Proper Disposal of Unused Electronics Is Still Proving To Be a Challenge

e-End, a Maryland electronics recycling firm, offers solutions to guarantee 100% environmentally-sound recycling of electronics and the complete destruction of data on equipment

Currently there are over two hundred million unused electronic products stored in homes and offices throughout the country. These range from old computers, cell phones, TVs, monitors, and a host of other electronic devices and equipment. With greater nationwide attention on recycling, there is more focus on the proper disposal of these outdated electronics. In many cases the equipment is being stored because the owners don't know how to properly dispose of them – with many of these devices containing important data that must be properly destroyed.

The challenge has been finding a viable solution for having these old data containing computers, cell phones and other equipment recycled properly.

With a low-cost of entry to start up an electronic recycling facility, numerous companies have opened their doors for taking in tons of old equipment. Although these recycling companies may seem to offer a sound solution for disposing of old equipment, in many cases they have created serious environmental problems. In addition to using improper methods for handling of hazardous materials, personal and corporate data is at risk of being extracted from the equipment's memory to steal identities and other confidential information.

Until recently, there was little oversight on how recyclers had to process electronic waste. In many cases, old electronics were being shipped overseas to underdeveloped countries where computers were burned in open fields by children attempting to extract precious metals. Rivers were being polluted when they were turned into electronic waste dumps. Recently a major electronic recycler declared bankruptcy and news reports indicate they have 30 million pounds of unprocessed CRT glass stored throughout the country which will require special handling due to the lead and other hazardous elements these monitors contain.

With government agencies, companies of all sizes and individuals becoming more concerned about the environment and protecting their personal and confidential data, they are seeking out specialized and certified electronic recyclers and electronic data destruction specialists.

One such certified recycler is a Frederick, MD company, e-End, which offers solutions for both the proper recycling of old electronics and data destruction on old equipment. According to e-End's president, Steve Chafitz, "We are able to assure our clients that 100% of material we process is properly recycled with nothing ending up in a landfill, plus we certify that all data is destroyed and cannot be recovered by any means." To offer this guarantee, e-End has earned the R2:2013 specialized certification for electronic recycling. "By earning this certification, our clients are assured every method and every processor we use for recycling is audited to verify every electronic component is 100% recycled and does not pose an environmental risk," added Chafitz.

Along with their R2 Certification, e-End also earned the ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 Certifications. Chafitz stated, "Our ISO 14001 Certification demonstrates to our clients our commitment to environmental protection by providing a framework for our company to help reduce our environmental impact, and the OHSAS 18001 Certification ensures a strong commitment to occupational health and safety throughout the organization."

In order to guarantee and also certify that all data on the hard drives and other electronic media they handle is destroyed and can never be recovered, e-End received the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) AAA Certification for the destruction of all non-paper media. According to the company, when destroying data they adhere to the data destruction guidelines of the National Security Agency (NSA) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Chafitz noted, "Be leery of companies that offer free recycling or destruction of electronic data. For a company to guarantee 100% recycling and 100% data destruction, it takes skilled workers, specialized equipment, and constant training and education. There is no free ride when protecting the environment and your data."

About e-End: e-End is a Certified Woman-Owned Small Business located in Frederick, MD offering secure data sanitization of electronic media and electronic recycling to government agencies and to a broad range of companies. Steve Chafitz, President, is a subject matter expert on both sanitizing electronic media and electronic recycling. For additional information, call 240-529-1010 or visit