A prominent company donates over two dozen computers to an IT recycler. Little did they know the hard drives of the computers had not been wiped clean and within a few months one of the largest data breaches in the company’s history was revealed. The computers, discarded after a computer upgrade in the Human Resources and Accounting departments, contained personal information, social security numbers, and bank account numbers for over 15,000 current and past employees. Once the information was exposed, there was little the organization could do but to offer a public apology and help the victims prevent any further identity theft. However, months later over half of the sensitive data stolen was being sold on the black market to would-be identity thieves from all over the world.
Most commonly referred to as e-waste, decommissioned computers, copiers, hard drives, and other electrical components end up in landfills which causes harmful effects to the environment. It is estimated that between 20 to 50 million metric tons of e-waste are disposed worldwide every year. The unfortunate reality is that a significant portion of what is thought to be e-waste is not actually waste; it is electronic parts and equipment that has been erroneously marked as obsolete, when in fact, many of the components could be repurposed, reused, or recycled. As the amount of e-waste grows each year, corporations have a social responsibility to dispose of e-waste safely and properly.
Do you own a smart device? Have you broken the screen or the device needed a repair that was more expensive than it was worth? I’m sure many if not most of all of our readers can sympathize with this above sentiment. You may have even tried taking your device to a third party repair shop only to be told that the repair may not be a 100 percent and may render your phone useless. It’s a very frustrating feeling where many feel like the manufacturers are cornering consumers to purchase a new device rather than having their devices fixed for a low cost.
We're a proud member of the Repair.org association and an environmentally-friendly ITAD and IT Recycling Provider. What are some ways we can reduce electronic waste rather than being faced with companies illegally exporting toxic electronic waste (e-waste) to developing countries?
Basel Action Network (BAN), an international toxic trade watchdog organization, released a new two-year study that involved placing electronic GPS tracking devices into old hazardous electronic equipment and then monitoring their location as they travelled across the globe. The results show that many of these electronic waste (e-waste) end up in Asia.
If you’ve been following tech news closely or are on sites like Reddit, you may have noticed an uptick on news items dealing with e-waste, recycling, and repairing. As a member of the Repair Organization, XSi is a big advocate of reusing, repairing, and recycling all electronic assets.