Posts Tagged ‘recyled servers’

Properly Disposing of Obsolete Web Servers

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Compliance and common sense both dictate that tossing old servers in the dumpster is definitely not a good idea. We recently disposed of hundreds of old and obsolete servers and while it’s not the first time we’ve gone through this drill, we still have to take great care to ensure that it’s done the right way.

The proper procedure and process for destroying obsolete servers really centers around (3) things.

1. Total and utter destruction of the hard drives
There are lots of ways that you can destroy hard drives but there is only one way to ensure that no data will ever be recovered from a drive. There are lots of choices such as using a giant magnet to wipe them. You can also connect them to a professional eraser which will completely wipe all the data off the drive and make it available for use elsewhere. Our choice is to have the drives put into a machine specifically designed to grind and into tiny little pieces. Magnets are great but they are not fool proof, neither is the machine that erases the data. However when you hand someone a hard drive and they hand you back a cup full of the metal shavings that used to be that hard drive, you can rest assured no one will be accessing any of that data that may have previously been stored on that hard drive.

2. Ensuring that environmentally unsafe metals & chemicals are dealt with responsibly and ethically
Again, you must pick the right company but if you do, you will be assured in writing and via certifications that any dangerous materials will be disposed of according to EPA regulations and will not wind up floating down some river in China. There are lots of companies who will be more than happy to haul your equipment off to the black market were nobody knows what happens with it, but your best bet is to avoid those companies at all cost.

3. All salvageable materials are recycled in a safe and responsible manner
If you work with a professional and licensed company, they will always responsibly disassemble the servers and make sure that any recyclable materials are separated into the appropriate groups (metals, plastics, etc), Those materials can then be sold by weight back to companies that reintroduce those recycled materials into newly manufactured products which helps the environment. That’s a win-win for everyone and it’s incredibly easy to.

So there you have it. When the time comes to destroy old or obsolete Web servers or network gear, be sure and choose the right company and make sure you get certifications of destruction. The company we work with scans every single hard drive before they grid them and they send us back a list of cross referenced service tags along with a certificate of destruction for each drive. That’s the only way to really be sure that you are protecting the privacy of your clients and being both environmentally and professionally responsible.

Almost forgot.. don’t expect to get any money for that old gear. The compensation you receive is having the equipment removed from your facility without cost. Likewise you should never have to pay for this service because the compensation they receive is the ability to recycle the materials they have obtained from you.

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