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What to do with Your Old Electronics

Sooner or later we all end up with an old mobile phone, laptop, TV, or other electronics. Very often when this happens people will simply dispose of them as one does with normal garbage: send it off to the landfill. Unfortunately this is an extremely poor way of dealing with old electronics. The two big reasons as to why, we will cover in this blog: one; it has a negative impact on the environment, and two; there is high risk of having your sensitive information stolen. The best way to mitigate both of these is with professional electronic disposal services.


The Risks

Electronic Waste Impacts the Environment

Did you know that electronics actually do have a negative impact on the environment? They aren’t just hunks of metal and wiring that’ll get buried and forgotten in time. The various components of electronic devices contain a number of hazardous materials. Various heavy metals and airborne dioxins will find their way into water supplies, road side dust, and the air when electronics are left to decay. Not only is the environment hurt from these toxins, but when ingested through water and air, their effects on humans are carcinogenic.

Some of the hazardous materials found in electronics include:

  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Cadmium
  • Beryllium Oxide
  • Brominated Flame Retardants

Check out this report for a more detailed breakdown.

Data Breaches

Damages from electronic waste can manifest in other ways beyond environmental concerns. The theft of sensitive data is a common, and not always obvious, result of improper electronic disposal. Many of us feel that deleting data is a safe way of ensuring our data is destroyed. Unfortunately this is very much a false sentiment. Data recovery software and methods are more than capable of retrieving information from electronics.

Due to the nature in which data is created and stored on a hard drive, deleting a file or program doesn’t truly remove it from the system. When you save a file, space is allocated in the hard drive and a directory is created that point to its location. Deleting a file simply removes the directory listing and lists the space as available for something else to be saved over it. In this way, old data will eventually be replaced with something new, but there are no guarantees that it’ll be unrecoverable. As you can see, just because you’ve hit delete, you aren’t really safe from all the risks of data theft.

So What Should You Do?

The best way to be sure your data can’t be recovered and to ensure the environment is protected, is to physically destroy your electronic storage devices. This doesn’t mean you should grab the nearest sledgehammer and go to town on all your old cell phones. Odds are your attempts won’t be enough to destroy everything, not to mention the issue of how to now dispose of a thousand pieces scattered across your garage. The best option is selecting a company, like A1 DataShred, that offers certified hard drive destruction services.

Certified destruction services will take your old electronic media and shred them in industrial shredders. This reduces the electronics into tiny pieces, far too small for anyone to do something with. Afterwards, the left overs are sent to be recycled; the raw material is then extracted and reused in new products. This not only keeps electronics out of the environment but also ensures your data is safe from theft.

A1 DataShred is a document destruction company located in Tewksbury, Massachusetts. We are proud to keep residents and businesses in New England, safe from data theft while protecting the environment.

If you need safe electronic disposal, contact us today, we’ll help you out.


February 10, 2018