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Why You Should NEVER Throw Leftover Merch in the Trash
Companies are built on more than numbers and papers. There are often products involved, either produced for sale to the consumer or to help promote the business. When these products don’t meet standards, or when the event they were produced for ends, what happens to them? They’re often chucked into the trashcan. Such casual disregard, however, can pose a huge risk for both the reputation and the legal liability of the company.
Frequent Products that Pose a Risk
- Marketing Items – A pen with the company logo or a stress ball with the date of the annual shareholders review might not seem worth worrying about. At first glance, there’s not much to be gained. All the information is a matter of public record, right? The risk comes from how these items could be used if they were recovered from the dump by a third party. If company pens are passed out or sold at an unapproved event, it could damage the reputation of the business.
- Gift Cards – Discarded and unused gift cards open the door to financial fraud. If they’re recovered by a third party, it could be a very costly mistake.
- Expired or Contaminated Food Items – It makes sense to discard food items that are expired or non-sellable, but what would happen if an intact food item were accidentally retrieved and consumed? The company, despite taking an appropriate step to discard the items, might still be held liable.
- Defective Merchandise – Merchandise that isn’t quite right could still be picked out of the dump by someone with less discerning standards. If it’s resold by that third party, the blame for a poor product will still be placed on the business.
- Clothing – Regardless of whether it’s promotional t-shirts or unneeded company uniforms, all items of clothing are at risk for retrieval and resale. In a worst-case scenario, they could be used to gain access to areas or events that would normally be off-limits to the general public.
- Discontinued Merchandise – Suppose your company made a special, limited-edition product, but the window for sale closed before all the merchandise could be sold. If it’s thrown out into the trash, it could be picked up and sold privately.
- Prototypes – Ideas are some of our most precious resources. For a competing company, even developmental or rudimentary prototypes could be invaluable. Once they’re publicly disposed, there’s no way to control who has access to them.
Why Not Throw Everything in the Trash?
The short answer, plain and simple, is that products still hold value, either in terms of monetary worth or in company reputation and responsibility. Even if they hold no further importance to the business, they still present a risk if they are retrieved. It might seem silly to second-guess throwing these things out, but care and attention must be paid to potential second and third-order effects.
So, now that we’ve established the municipal dump might not be the best place for your products, the question arises: how then to dispose of them safely?
Product Destruction is the Answer
Physical destruction – into teeny-tiny, non-usable, non-recognizable bits – is 100% effective at preventing your products and information from being used in a way you don’t approve of. It doesn’t matter if the material is made of cloth, plastic, ceramic, metal, or paper. A product destruction service will guarantee that whatever needs to be destroyed is indeed removed from any possibility of reuse or reconstruction.
This service can be called whenever required, or, if materials are routinely cleared out of stock or circulation, can be arranged for a scheduled pickup. You’ll want to make sure that the company performing this service fully complies with all privacy standards and is trained to responsibly and reliably handle the items at all stages of the process.
How to Request a Product Destruction Service
A1 DATASHRED offers a variety of product destruction services, and we’re proud to carry the AAA Certification from The National Association for Information Destruction (NAID).
For more information on our services or the process of product destruction, give us a call at (978) 858-0200 or request a free quote online.
September 23, 2019