3 Myths About IT Asset Disposal and Electronics Recycling

Posted by Frank Milia

Sep 18, 2015 3:37:56 PM

Many companies in the electronics recycling and IT asset disposal industry utilize scare tactics and try to focus a buyer’s attention on false narratives to win new clients and increase profitability of contracts.  We believe in transparency and educating our clients.  Here are some facts in response to three common myths being disseminated by disposal service providers. 

The Myth: Allowing a disposal vendor to reuse or sell your equipment creates additional liability for your organization.  Allowing the third party vendor to sell the equipment will be a problem for your organization since the item can be found in a landfill in the future or can otherwise be utilized inappropriately. 

Some of our competitors use this inaccurate storyline to convince organizations to dispose of valuable equipment at an inflated cost under the premise that the vendor will be destroying the equipment and no asset will be sold as a functioning unit that can be traced back to the original owner.  Whatever the IT asset disposal vendor’s motive is, the idea that all surplus computer and IT equipment must be dismantled and destroyed to remove downstream liability is flawed and environmentally irresponsible. 

The Fact:  With best practice data destruction and chain of custody processes in place selling surplus assets is a secure, environmentally responsible, and an economically practical solution for retired computer equipment.  All organizations should document IT asset disposal work with serialized inventory reports, transfer of ownership statements, bills of sale and link transactions to a formal master service agreement

The IT asset disposal vendor should be utilizing an inventory management system that can track the asset from receipt from client to the sale to end user or downstream partner in order to address any unlikely disputes or exposures that could be inappropriately traced back to the disposing entity.  

Consider other common situations of transferring assets such as selling a car.  Would one expect to be liable after legally selling a car with appropriate documentation to a buyer who then goes on to cause an accident? 

Call Them Out:

If a vendor has made this claim ask him/her to provide proof of a real world example where an organization has faced a fine, legal trouble, bad publicity or any other liability related to the sale of company IT assets.  Ask the vendor to provide any legal documents to support this claim.   

The Myth: Only vendors with this (insert any third party certification here) are doing things right and any other provider will be breaking environmental regulations and putting your organization at risk. 

When a competing vendor has very little to display that will separate their firm from the pack they might inflate the importance of the specific third party certifications they hold and make false claims that these certifications are the end all to your organization’s liability concerns.

The Fact:  There are two prominent certifications (R2, e-Stewards) commonly obtained by ITAD providers and these certifications include requirements to hold ISO 14001 as well as OHSAS health and safety management systems.  Both certifications are very similar, but neither guarantees a vendor will be compliant with your company’s environmental policy or legal regulations.

Doing your own vetting, documenting due diligence, and implementing a formal agreement is as important as your vendor maintaining a third party certification. 

Call Them Out:

If a vendor has made the claim that the certification they hold is superior or a must have certification ask them to prove this with metrics and supporting facts.  We also urge you to do your own research and see that the EPA and the Federal Government's policy, driven by an executive order from the President of the United States of America, values these certifications but does not favor one over the other.    

Myth: If your current provider is paying you for equipment or providing a no cost solution they are breaking environmental regulations and must be dumping the waste illegally either domestically or internationally. 

Many competitors utilize this scare tactic to get valuable equipment from companies and collect inappropriate fees. 

The Fact:

If an IT asset disposal vendor is buying your surplus equipment at a reasonable value it would make no business sense for that vendor to then throw away the stock or illegally export it as waste.  When a vendor pays for equipment your organization is at less of a risk.  In order to sell the surplus equipment the ITAD vendor will have to wipe data, clear networking equipment, re-image, and warranty the equipment as a functioning system to another buyer.

All ITAD providers should be able to provide a pricing model that accounts for the market value of a client’s disposable equipment.  If the equipment does not have value the client should incur a fee for destruction and management services.  If the equipment has some value but only covers the operating costs of the vendor a no cost solution can be appropriate and fair for both parties.  If the equipment’s value significantly exceeds the logistics and operating costs of the disposal vendor a credit or cash back for the equipment is due to the client. 

Call Them Out:

If a vendor makes this claim again ask them to provide a real world example where assets sold to a computer disposal provider at reuse value created a liability, fine, or negative publicity for the organization disposing of the assets.  Ask the vendor why would a company pay for a company’s disposable assets, or even take on the logistics costs of removing the equipment if they could not turn the product back into a profitable sale on the secondary markets. 

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Topics: IT Asset Disposal, eWaste Disposal, Risk Management

ITAMG Celebrates 15 Years in IT Asset Disposal Services

Posted by Frank Milia

Sep 11, 2014 12:00:00 PM

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Here at IT Asset Management Group (a New York based IT asset disposal and data destruction provider) we are thrilled to be celebrating our fifteenth year in business. Since September of 1999 ITAMG has grown from our modest beginnings delivering computer liquidation services to New York Metropolitan area firms to assisting global Fortune 500 and private companies with their asset disposal and data destruction programs.

