MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — If you found a brand new electronic device under the Christmas tree this year, your next question is what to do with the old one.
From laptops to iPhones, our upgrades leave us with an older version that has to go somewhere. We spoke with a local electronics recycling company about why recycling properly is not only for the environment, but for your safety.
It’s not until you walk into a room like this do you realize how fast technology changes. So what do you do with the old now that you have the new?
“We’ve had an enormous volume of calls from consumers and companies,” Vice President of OceanTech Mike Satter said.
Satter says getting rid of used electronics, or “e-waste,” has more to do with data than anything.
“The smartest thing for a consumer is to ensure that they are using an organization that can provide certified data destruction,” he said.
Satter says to look for an R-2 certification — those companies guarantee that your data will be completely wiped from the device, like paper through a shredder.
“R-2 means that they have independent audits performed to ensure — from a data security standpoint — that they have the processes in place to make sure there are no issues with recovering data,” Satter said.
Even if you think you’ve cleared your device, chances are you haven’t. That could mean things like your social security number or credit card information can be seen, or worse yet, used by whoever comes into contact with them next.
“A lot of individuals are looking to get more for their equipment, so they’ll use craigslist or eBay,” Satter said. “Unless you know what you’re doing when it comes to detroying data, I can’t tell you how many times we’ve received equipment from companies and consumers that there is data on there, after they said it’s been completely destroyed.”
Companies like OceanTech charge 15 cents a pound for older equpiment. Newer equipment likely won’t cost anything. In fact, if it’s able to be refurbished, you could get money for it.