E-recycle vs e-destruction: what’s the difference?

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Information exists in many forms. Historically we thought of paper – bank statements, financial reports, insurance documents, research and development or marketing plans. But as technology has permeated our culture we find much of this information exists on other media as well. Hard drives, cell phones, notebooks or tablets, laptops and even multi-functional copy machines are a few examples. Working hand-in-hand with these information-containing devices we have printers, keyboards, toner cartridges and monitors among other items. Some of these contain data, some don’t. What all of them do contain is material that can impact our environment and it needs to be kept out of our landfills. Shred Right’s zero-landfill policy supports that need.

When the time came to dispose of paper containing confidential information, it was shredded. Whether on-site using an AAA NAID Certified information destruction vendor’s mobile truck or off-site at the vendor’s AAA NAID Certified plant-based facility, care was taken to ensure the material was rendered indecipherable and non-negotiable. Full-service destruction vendors still provide an on-site or off-site choice.

Just as care is taken to shred confidential information contained on paper, it’s important to be aware of the disposition of your technology devices. As growth has occurred in the E-Waste market it’s necessary to understand the difference between E-Recycling and E-Destruction.

E-Recycling can include the re-use, donation or repair of devices as well as the disassembly and separation of components and raw materials of waste electronics. E-Recycling occurs primarily to recover valuable metals and plastics. The metals and plastics are then resold or used in new devices. E-Recycling does not guarantee the destruction of confidential information contained on the device. While E-Recycling helps the environment, it does not protect the data.

E-Destruction, on the other hand, ensures the data on a device is rendered indecipherable and non-negotiable just as you expect when shredding paper documents. The E-Destruction process protects proprietary and confidential data and guarantees the security of your information. As with paper, full-service destruction vendors offer the choice for AAA NAID Certified on-site or off-site destruction.

When making the choice between E-Recycling and E-Destruction it’s important to consider what is, or could be, contained on a device. According to the University of Oregon, it is estimated that nearly 86,000 pages of Word documents would fill just one gigabyte of storage. That’s nearly 3 million documents on the typical 32 GB USB or 20 million documents on the typical 200 GB laptop hard drive! If even a fraction of the information contained on the device were sensitive or confidential imagine the risk as well as potential loss that would exist.

At Shred Right we can help you protect the information that exists not only on your hard copy documents but on your technology devices as well. Contact us to set up a free cost analysis and let us assist you in keeping your information secure. After all, we are the Information Destruction Authority.