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How Do You Get Rid of a PC? A Guide To Data Destruction and WEEE Recycling

Each year, an estimated 2 million tonnes of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) is discarded by UK households and businesses. As new upgrades and technology are released every few months, we can often get caught up in a society that ‘must have the latest model’.

Written by Adam Bovan

February 2019

A Guide To Data Destruction and WEEE Recycling

Whilst investing in new devices can help your team’s productivity and give your business an edge, we all need to remember what is in and on our old machines before throwing them to one side. Correctly and responsibly disposing of laptops, PCs, hard drives, tablets, phones and any other hardware you may have is extremely important for a number of reasons.

Reduce our impact on the environment.

Electronics contain a lot of harmful chemicals, which can have a detrimental impact on the earth, animals and human life.

If not handled the right way, they can leak into our environment – where we source our water and grow our food – and this can have huge implications on our health.

Check out this list of some of the harsh substances found in our devices and how they can damage us when disposed of incorrectly.

Protect your company’s data.

Your tech stores a lot of sensitive data that you spend time, money and energy trying to protect from getting into the wrong hands.

Backups, antivirus, firewalls, staff cybersecurity training – you name it, businesses like yours are fighting to keep their data and their customers’ data safe.

Throwing out your old machines without having them professionally wiped can cause all sorts of problems for your business.

Even if you think you have deleted files from your hard drive, they could still be recovered and accessed by an external party when thrown in the landfill.

So, how can we ensure that we protect the environment and our data?

Wipe everything.

Deleting files is not enough to fully remove the data. Information is backed up and stored in all sorts of places behind the scenes, so you can never be 100% sure it’s gone for good.

You need to make sure that it is completely unreadable and cannot be accessed or used by an unauthorised individual.

We definitely recommend hiring a professional to ensure everything is securely removed from your previous devices.

Reuse the parts.

Laptops and computers – and their related accessories – contain so many valuable resources that can be reused, such as glass, precious metals, plastic and steel.

When removed safely, they can be easily used again for a different purpose.

By reusing parts, we can produce new systems with less cost to our pockets and the environment.

We’d recommend taking your items to a professional WEEE recycling company.

If you’re local to West Yorkshire, UCAN Recycling is a good shout – they’re multi-award-winning specialists in IT asset removal, data destruction and computer recycling.

Give to charity.

Sometimes businesses choose to upgrade their tech when their current machines are not entirely redundant.

Many charities and social enterprises are crying out for devices to help them with their work or give to disadvantaged people who may struggle to afford basic technology, which is necessary nowadays to connect with the rest of the world.

If you are feeling charitable, be sure to wipe your devices of all data beforehand.

Want more advice on how to get rid of your old technology, as well as wipe your hard drives? Get in touch with a member of our team right now

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