working with a reputable electronics recycler like R2 Recycling could be their best move.
Why Should It Be Recycled?
Many people do not realize how many toxic materials are in the computers and electronics they use every day. Dangerous chemicals are used in the manufacturing of computers and other electronic equipment. These chemicals include cadmium, lead, mercury, barium, lithium, and polybrominated flame retardants.
Each type of waste material has specific effects on human health. Cadmium can cause cancer, targeting the cardiovascular, renal, and gastrointestinal systems. Lead can cause weakness, anemia, kidney damage, and brain damage. It is especially toxic to pregnant women, babies, and young children.
In addition to removing dangerous chemicals like those mentioned above from the waste stream, electronics and computers also contain recyclable metals. Gold, silver, copper, and platinum are just a few examples.
The United Nations reports that $10 billion in precious metals are discarded every year as part of e-waste and are not recycled. Mining precious metals has a damaging effect on the environment and recycling these metals positively impacts the planet.
It’s the Law
In many states and cities, electronics recycling is the law. Currently, 25 states require e-waste recycling. Penalties for failing to recycle e-waste include fines and possible criminal charges.
Focusing on Data Security
Failing to recycle used computers and other electronic equipment properly is not only dangerous for the environment, but it could also be damaging for your business and the privacy and safety of your clients. When e-waste is not subject to data removal before it is discarded, sensitive personal, financial, and company data could be exposed.
Many business owners believe that simply erasing a hard drive using software is enough to protect their data, but an experienced data thief could break through that type of weak encryption and make off with it. An experienced & credible recycler like R2 Recycling will perform a US Department of Defense (DOD) standard wipe or physical destruction of all hard drives, ensuring the safety & security of any information that may be stored on them.
Responsibly Recycling Computers and Electronic Equipment
Responsibly recycling e-waste is an essential activity for all types of businesses. Educational institutions, hospitals, and other large employers frequently need to recycle large quantities of electronic equipment at once when they upgrade their machines. In the case of educational institutions and hospitals, their machines may contain sensitive data with financial and personal information about their students, patients, and employees.
No matter the size, every company should have a plan in place to recycle their electronic waste and ensure the security of any personal information stored on computing devices. R2 Recycling can work with these companies to determine how many machines need to be disposed of and whether they can be picked up from the company or dropped off at their facility.
Preserving Both Data Security and the Environment
Proper electronics recycling preserves both data security and the environment. Suppose your company takes care of electronic waste responsibly. In that case, you can feel good about your impact on the environment and recognize that you did your part to reduce the adverse effects of hazardous waste on our soil & water streams. You can also be assured that proprietary data will not be exposed to the highest bidder, making your customers, patients, or clients vulnerable to data and identity theft.
R2 Recycling can help companies of any size deal with their e-waste responsibly. They are highly experienced, and can ensure that your e-waste is both safe for the environment and that any data stored on the devices will not end up in the wrong hands. Even though it may be tempting to dispose of electronics with the household trash, R2 Recycling can help your company comply with regulations and do the right thing. To find out more about their services, visit them online or call (866) 509–7267.