Will e-waste regulations catch up to reality?

By SIPIAR Team on 9/20/2017

 

Recycling IT assets will take a concerted effort.
Recycling IT assets will take a concerted effort.
It's already known that the large amount of waste generated from electronic devices poses security and ecological concerns around the world. However, government legislation in this area has been slow to adapt to the most pressing threats related to e-waste. That leaves IT asset disposition companies - and the clients they serve - in a position to lead the way toward the adoption of more secure and environmentally friendly methods of device disposal.

 

Security a hidden threat

"A surge in IT investment brings new security risks for businesses."

In the coming years, businesses and consumers around the world are expected to dramatically increase their IT investment. Research from Gartner estimated that more than 2.4 billion devices, including computers and mobile phones, will be delivered to customers in 2017, increasing to more than 2.5 billion the following year.

While this signals a strengthening global economy, it's also great news for criminals and corporate saboteurs looking to pilfer data from improperly discarded IT assets. Security Intelligence points out that this isn't limited to devices disposed of in a landfill (often against environmental law). Devices sold on the second-hand market are highly susceptible to attempts to harvest sensitive data. These incidents could expose personal data and financial records of countless employees or customers, but so far, very few laws on the books address this gaping security threat.

RecycleElectronic recycling is essential, but it's difficult to excel at on a massive scale.

Environmental concerns

The presence of more new devices inevitably means more old devices must be discarded. That also means more rare metals like copper, and hazardous materials like lead, will find their way into common devices. But once those devices have reached the end of their lifespan, they pose a significant threat to the health of both the world's ecosystem and the entire human population.

In the U.S., laws at the federal and state levels have sought to address the most pressing issues regarding hazardous e-waste disposal and recycling. But American Recycler reported that only around 16 percent of global e-waste - out of 50 million tons produced annually - is actually recycled or disposed of according to these regulations. Waste generation is expected to swell by 8 percent every year, and 20 percent in the U.S. alone.

Closing the gap between what needs to happen regarding safe e-waste disposal and what is actually mandated puts an enormous responsibility on the shoulders of businesses everywhere. That's why more corporate leaders are relying on certified IT asset disposition companies to accomplish e-waste recycling and disposal goals that go above and beyond the minimum that's required.

The benefits of such an approach can be seen throughout an organization. ITAD service providers can handle the complex disposal and recycling process from end to end, delivering value to clients in the form of security, risk mitigation, and environmental stewardship.

Talk with Sipi Asset Recovery to learn more about how your business will benefit from a better IT asset disposal process.