Disposing of electronics can come with complications. The most pressing concern for many people is the data itself - failure to properly dispose of a computer or a cell phone, for example, could result in sensitive data in the wrong hands. Another concern is where the item ends up. Most electronics contain heavy metals and other components that are very dangerous if they esscape the waste stream. This is why most responsible people try to recycle electronics while still protecting their data. the following tips can help.
Tip 1: Erase all data
Protection of your data, as well as that of yoru work or clients, comes first. Criminals sometimes seek out old electronics so that they can access information that aids them in identity theft. Simply deleting th edata files from the item isn't usually enough, since it can be stored in hidden partitions inside the device. There are data erasing programs, which is the method of choice if the item can be reused or refurbished, since you don't want to damage it. You can also overwrite the drive so that it is unreadable. For cellphones and tablets, a hard reset is usually sufficient to erase sensitive data. Check with the manufacturer to be sure.
Tip 2: Find the right recycler
A real recycler will be an ethical recycler. They will find the best way to recycle the various components of the computer so that as much of it as possible stays out of the waste stream. Check that any recycler is registered to do business within your state and then ask for details on what they do with the electronics they receive. You don't want a computer, for example, to be sent whole overseas to unregulated dissassemblers that could use child labor or could mine data from the devices. You also don't want to mistakenly turn over devices to a scammer pretending to be a recycler. Often, your municipality can provide you with a list of recyclers that operate within your area.
Tip 3: Consider any monetary value
Certain parts of your electronics recycling can be worth cash, but it's rare that any single component will be worth a lot of cash. You can usually check with an online database to see if anything you are getting rid of has any recycling value, and then you can call local recyclers to find one that pays for old electronics. The amount may not match exactly what you find in your online research, but it should be close. Keep in mind, when the amount is small and you are only recycling a few items, you may not be able to find a paying recycler. This is because their recycling overhead must also be covered by what they collect.
For more help, contact an electronic recycling service, such as iGlobal Services Inc., in your area.