Disposing of outdated office computers, printers and copiers the right way is not only important for protecting the environment, it also staves off the efforts of data thieves. Better Business Bureau explains the three steps necessary for small business owners to dispose of old office equipment safely and securely.
Electronics contain toxic poisons such as lead, mercury and cadmium which if they are just tossed into a landfill will eventually leak out and pollute the soil and water. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 1.84 million tons of TVs, computers, printers, cell phones and other electronics were discarded primarily into landfills in 2007. Only 18 percent of discarded electronics were recycled that year, however, the EPA notes that e-cycling is growing in popularity perhaps due to mandatory programs in some states.
“When tossing old electronics you need to consider both the environmental and data security concerns,” said Kim States, BBB President. “Computers, cell phones and copiers not only contain toxic chemicals that can pollute the environment, they also contain a wealth of information that data thieves would love to get their hands on.”
BBB recommends taking the following step to ensure that all hazardous and data sensitive office equipment is disposed of the right way:
Step 1: Identify hazardous and data-sensitive electronics
The following office equipment contain toxic materials or sensitive data and should be recycled responsibly and not just tossed into the garbage:
- Computer CPUs
- Mobile phones
- Copiers, Printers and Fax Machines
- Monitors, Keyboards, Speakers and Mice (more…)