E-waste in Vermont on the rise and is a concern!

April 12 , 2009 in Industry News

So. Burlington, VT – April 12th, 2009 – Computer equipment is the fastest growing component of electronic waste. SecurShred, a document destruction company in South Burlington, VT has expanded its services to include the recycling of computer equipment. All forms of computer equipment can be picked up from your business or home and transported to our secure facility for processing. SecurShred, not only destroys the computers hard drive, but also recycles all of the other components such as: – CPUs – Monitors – Keyboards – Mice – Printers – Fax Machines, etc.

SecurShred has been certified for hard drive destruction by the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID). The annual certification confirms that SecurShred has the appropriate policies and procedures in place for the handling and destruction of hard drives. The HD Hammer, hard drive destruction machine, will crush the memory platters of the hard drive to make it impossible to obtain information from it.

Every day, more and more old computers are becoming obsolete because of software changes, not because the hardware is inferior. For every three new computers now built, two old computers become obsolete. Recent studies made by Eweek.org suggests that the ratio is one to one, leaving 150 million personal computers for landfills—enough to fill a one-acre hole three-and-one-half miles deep.

According to United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) estimates, electronic products constitute approximately one percent of municipal solid waste. In fact, more than 63 million computers were projected to be retired in the U.S. in 2005. Research completed in Europe shows that electronic waste is growing at three times the rate of other municipal waste. A study from the National Safety Council reported that most computers are obsolete in 3 years or less.

Many of the components in discarded electronics contain toxic constituents. An average desktop computer (monitor, tower, and accessories) is made up of many different heavy metals and plastics. These include lead, mercury, antimony, sliver, chromium, tin, zinc, copper, iron, aluminum, nickel, cobalt, and lithium. The primary materials of concern are lead, cadmium, chromium, and mercury. These toxic materials can cause kidney, cardiovascular and central nervous system damage.

Most states, including Vermont, have laws against the land filling of computer equipment by residents and businesses. Land filling this equipment is not only illegal, but is harmful to the environment. According to the Agency of Natural Resources Department of Environmental Conversation, a 1998 study identified that fewer than six percent of Vermont’s electronics were being recycled and that few electronics recycling programs existed in the state. In 2008, Senator Lyons of Chittenden District and Senator Ayer of Addison District had proposed a bill to implement a system for the collection and recycling of electronic devices to help the consumer receive reimbursement of properly disposed e-waste. The goal is to help the state provide its citizens with a safe and healthy environment by reducing the potential contamination from mercury. In addition, recycling computers can conserve valuable landfill space for other matters and to be consistent with the state’s duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of its citizens. Lyons said, “We intend to take every democratic measure necessary to help e-waste out of our landfills and to protect our environment and the health of Vermont’s children.”

Morris Switzer-Environments for Health, LLC recently had an issue with numerous computers sitting in a room doing nothing. Lori Trieb-Smith of Morris Switzer-Environments said, “We were concerned about the security aspect of our hard drives. We could spend hours reformatting all of our old ones. We were not sure how to properly dispose of them and our computers. She also said, “SecurShred’s services were a FANTASTIC find! They arrived on site, on time and ready to go. Mark thoroughly explained the steps that were being taken on computers and hard drives to protect our company and our privacy. In addition we were provided with complete destruction documentation. We were impressed!”

Whether your business has thousands of pounds of electronic equipment or you just have one computer at home, SecurShred can securely and responsibly destroy and recycle its components for you. All of the computers are recycled by US EPA standards.

Responsible Recycling practices