Some common questions relating to data destruction and computer recycling
1. Can’t we just take our old computers to the dump?
Local Councils provide recycling services for domestic residential use, businesses cannot take their waste there unless they pay a significant fee. Anyone transporting waste also has to be registered with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) as a Waste Carrier, otherwise they are breaking the law.
It is worth noting that a licence (or an exemption) is required for the storage of waste computer equipment so it is not something that should be stored in an office.
2. Can’t we just hit the old hard drives with a hammer?
This is a common question and yes, of course, you can take a hammer to a hard drive. It may damage the hard drive, but it will not remove the data stored on the platters (disks) and it might just damage something in the vicinity, like your foot or thumb.
You also won’t be able to prove that the disk was destroyed properly using certified equipment and processes, and do you really want your employees spending their time wielding hammers? Then there is the problem of how to dispose of the damaged hard drive legally and responsibly.
3. What is better – onsite or offsite data destruction?
This really depends on your security policies – some businesses need hard drives destroyed on site, others don’t. We use the same UK Government CESG approved equipment and ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 certified process whether it is done on your premises or ours, although it is obviously easier for us to work on our premises so it costs significantly less.
4. Will you remove the rest of the junk in the back office/server room/cupboard?
In order to provide a complete service we will remove as much as we can – anything electrical, electronic and such like which covers most things that are found stored in offices. We will not however remove wood, rubbish and some dangerous items.
5. Do you provide paper shredding services?
Yes we do. Large sacks can be provided and we will take these away to be shredded and a Certificate of Destruction is issued.
6. What about chucking all our old equipment in the back of a shredding van?
This will certainly get rid of old equipment, and it will probably get legally recycled too, but it won’t give you much of an audit trail or proof of destruction for your records – we add each and every hard drive serial number to the Certificate of Destruction so you can prove what was destroyed, when, and how.