Here are two primary reasons you can’t just throw away your old devices when the company updates them. First of all, it is terrible for the environment. Second, it is not a secure way to dispose of data. Let’s look at some better ways to get rid of old company computers than just dumping them into a landfill.

The Effect on the Planet

Most technology contains chemicals that should not be leeching into the Earth. Some common contaminants are:

  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Barium
  • Arsenic

You don’t want any of that getting into the ground water, so consider these alternatives.

Proper Disposal Methods of Old Company Computers

  • Resell – If your old machines still work and have value, you can consider selling them.
  • Donation – You could also donate old machines, and potentially even get a tax break.
  • Reclaim – If there is no good use for what you are getting rid of, reclaim companies can dispose of the products properly. Usually, if you can deliver the product to a store, there is no fee. Even certain bargain electronics stores accept old company computers.

Before You Dispose of Old Equipment

Whether you are selling one of the old company computers, donating it, or dropping it off to be disposed of properly, keep in mind this one important thing. Make sure that no one can access your old data—and reformatting is not enough. Here are some tips for properly wiping stored data.

  • Computers – Software exists that will allow you to overwrite hard drives to Department of Defense standards.
  • Mobile Devices (iOS) – Restore the device to its original settings. This doesn’t just wipe the phone or tablet. It actually encrypts the data, and then restores the system settings.
  • Mobile Devices (Android) – First, you want to encrypt the data on your phone. Then you can restore the original factory settings. Sorry, but Android devices don’t do the encryption on their own yet.

Now you know how to protect the environment, protect your data, and maybe even make a few dollars in the process when it comes time to upgrade your work devices.