IT Recycling Companies – Questions To Ask
Ask these questions before opting for a certain IT recycling company to recycle IT equipment.
1 – Do they have a Waste Carrier License?
One of the basic requirements for IT recycling companies is to possess a Waste Carrier License. Before choosing any IT disposal company, go through their website and look for a Licenses tab. If they don’t have one, ask them to show the licenses they hold. Always opt for a licensed IT recycling company for recycling IT equipment.
2 – Does the IT disposal company have an Environmental Permit?
Several IT disposal companies have acquired the exemption license to save the excessive costs; however, the situation is under review. The Environment Agency is investigating the matter and taking preventive measures against it.
Even though the law doesn’t bind you, we suggest you hire an IT recycling company that possesses an Environmental Permit. It may not be a legal obligation but it is a civic duty.
3 – What’s their take on providing sample WEEE documentation?
The companies that call themselves WEEE recycling companies must provide you with the essential documentation. This includes the forms like Hazardous Waste Consignment Note and Duty of Care Transfer Note. Both these forms must be provided by the IT disposal company on the day they collect the equipment. Also, the client and the representative of IT recycling company need to sign it.
Ask for the forms before they leave your place to recycle IT equipment. If the company fails to provide the essential documentation, then go with some other company.
4 – Do they offer an asset report illustration?
An asset report includes an elaboration of all the IT equipment collected. All computer recycling companies must provide one to their clients even if it is not a legal obligation. The report must address all the following aspects:
• Products make and model
• Product details
• Serial number
• Client asset number
• Grade or condition
• Percentage of raw materials collected through recycling
Most well-reputed UK IT recycling companies provide their clients with the details of their IT equipment. The details include the weight and breakdown details of the equipment. Several large-scale IT recycling companies are now opting for carbon off-setting and these details can turn out to be helpful.
5 – What about the data erase software they’re using?
It is extremely crucial for an IT recycling company to use NSCS or Government approved data erase software. The data stored on the hard drives are sensitive and with slight carelessness, it can reach the wrong hands. It damages the business as well as the reputation of the IT disposal company if it leaks from there.
Go for a company that’s recycling IT equipment using Government-approved data erasing software, like Blancco, White Canyon or Tabernus. After erasing the data from the IT equipment’s hard drives, the recycling company must send you a detailed certificate. The certificate should include details of how and using what software your data was disposed of. If the company doesn’t provide a sample certificate (before recycling), or it doesn’t have a white-listed software mentioned, you must look elsewhere.
For instance, Ecogreen uses Blancco data erasure software and provides a detailed certificate after data erasure.
6 – Do they offer collection from doorstep?
One of the most important questions to ask the IT disposal companies is if they have their own vehicles and drivers. While most of us ignore this aspect, it is not to be overlooked. The IT equipment that is making its way to a recycling company holds sensitive data. This data becomes exposed to the risk of being breached during the ride from your home to the recycling company. If the IT recycling company doesn’t have its own drivers who will collect the equipment from your doorstep, you better select another.
Most IT disposal agencies rely on third-party carriers when it comes to collecting the IT equipment from a client. This puts your data in an unsafe position. So, always ask the prospective recycling company about their equipment collection services. It is better for a company to have its own transport, so you can rest assured of your data safety. The vehicles should be satellite-tracked to ensure ultimate security.
7 – Does the Data Protection Act influence my selection of IT recycling company?
The most crucial aspect of the IT disposal and recycling process is the Data Protection Act. This Act, effective since 1998, is mainly responsible for the protection of data in the UK. All companies that hold any personal data must comply with this Act. And to answer the question, yes, it does influence your selection.
A detailed description of the Act can be found online. However, one point within the Act is of utmost importance in terms of IT recycling. According to it, we must take proper security measures to avoid personal information being compromised. And this is not just the duty of the recycling agency but the client, as well. Most of the times, after data breaches, the companies refuse to take the blame. And even if they do take the blame, the damage has already been done.
So, go for an IT recycling company that provides a secure service throughout the recycling process – from collection to disposal.
8 – Does the company provide on-site equipment destruction?
In recent years, there have been certain cases where the clients suffered data breaches after recycling IT equipment. When investigations were carried out, the companies that performed the data destruction turned out to be responsible. As a result, these companies were fined heavily.
These data breaches have made companies quite sensitive towards proper destruction of their data. This, in turn, has given rise to clients asking for on-site equipment destruction. They need to see firsthand that their hard drive data destructs properly and doesn’t stand exposed to any risk. So, if you need this service ask the recycling agency before finalising because they may not provide the service.
9 – What type of IT equipment do they take?
Different IT disposal companies have different criteria for the IT equipment that they take in. For instance, Ecogreen IT recycling UK provides a certified free computer recycling in the UK. This includes the collection of all IT related equipment from any organisation, be that schools or businesses.
Below is a list of the equipment that they collect:
10 – Does the company have any hidden charges?
Hidden charges are one of the most common tricks that any IT disposal company plays to strip you off of your money. The estimated amount provided by the computer recycling companies sometimes surpasses due to the additional charges revealed at last moment. So, double checking your quotation doesn’t hurt.
Because some companies may even charge you for:
• Extra keyboards, mice, and wires
• Data erasure
• Providing a detailed asset report
While we might think that these aspects are covered within the quotation, they might not be. So, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Usually, the companies that have the guidelines available on their websites don’t have any hidden charges.
Like, Ecogreen has all the details up on their website with no secret costs. If you meet their criteria of 20 items or more consisting PCs, laptops, TFT monitors, servers and printers the collection will be free of charge. The things that involve a charge are CRT Monitors (£5 + VAT), TVs (£5 + VAT), and Photocopiers (50 + VAT).
Don’t let a flashy website fool you
What a flashy website hides may be revealed by a site visit. The number of WEEE recycling companies is increasing day by day but the level of services they provide is decreasing. Less than 10% of the 800 UK IT recycling companies can provide a satisfactory service.
Asking the prospective recycling company for a site visit should give you an idea. It isn’t necessary for you to actually visit the site. If they are comfortable showing you around, then they might not have any skeletons in the closet.
Most clients focus on the cost to opt for a recycling agency. While cost matters, it shouldn’t be the decision-making factor. There are many companies that offer the cheapest rates but then their services aren’t up-to-the-mark either. Going for a well-reputed recycling agency must be your top priority.
Choose a reputable IT recycling company
In the decision-making process look for the selection of a well-reputed IT recycling agency keep certain things in mind. When you’re choosing one, make sure they fulfil all or at least some of the following criteria: