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What is the best way to dispose of an old computer?

recycleSo you have some old computers to be disposed of.  You may have replaced them, downsized, or changed the way your business runs and simply have no need for them any more. They are getting in the way and you just don’t want them around anymore.  But what is the best way to dispose of them and how can you remain safe and compliant?

  • Remove any unneeded access accounts from your system.  If you have made staff redundant, or outsourced part of your business. Ensure that any user accounts associated with the old equipment are removed from your servers.
  • Destroy any data.  Simply disposing of the hard drives into landfill is not good enough to ensure that your business data does not end up in the wrong hands.  The data should be destroyed and certified that its been destroyed.  A good equipment recycler will be able to destroy the data completely, and give you a certificate to prove that this has been done.
  • Responsibly dispose of the hardware.  All electronic and computer equipment contains a mixture of plastics, many different metals, and other substances which are valuable, difficult to obtain and damaging the environment.  A good equipment recycler will break your old equipment down into its constituent materials and recycle them.  This reduces the impact of the technology lifecycle on the planet (and ensures you remain compliant with the latest WEEE legislation).
  • Watch your photocopier and your printer!  You may not realise it but many printers and photocopiers contain a hard drive which holds a cache of documents printed, scanned or copied.  There have been several high profile cases of data breaches from irresponsibly dumped photocopiers.  As a rule of thumb, all of your electronic equipment should be disposed of through a reputable recycler.
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