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Best Electronic Disposal Tips for Eco-Friendly Business Owners

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There are a lot of things that you have to consider when running an eco-friendly business. We talk a lot about the importance of keeping a low carbon footprint as an entrepreneur. However, there are other environmental factors to ponder as well.

You also need to make waste management a priority. Businesses produce a lot of waste each year, which can take its toll on the environment if it is not managed properly.

Electronics are a major factor that needs to be considered. E-waste is a growing concern, especially since only around 15% of all electronic waste is recycled. As a business owner, you need to make managing it a top priority.

This means you have to dispose of your electronics properly.

How Do You Dispose of Your Electronics as an Eco-Friendly Business?

If you’re constantly upgrading to the latest technology or if you’re downsizing an eco-friendly business, you’ll eventually end up with a lot of old electronics, including computers, phones, and tablets. What should you be doing with these leftover tech remnants?

Proper management of your business’s old electronics can keep your organization more secure, responsibly protect the environment, and potentially even earn you a bit of extra money.

The Big Concerns

You probably know that you can’t just put all your old electronics in a dumpster and dispose of them that way. But what’s the most responsible and efficient way to get rid of them?

Ultimately, you’ll face three major concerns:

  • Cost and ROI. You likely paid a lot of money to acquire these electronics. Throwing them away or donating them would result in a kind of loss. Certainly, your electronics have depreciated over time, but they’re still holding at least some value – even if it’s just because of their internal components. If you sell them, you can recoup some of what you paid for them, or get a boost in capital you can use to fund the purchase of new devices.
  • Environmental protection. You also need to think about the environment. Disposing of electronics improperly can cause a host of negative effects for your local ecosystem – and render precious metals within your devices practically inaccessible. Proper recycling is the only way to prevent these negative outcomes.
  • Security and privacy. Of course, you’ll also need to think about the security and privacy of your organization. These electronic devices were likely used to send and receive sensitive information, including proprietary secrets, credit card numbers, and other forms of personal data. If you dispose of these electronics recklessly, whether you sell or recycle them, it could leave your organization vulnerable to attack.

An All-in-One Solution

One of the best options for any business is to work with a company that specializes in providing an “all-in-one” electronics disposal service. Gizmogo, for example, specializes in buying and recycling old electronics from businesses. You can ship your electronics directly, get instant payment, and rest assured that your devices will be responsibly and securely recycled.

Businesses like these want to make the process as convenient as possible for you without cutting any corners. They’re familiar with best practices for responsible disposal of electronics (to protect the environment) and can clear your devices of any remnants of data that could leave you with a security vulnerability.

The Importance of Deleting Old Data

Most people understand why it’s important to delete old data from your electronic devices. They understand that a sufficiently motivated cybercriminal could easily access data like your credit card information, your social security number, or your business’s proprietary information, and use it to commit fraud or other crimes.

However, many people have misconceptions about what it takes to truly delete data from a digital device. When you “delete” a file for the first time, it often goes to a “Recycle Bin” or a “Trash” folder, where it can easily be restored with the click of a button. To delete it more permanently, you’ll need to empty that folder – or restore your device to factory default settings.

Still, this method isn’t truly permanent. On a physical level, data is stored on a hard drive. Deleting the file from your device merely erases the convenient path the device uses to access those data. A sufficiently motivated cybercriminal can still get access to the ground-level data. That’s why it’s important to either write and rewrite over old data many times, or physically destroy the hard drive to achieve full security.

The Impact of Improper Electronics Disposal

It’s also important to understand the true impact of improper electronics disposal. Electronics waste, or “e-waste” can cause toxins from the components of the device to leech into the soil; depending on the device, you could be directly causing leakage of lead, mercury, cadmium, nickel, beryllium, and zinc. In sufficient quantities, these materials can prevent plant life from flourishing, and if they get into the water supply, they can have a major impact on human health as well.

The Issues With Resale

Reselling your devices can be a hassle as well, even if you’ve taken precautions to fully delete everything on them. Generally, you’ll have to take photos, write descriptions, list your items, and wait for a seller to pounce – costing you time and money.

No matter what, if you have old electronics to dispose of, you’ll need to take precautions to minimize costs, reduce environmental impact, and protect your organization from the threat of cybercrime. For many businesses, the best path is to work with an e-waste specialist that can take care of everything on your behalf.

Larry Alton is a professional blogger, writer and researcher who contributes to a number of reputable online media outlets and news sources, including Entrepreneur.comHuffingtonPost.com, and Business.com, among others. In addition to journalism, technical writing and in-depth research, he’s also active in his community and spends weekends volunteering with a local non-profit literacy organization and rock climbing. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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