Donate Or Recycle Your E-Waste In Chesterfield
Chesterfield is nestled in one of the most beautiful parts of England. However, global warming is causing drastic changes to our countryside, meaning our grandchildren could see a very different surrounding to Chesterfield.
While recycling initiatives and ‘green’ travel and work reflect our growing understanding of the impact we’re having on our environment, so much of what we use today is still seen as disposable. This includes electronics.
So far in 2023, over 7 million tonnes of electronic waste, or e-waste, has been thrown out globally. If every business donated or recycled its e-waste, rather than sending it to landfill, we’d save millions of tonnes of recyclable material and usable electronics that could be repurposed for further use.
Your old electronics are still useful
Just 12.5% of e-waste is recycled.
While businesses need the latest technology to remain competitive, the computers, phones and tablets they replace are often still usable. Some wear and tear and an older operating system don’t make these devices useless.
So why is so much technology wasted?
Tech is mainly made of plastic, metal and glass. If your old computer ends up in landfill, the plastic will take around 500 years to decompose, the metal will take anywhere between 50 to 500 years, and the glass may not decompose at all.
Beyond the obvious environmental damage, binning your tech deprives someone else being able to use it – whether that’s manufacturers reusing the materials or a consumer buying the refurbished product.
By using green ways to dispose of your e-waste, you contribute to the fight against climate change.
What should you donate or recycle?
You should be able to donate or recycle anything electronic.
Whether you donate or recycle your e-waste will depend on whether it still works (and the charity you donate to accepts the electronics). Old desktops, laptops, tablets, monitors, printers, telephones, servers and projectors are just some example of e-waste that shouldn’t end up in landfill. Check your chosen donation point for more information of what they accept and the condition your electronics need to be in.
However, you do need to be careful when preparing anything with a hard drive, as there are serious consequences if you mishandle data.
How do you securely dispose of HDDs and SSDs?
You can securely dispose of HDDs and SSDs by wiping them, destroying them or sending them to a company that can safely wipe the contents.
Your work computers will have a lot of information on them. Account details, customer information, invoices and other personal or financial data is valuable and dangerous if it falls into the wrong hands.
Cyber criminals could use the data to launch attacks against your business or customers. If your business is found to be at fault for a cyber attack, you could face a heavy fine from GDPR.
Deleting the files and emptying your recycle bin doesn’t completely erase that data. The hard drive’s firmware is simply informed that the location of those particular files can be overwritten if necessary. The data can be retrieved with relative ease by someone with the right knowledge and equipment.
As such, company hard drives need to be thoroughly wiped before they are disposed of. What method you use will depend on the type of hard drive you have:
Hard Drive Disk (HDD): These ‘traditional’ hard drives use spinning magnetic disks called platters, and actuator arms that ‘read’ or ‘write’ data. They’re the most common form of hard drive, so it’s likely you have HDDs in your computers.
Solid State Drive (SSD): A decade ago, these were a luxury in high-end machines. However, SSDs have become cheaper to produce and are rapidly replacing HDDs as the preferred storage option. SSDs use electronic circuits to store data in blocks. As they have no moving parts, they are significantly faster than HDDs, but are usually only found in newer computers.
HDDs and SSDs store data differently, so the methods for secure data erasure are different.
HDDs: You need to overwrite your data, ensuring that any tools used by cyber criminals can’t recover anything usable. Known as data sanitisation, this software overwrites existing data with random data patterns, ensuring that sensitive information can’t be recovered.
The other option is to physically destroy the HDD – hackers can’t recover any data if the disk doesn’t work. Grab a hammer and screwdriver, and shatter the platters.
SSDs: SSD manufacturers offer software that allows you to wipe SSDs through the ATA Secure Erase command. Look at what brand your SSD is, download the associated software from the manufacturer’s site, and follow their instructions.
Some charities and recycling centres will offer their own data wiping services. It’s important to check before you send your electronics, and take any necessary actions.
Where can you donate electronics in Chesterfield?
You can donate electronics in Chesterfield at places like CPR Computer Recycling, the Air Ambulance Service, Eco IT and Laptops for Kids.
CPR Computer Recycling: CPR Recycling offer free collections for all commercial, educational and government organisations. They wipe hard drives using a certified sanitisation method, before testing, grading and then refurbishing your electronics, ready to be re-sold.
The Air Ambulance Service: The Air Ambulance also offer a free collection service, and partner with organisations across the UK to take unwanted tech off their hands. The Air Ambulance then wipe, refurbish and resell this equipment to raise funds for their life-saving work.
Eco IT: Eco IT offer a free valuation and arranges a secure collection for your old IT equipment. Their data destruction methods are rated to UK government standards, and they offer a detailed report once your tech has been refurbished.
Laptops For Kids: As the name suggests, this charity refurbishes used digital devices for disadvantaged children, giving them the necessary tools for remote learning. Check their site to see if your old laptops, desktops or tablets fit the requirements.
This isn’t an exhaustive list but gives you a few local options for your business to consider. By recycling or donating your e-waste, your business makes an important contribution to a greener future.
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