What to Ask a Potential e-Waste Recycling Provider

Topics: IT Asset Disposition

Your firm just rolled out a huge smartphone distribution to employees, while at the same retiring a generation of tablets. For better or for worse, businesses are upgrading multiple devices constantly. This leads to many obsolete devices requiring secure e-waste recycling and dispositionThese services can rid your enterprise of obsolete technology, as well as the data that resides on those discarded devices.

Done right, IT asset disposition takes place under a comprehensive, documented security umbrella that prevents data leaks and ensures equipment disposal with little environmental impact. After all, mistakes regarding data security or environmental protection could lead to fines or penalties — as well as a tarnished reputation for your organization.

Though it can be a complex process, IT asset disposition and recycling is made easier with a third-party vendor. Here are the key questions to ask a potential IT asset disposition vendor:

Question #1: Do you offer a comprehensive suite of services? Ensure that a potential IT asset disposition provider can provide:

  • Versatile disposal services. The vendor should be able to accommodate not only hardware and peripherals, but also CDs, film, photos, thumb drives and employee badges.
  • Logging and tracking of materials designated for destruction as they move off-site.
  • Transport of items to be destroyed based on a secure, auditable workflow and a documented chain of custody.
  • Data-erasure services that comply with international standards.
  • On-site destruction for sensitive materials that can't leave the premises.

Question #2: Do you recycle in accordance with specific industry standards? E-waste is a global problem, and regulations exist to fight it. Your IT asset disposition provider must use environmentally sustainable disposal practices. Look for a firm that takes environmental concerns seriously by offering compliance with e-Stewards® recycling standards:

  • De-manufacturing of e-waste into its component parts, followed by a part-specific recycling procedure
  • Assurance that e-waste will never be exported, incinerated or sent to a landfill
  • High standards for both destroying and recycling IT assets and media

Question #3: How do you turn trash into treasure? Just because equipment is obsolete for your purposes doesn't mean another organization or individual can't use it. Your recycler may be able to recapture some of the value of your retired assets — once the equipment is wiped clean of any proprietary data. Look for an IT disposal expert who can:

  • Assign a fair market value to your assets.
  • Erase all the data from IT devices prior to remarketing, and restore them to factory settings, as needed.
  • Destroy or recycle any hardware with no market value.

These are the big three questions to ask anyone and everyone you're considering as an IT asset disposition vendor. But don't ink any agreements until you establish a vendor's track record of expertise and ongoing support. Ask:

Q: Have you been certified as an e-Stewards Enterprise – one that follows the highest standards governing the management of e-waste?

Q: How large is your network of logistics and processing centers?

Q: What are your plans for expanding as IT asset consumption grows and regulations change and proliferate?

Finding a single full-service disposal expert is a tall order. But if you locate a firm that can handle everything from disposal to e-wasterecycling, while protecting the environment, you'll be solving the e-waste challenge.

Learn how enterprises are going green in our infographic, Earth Day and Every Day: Build a Greener Enterprise.

Iron Mountain Suggests: IT Asset Disposition

Iron Mountain's IT asset disposition program takes a consistent best-practices approach to destroying, recycling and remarketing your obsolete IT assets. And when it's appropriate, we can assist you in recovering value from unused assets by recycling what can't be resold and securely destroying the rest.

With Iron Mountain, you'll be able to:

  • Leverage our proven methodologies for reliability and consistency, from initial IT asset collection through the final destruction process.
  • Gain peace of mind, knowing that your critical information won't be lost or stolen. All data is subject to GPS tracking and documented chain of custody, among other strict security practices.
  • Dispose of potentially hazardous e-waste in a compliant, environmentally responsible manner without landfilling.
  • Reduce overhead by recovering value from IT assets — sometimes as much as 60 percent.


Records and Information Management
Records and Information Management

Topics: Store and Protect Information

Iron Mountain protects and stores more records for more customers than any other company in the world. Our comprehensive records management and storage solutions anticipate and address the needs of more than 120,000 customers of all sizes worldwide. Our Services empower them to manage rising storage, labor and administrative expenses while also applying a robust litigation-readiness focus to records management.

Document Management Solutions
Document Management Solutions

Iron Mountain's Document Management Solutions help you create and manage a fully integrated program—with complete visibility and access to all your business records, in whatever form they're in and wherever they reside.