It's Almost Earth Day: How To Properly Throw Out Old Technology

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With Earth Day fast-approaching, it's important for everyone in the technology space to stop and think about how the technology they dispose of impacts the environment. Unfortunately, many people think that advanced technology equipment can be thrown away or recycled just like any other piece of garbage; however, this isn’t the case. Company technology contains a significant amount of sensitive information that could be used dangerously if it were to fall in the wrong hands. This technology is also made with unique metals that could negatively impact the environment if exposed. With the Earth in mind, how should your company properly throw out old technology?

Leave the Disposal to the Professionals

Some people drill holes in their hard drives or remove old hard drives, thinking they're helping. In reality, this isn’t the case. Drilling holes in hard drives could release dangerous metals or chemicals into the environment. Allow the recycling company to dispose of the hard drive properly and ensure that the recycling company runs a shredding utility when throwing out technology.

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Think About Donating Unneeded Equipment

Instead of throwing out technology, why not donate the old equipment to people who could use it? There are many charity organizations, schools, and nonprofit companies that could take advantage of old equipment and put it to use. Everyone knows that technology is expensive, and these organizations often struggle for the funding to purchase new equipment. They do a significant amount of good for the community and deserve the support of others, especially if the technology is just going to be thrown out regardless. What's more, these donations can be claimed as tax write-offs.

Use Records to Track All Donations

While donating unneeded technology to charitable organizations is always a good idea and will help save the environment, it's also important for anyone donating technology to track these donations for their records. When people claim charitable deductions, it isn’t unusual for the IRS to step in and ask for proof of the donations. This is where the records come in handy. In addition, the records are important to account for any equipment that may be missing from its standard location.

Wipe the Hard Drive Prior to Donating

Some people may think that this is an obvious step; however, it's often the easy steps that are overlooked. Hard drives contain a significant amount of sensitive information and simply “deleting” the file may not be enough to permanently eliminate it. Therefore, take the time to wipe the hard drive, particularly if the hard drive contains sensitive materials.

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Be Proactive When it Comes to Technological Equipment

Without a doubt, it's always easier to prevent an issue from happening than to deal with a problem that's already in full bloom. If the equipment starts to pile up, think about sending it to a recycling center or donating it sooner rather than later. The pile is only to get larger over time.

With the interests of the environment at heart, do not leave any equipment running unless it's in use. It does take time to boot up a machine; however, leaving it running and plugged in is a waste of resources if it isn’t being actively used. It also represents a major security risk for the company if it is connected to a network. To ensure your company is taking the right measures of technology equipment disposal, being proactive can make all the difference.

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