In the last several years our service offerings expanded to provide on-site data destruction solutions including client site hard drive shredding and software wiping services as well as tape media and mobile device destruction. ITAMG is currently increasing efforts to secure data destruction contracts with Government agencies, and is taking steps to be listed on a schedule with the U.S. General Services Administration this year.  

We continue to focus our outreach to clients, and potential business partners, around best practices related to data security, environmental compliance, and methods for running an efficient disposition program to reduce costs and increase returns on surplus equipment.

As we look forward to future success our initiatives are to improve the client experience both during site services and through improved reporting and asset tracking methods.

We are also taking measures to expand capabilities related to technology relocation services, asset management, program management, and disposition consulting.

Our goal is to lead the IT asset disposition industry by helping our clients improve their information security and bottom line by establishing deeper engagements as a trusted strategic adviser. We owe our success to our dedicated customer base and would like to thank all who have supported us during the past fifteen years. We look forward to growing and improving with you.

 

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Topics: Computer Liquidation, eWaste Disposal, IT Asset Disposal NY

Beyond Computer Recycling Initiatives

Posted by Frank Milia

Feb 19, 2014 8:46:00 PM

When it comes to recycling there is always room for improvement. From coast to coast exciting initiatives are taking root. 

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On the east coast, in New York City, the  Apartment Building Recycling Initiative is underway.  Individuals living in NYC apartments that are interested in seeing recycling improved in their building, and motivated to spread the word to their neighbors,  can sign up to take part in this Initiative.  Qualified residents will attend a training seminar and the BWPRR staff will visit each building to evaluate the current recycling setup. The recipient of the training will receive suggestions on recycling process improvements building- wide.  For more information you can visit  Apartment Building Recycling Initiative.

As a New Yorker working in the electronics recycling industry I’m thrilled to see an education and advocacy program like this launching into action.  The NYS Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act has been signed since May 2010 and mandates that manufacturers institute take back programs for electronic waste, and consumers of all types are legally responsible to ensure proper recycling of regulated electronic waste.

Thus far education and promotion of these new state regulations have been lacking and therefore enforcement of the laws through fines for non-compliance have been few and far between.  Grassroots education programs like the Apartment Building Recycling Initiative should create a space where the city can successfully educate its citizens on topics like computer recycling without incurring the high costs of television and print campaigns.   

On the west coast, we see San Francisco sprouting with innovation in apartment building recycling efforts as well. San Francisco is taking this model even further by providing Textile Recycling Bins.  This innovative step in recycling may ultimately help lower the 39 million pounds of textiles which end up in the city’s landfills each year.  The bins which will be managed by goodwill have a sensor to alert when the container is full. The clothes will be re-used (through sale on the secondary markets) or recycled into insulation.

This type of change in the approach to recycling is inspiring for each of us to do our part.  While it is critical to continue our own daily recycling procedures and educate our neighbors on how to do the same, it is equally important for us to cultivate the future improvements to recycling and reuse of goods and materials.   

 

 

 

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Topics: eWaste Disposal, Electronic Waste Management, Recycling Initiatives

Electronic Waste Problem to Increase a Dramatic 1/3 by 2017

Posted by Frank Milia

Jan 16, 2014 10:03:11 AM

 

E-waste is on the rise and the impending result will impact us all.  

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According to a USA Today article referencing a UN Study, “The mountain of refrigerators, cellphones, TV sets and other electrical waste disposed of annually worldwide is forecast to grow by a third by 2017.”  In 2012 there was 53.9 million tons, and this forecast will bring that number to 72.09 million tons in 2017.  Findings were based on estimates of product life along with actual data regarding discarded products in several countries.

 

The United States was the number one contributor to e-waste, followed by China.  These are frightening numbers and this e-waste problem must be addressed through initiatives and legislation.  Fortunately steps are being taken in a number of areas to address this growing problem.

 

The Environmental protection agency is collaborating with “Solving the E-Waste Problem” (“StEP”) to focus on this issue.  StEP has published a world-wide map which drills down on country by country data referencing equipment on the market yielding e-waste.  This information is eye-opening.  StEP has set up an initiative with five task forces to address growing e-waste concerns. By addressing policy, redesign, reuse, recycle and capacity building, analysis is done and recommendations and action can be taken to ultimately provide solutions to this mounting problem.

 

In addition, while laws vary by country, legislation was introduced in the U.S. to address the export of e-waste concern. The Responsible Electronics Recycling Act of 2013 (RERA) would make it illegal to send e-waste from the U.S. to developing nations.

 

As our society continues to focus on upgrading consumer technology more waste will be generated.  All of our efforts must be stepped-up to recycle properly.  We need a continued focus by organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency, StEP, IT asset disposal providers, electronic waste recycling companies, and government agencies to set in motion recommendations, programs and legislation so as a global community we can reduce the harms of the drastic increase of waste generation forecasted to take place by 2017.   

 

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Topics: IT Asset Disposition, eWaste Disposal, Electronic Waste Management

    

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