An IT asset is any information that the company owns, their hardware or system that they used in business activities for that company. The process of IT asset disposal can be conceived with risk but the most risky element is environmental compliance with the federal and state regulations. There is also the disaster that could happen if the company's assets were discovered leaching toxic materials in the environment, processed under unsafe working condition overseas in a dumping ground, or moldering in a landfill. To ensure that your IT asset disposal is in environmental compliance here are some key facts that you should know.
When it says “free”, it does not always mean that
There are IT recycling vendors that will offer to take the assets and dispose of them at no cost to the company. When you ask them how they can do this, they may tell you that they will make money selling the assets for scrap. This should throw up a red flag and make you suspicious. When an IT asset material does have some value as scrap, it is not usually sufficient to sustain a recycling business that is environmentally compliant. If your company does have to pay fines for a company who is practicing poor recycling those “free” services could cost your company a fortune. So if an IT asset disposal center offers to dispose of your company's assets for free, look for another service.
Downstream does matter
Many of these companies have partners downstream who are hand off the assets to be processed further and it is usually material they can not sell. One important thing to note is that your company is liable for all IT assets that you have disposed of through the chain of custody. This is from the time it leaves your company to the final disposition spot. To make sure that the company you choose is environmental compliance you need to make sure that all of the people involved are also in compliance. Make sure that you do know where your IT assets go.
This is the most reliable way to make sure that company you chose is environmental compliance. Generally, there is no one at your company who has the expertise or time to audit the IT asset disposal recycling center practices from start to finish. You do not have to rely on their word that they and any partners are in compliance. Ask to see their certification for compliant and safe IT asset recycling, which are one or both of these certificates, R2 / RIOS and e-Stewards. To get these certificates they also have to monitor their partners and provide documented proof that the IT asset disposition is in compliance with all standards and laws.