RetirePC.com chose to be R2 certified because it is the most comprehensive and environmentally sustainable electronics accreditation available. The R2 standard is endorsed by EPA and more than any other standard it is evidence that RetirePC.com has achieved the highest possible standard of product stewardship possible. R2 promotes fair trade and raises the level of best practices in the industry.
IT Asset Disposition is a means for the proper disposition, removal and recycling or remarketing of assets, while ensuring compliance to local and national data security and environmental regulations.
This is a significant issue for companies of all sizes and in all industry verticals as it is not their core competency and is considered a sunk cost just to maintain compliance. They are often left to create internal processes that tie to ITAD service partners and then staff to support those programs. Companies are good at IT Asset Management (ITAM); managing acquisition cost, maintenance and uptime of their IT Assets. They usually have solid data security policies and programs in place, even if it means removing hard drives prior to the asset leaving their possession. And, they are aware of being environmentally and socially responsible. These are all core to maintaining a sustainable business. ITAD becomes secondary and reactionary.
Do you know where your company’s most sensitive data is right now? Would you be surprised to find it on a laptop listed on bay, or sitting on a used hard drive for sale at a local PC shop?
If your organization is like many that lack formal IT asset disposal policies, chances are there may be old hardware out there with your company’s name on it — as well as its financial reports, customer lists, payroll data and every other secret imaginable.
While organizations have been worried about database hackers and laptop thieves for years, the potential nightmare of data theft from discarded equipment is just as real.
At RetirePC we know that IT assets contain more than plastics and metals. They also contain trade secrets, financial information, client data, employee records, software, and other invaluable information that amounts to years of work. That’s why when the time comes to retire or recycle equipment containing your most sensitive files, you want a company you can trust to remove your data – without question.
Most businesses do not realize the impact of e-waste on the local and world environments; they simply view their obsolete electronics as trash. According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2009 statistics, 3.19 million tons of e-waste was generated, and this number continues to grow.
These electronics contain materials such as antimony, arsenic, lead, and mercury that are unhealthy to us. It is surprisingly easy for these materials to ultimately end up in our bodies and cause major issues including lung damage, cancer, and seizures.
A one color monitor alone contains 6 ½ pounds of lead and measurable amounts of cadmium, mercury, and other toxic metals. At RetirePC, every part of the electronic asset is recycled. Each item is strategically and securely dismantled. All toxic elements are responsibly disposed of, and all remaining metals, plastics, glass, and circuitry are processed domestically.
Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): televisions, monitors, computers, computer peripherals, audio and stereo equipment, VCRs, DVD players, video cameras, telephones, facsimiles, copying machines, cellular phones, wireless devices, and video game consoles are primary examples of electronics that you can recycle. Kitchen appliances and other household electronics can also be recycled. RetirePC will accept practically anything with a plug.
Some electronic device components contain constituents that, if improperly handled, could be harmful to the environment and its inhabitants. E-waste that is not recycled ends up in the environment. Water is poisoned, the air turns toxic, the soil becomes dead, and wildlife and plant life suffer. Certain components of electronics contain measurable amounts of regulated heavy metals, including lead, silver, barium, cadmium, and mercury. Many of these metals can be recovered and responsibly disposed of, based upon Environmental Protection Agency standards.
It is estimated that of the approximately 250,000,000 tons of solid waste generated annually in the United States, around 5% is classified as e-waste.2 Of this, only an estimated 10% to 18% of electronics are recycled. RetirePC wants to help change this for the good of our local and global environments.
What are the Outcomes if We Dispose of Electronics Improperly?
NOTICE OF VIOLATION as issued by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Failure to correct the alleged violations cited required by this NOTICE may result in the assessment of penalties, not to exceed $27,500 per violation pursuant to Section 3008 of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) of 1976, 42 U.S.C. § 6928.
Donation programs can work well if all involved parties understand the limits and liabilities associated with the transfer of equipment. Questions such as, ‘who will ensure that proprietary data is eliminated before the donation’ need to be answered prior to ownership transfer. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1993, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and many others make all companies and organizational entities legally responsible for the protection of client privacy. Failure to effectively destroy all informational data prior to the transfer of ownership leaves an organization open to corporate liability. RetirePC’s Data Destruction process helps eliminate the worry of such a risk.
RetirePC does offer companies, not individuals, a return on its investment when the assets have value. When they don’t have value there might be a fee associated with our services. In either case, our customers know upfront.
Materials such as antimony, arsenic, lead, and mercury used to manufacture electronics are unhealthy to us. If not recycled properly, it is surprisingly easy for these materials to ultimately end up in our bodies and cause major issues including lung damage, cancer, and seizures. E-waste that is not recycled ends up in the environment. Water is poisoned, the air turns toxic, the soil becomes dead, and wildlife and plant life suffer.
To avoid these harmful effects on both our bodies and our environment, reputable e-cycling companies provide outlets for responsible riddance of your old electronics. As we’ve mentioned in a previous blog post, some of these companies lower their costs by exporting e-waste to countries like Ghana, Nigeria, Pakistan, India, and China where it gets broken down by men, women, and children who are usually unprotected from the toxins. To comply with government regulations and environmental laws, e-cycling companies are resorted to charging fees to properly break down hazardous electronics.
The Electronics TakeBack Coalition gives consumers tips on how to spot a fake recycling company. They recommend finding out who is paying for the recycling cost, especially if there is no request for a small recycling fee. These fees ensure that what you are recycling is handled responsibly and complies with government regulations, including whether or not this process takes place in the United States or overseas.