Compliant E-Waste Disposal in the Education Industry
There’s no denying that technology has become a huge component of the education industry. From administration to the classroom, there’s an immense range of technology from smartphones and tablets to laptops and peripherals.
Like anything else, technology in school boards, colleges and universities has a lifecycle. When technology ages, breaks or becomes obsolete, it needs to be disposed of.
However, in today’s day and age, e-waste is not a simple problem. Topping the list are environmental and privacy concerns.
Education E-waste — Environmental and Privacy Concerns
Many of the materials and components are hazardous to the environment. Furthermore, a significant portion of e-waste can be recycled. In terms of privacy, there’s a significant amount of sensitive personal, intellectual and business information contained on outdated educational technology.
Even though a device is no longer in service, educational institutions still have to comply with privacy laws and follow secure data disposal processes for end of life electronics (EOL). The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) applies to the governance of personal data for school boards and other local government institutions.
Developing a Compliant E-Waste Program for Education
First, we’ve mentioned compliance a couple of times, but we haven’t defined it. Compliance means following the prescribed rules and guidelines. In other words, obeying laws and legal requirements. If you’re starting from scratch, there are four basic steps:
1. Conduct a risk assessment — Know what kinds of technology you have to dispose of, what kinds of data are stored on these devices, if that data is being held past its intended usefulness and if these electronics contain hazardous materials. Another component of the assessment process is also identifying which regulations apply and how to comply with them.
2. Put policies and process in place — Once you know what you need to do, create a plan to do it.
3. Find qualified partners — Look for secure, compliant and certified IT asset disposition (ITAD) and electronic recycling service businesses like Greentec. Ensure that their certifications include ISO 14001, OHSAS, R2, and NAID.
Finally, find out if they have experience working with educational institutions. Queens University, University of Toronto, University of Waterloo and the Peel District School Board are all Greentec clients.
4. Make the process repeatable — Educate and train staff on the proper policies and procedures.
Reuse, Recover and Recycle
There’s growing pressure to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills. As the places that nurture future generations of thought leaders, educational institutions are held to a higher standard. With the right partner, you can meet and even exceed these standards.
Greentec is a leader in electronics recycling and the circular economy. We help you recycle:
- Storage and networking equipment
- Desktop and laptop computers
- Monitors, printers and peripheral devices
- Cell phones, tablets and mobile devices
- Circuit boards, cables and wires
- Printer cartridges
- Lamps, ballasts and more
When your business has a high volume of waste, we’ll also come pick it up on site.
Greentec helps you maximize the value returned to you by recovering and refurbishing as many of your electronics as possible, and when eligible, providing you with money back!
When an item can’t be reused, recovered or recycled, we’ll dispose of it in the safest, most responsible way. In every instance, no matter what path each piece of waste takes, we ensure that any secure data is removed.
In order to help you comply with MFIPPA, we help you sanitize your educational e-waste by one of two methods. If an item can be repurposed, we use a certified data eraser to securely “wipe” the data from the device. If an item needs to be recycled or disposed of, we’ll shred the relevant media and hard drives.
We also provide you with chain-of-custody information and Certificates of Destruction to help you fulfill further compliance requirements.
Find a Trusted Partner
Work with an e-waste partner who understands the unique needs of educational institutions. Contact Greentec to see how we can help you with your educational e-waste.