How to Prepare your Server for Recycling

A computer server is a device that allows you to store data and connect multiple devices to the same network. Residential internet users typically connect to a remote server, but it is common for businesses to have one or more on-site. As with all electronics, servers eventually outlive their usefulness and need to be replaced. However, you cannot just toss an old server into the trash or even into the single-stream recycling. Electronics such as servers contain chemicals that are toxic to humans and dangerous to the environment, requiring a special recycling process. Furthermore, your server may still contain sensitive information that a hacker could access and use against you, your employees, or your customers. An e-waste management plan makes it easy to avoid this by making hard drive recycling more convenient.

How Does Hard Drive Recycling Help the Environment?

Electronic devices such as servers contain toxic materials. These are safely contained and pose no threat as long as the device is in use. However, if it were to go to a landfill without special handling, the toxic chemicals could leak. They could contaminate the groundwater in the area around the dump. The environmental impact could be enormous, as well as the effects on public health and safety.

Servers contain metals such as copper and iron. While relatively safe compared to some of the other materials used in electronics manufacturing, these could still poison the groundwater. More toxic materials found in servers include the following:

  • Mercury
  • Lead
  • Beryllium
  • Brominated flame retardant
  • Cadmium
  • Hexavalent chromium

Every year, the United States generates 11.7 million tons of e-waste, more than any other country. Hard drive recycling prevents toxic materials from electronics from getting into the environment via the landfill. Despite laws in place requiring proper disposal of electronics, the average amount of e-waste recycled is only 12.5%.

How Does Recycling Your Server Prevent Data Breaches?

Not only does recycling your old server help the environment, but it also helps protect you from data breaches. Hard drives often contain sensitive data. If you run a business, you may have proprietary information about your business, customer credit card data, or payroll information about employees, including Social Security numbers, stored on your server. If you dispose of it by selling it or throwing it away, that information could be accessible to the person who buys your old server or anyone who happens to pick it up. To prevent data breaches of this nature from happening, you must ensure data destruction as part of the disposal process.

What Is the Recycling Process?

The process of recycling your server with High Tech Recycling consists of several steps:

  1. You either drop off your electronics at our facility, or we come and pick them up for you. You can schedule an appointment for pickup by giving us a call. Then collect all the items to be recycled in one general area.
  2. We use software compliant with the Department of Defense 5220.22 M to wipe your hard drive. We securely and permanently erase the data using our professional degaussing machine. After this takes place, there is no chance of the data being misused or stolen.
  3. We break most items down into separate components for sorting. Some of the materials can be reused or refurbished. Others can be used to make new products and go back into the material stream. We ship the materials to another facility for further processing after sorting them.

Notice that once you arrange to have your materials picked up or drop them off at our facility, your responsibility ends. We take care of everything from that point on to ensure your data is destroyed securely and the components returned to the stream of material safely.

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