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Risk

9/21/2007
12:48 PM
Keith Ferrell
Keith Ferrell
Commentary
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Secure Computer Recycling II

The first step (admittedly paranoid but also, I think, practical) in recycling computers is to physically remove any storage devices. The second is to smash those devices to smithereens. The third step is to find the right place to drop off the now storage-less (and business data-less) remains of the computer.

The first step (admittedly paranoid but also, I think, practical) in recycling computers is to physically remove any storage devices. The second is to smash those devices to smithereens. The third step is to find the right place to drop off the now storage-less (and business data-less) remains of the computer.Thanks to mail from thoughtful readers responding to an earlier blog on going green securely, here are a couple of good portal sites than can help steer you to appropriate recycling resources in your backyard:

E-Cycling Central provides a state-by-state look at electronics recyclers, as well as a rather minimalist list of links to other recycling resources.

Earth 911 offers a searchable by item and location database that covers just about the whole gamut of home, personal, business and other materials, helping you locate drop-off sites near you.

A good point, again from a reader, to bear in mind is that recycle should be used in its broadest sense -- many of our computers, printers and other electronic discards. can be re-conditioned and re-used, donated or distributed to groups, organizations and individuals in need of them. The sites above can help you find re-use and re-conditioning opportunities as well.

You might also want to check out DonateIT for a dedicated and interesting look at how discarded tech can become effective fund-raising items.

DonateIT, by the way, recommends DBAN, a free open source data destroyware (DBAN = "Darik's Boot and Nuke") to clean your disks of business data with confidence.

I'd still feel more confident physically removing and destroying the storage device, but that confidence is accompanied by a nagging sense of hyper-caution causing wasted tech that DBAN might also be able to obliterated.

Thanks to everyone who wrote in on this topic -- love to hear more, especially if anybody's got any "oops we recycled the confidential financials" stories.

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