E-Waste Disposal: Why You Should Recycle E-Waste Properly

Raise your hand if you’ve ever experienced this scenario: your electronics have reached the end of their life, and it’s time to purchase new software. What do you do with the old electronics? More often than not, people tend to throw electronics in the trash as a means of e-waste disposal.

Unfortunately, electronic waste cannot simply be thrown away because of two factors:

It puts your corporate security at risk

those old devices contain sensitive data which leave you vulnerable to hacks

It’s not environmentally friendly

Old hardware contains components that are extremely harmful to the environment

So what was the solution to these e-waste disposal issues?

In this blog post, we’ll explain why recycling your electronic garbage is a more eco-friendly and secure solution, as well as how to properly dispose of it.

E-Waste Disposal: The Environmental Impact

The majority of hardware on the planet is made up of two main components.

  • Metals
  • Plastics

The grim reality is that when gadgets are discarded in landfills, both metals and plastics degrade in ways that might harm the environment. This includes the water, earth, plants, and animals in their surrounding environment.

Let’s look at the consequences of inappropriate e-waste disposal in more detail.

E-Waste Metals Effects

Some office hardware products are simply tossed away in the dumpster each year, including:

  • Computers
  • Wires
  • Smartphones
  • Servers

Almost all of these products contain metals. When those metals sit in landfills without being recycled, they oxidize and ionize in the soil (meaning they’re affected by oxygen and they break down).

Metals in e-waste disposal hardware like lead, cadmium, and mercury contain toxic chemicals which are released when they break down.

E-Waste Plastic Effects

Plastics are a major environmental concern because they don’t break down the way other materials do. When they degrade, they become microplastic particles.

Sadly, microplastic particles are harmful to plants, animals, and fish. Humans consume all of those food sources, meaning that we’re ingesting microplastics, too.

E-Waste Security Risk of Disposing Old IT Assets

When you toss out old corporate hardware, you’re creating an enormous cybersecurity risk.

We expect the IT department to wipe all devices before they’re ready for decommissioning. However, the IT department doesn’t have the tools or the resources to remove all possible data from a device before it leaves a firm’s doors.

Hackers Can Access Your Digital Data

Over the years, data recovery tools have become stronger and better able to recover information off devices. So, even if you’ve invested in bolstering your digital security, you’re still jeopardizing your company by not utilizing secure e-waste disposal techniques.

If there’s still data sitting on your devices even after you’ve wiped them, you’re at risk in 2 ways:

Run into legal problems

You’re vulnerable to litigation due to a breach

Get hacked

Hackers can breach your corporate IT systems

With legal, readily available software, hackers can access the files and information you thought you had gotten rid of. Then, they can infiltrate your company and steal valuable data, leaving you open to litigation.

For more information, contact us.

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