Lowe’s to Pay out $18 Million for Illegal Disposal of Electronics and Hazardous Waste

Lowe’s recently paid out $18 million in a settlement for improper and illegal disposal of hazardous waste and electronics. California prosecutors claim that Lowe’s was under investigation and being watched carefully since 2011. Both state and local investigators found that over 100 stores in California had been found of illegally disposing of batteries, florescent light bulbs and more over a 6 year period. The settlement money will be used to fund environmental protection efforts and cleanup projects.

This goes to prove that proper disposal of electronics and other hazardous material is not taken lightly. It is important to work with an electronic recycler when your business has the need for disposal. Often times, the fees for disposal are nominal and hardly worth mentioning. Additionally, there is the benefit of working with a recycler / refurbisher that can remarket your material and implement a revenue sharing plan that puts money back into your organizations pocket. BCD Electro is a prime example of the ideal electronic recycler and remarketer. BCD Electro has been in business since 1979, is R2 certified, provides verified secure data erasure services as well as inventory and logistics solutions nationwide.

No one is sure as to why Lowe’s decided to illegally dump batteries and not work with an electronic recycler. Perhaps on a store by store basis, they were unaware these services even existed. Maybe corporate never informed the stores that the materials needed to be properly disposed. One thing is for sure, now they know and they know who to work with in the future. BCD Electro.

 

BCD Electro Announces R2 Certification

BCD Electro Achieves Top Industry R2 Certification

We are excited to announce we have added the prestigious Responsible Recycling (R2) Standard to our list of industry certifications. The rigorous R2 Standard is one of only two EPA-recognized certifications that govern the way electronic equipment and components are refurbished and recycled.

We have spent the past several months mastering the requirements of the certification’s 13 audit areas. The process examines a recycler’s operational, safety and environmental performance to ensure the highest industry standards and practices are utilized. In addition to protecting the environment, R2 makes data security a top priority and creates a system of accountability for electronic equipment through to final disposition. We are proud to be able to provide this expertise to our clients.

Why is proper recycling of electronic equipment important?

Americans throw away millions of pieces of electronic equipment each year, which adds to landfills and air pollution from incinerated toxic materials. Laws have also been enacted that require businesses to properly dispose of and recycle their electronic waste.

Businesses can benefit from their electronic waste

There are several valuable, recoverable materials such as gold and copper in electronic equipment. According to the EPA, one metric ton of circuit boards can yield 40 to 800 times the amount of gold mined in a metric ton of ore – and that’s just one material. BCD Electro can help businesses recover value from their electronics investments while adhering to all federal, state and local regulations.

Everyone benefits from electronics recycling

Recycling and refurbishing electronics yields important environmental protections and benefits.

· Recycling one million laptops saves the same amount of energy used in 3,657 US homes in a year.

· Improperly disposed of electronic equipment contains contaminates such as lead, mercury, nickel and cadmium that pose a risk to humans and our groundwater.

· Recycling used equipment saves extracted raw resources and reduces air pollution.

BCD Electro has been working since its inception in 1979 to be a single destination for electronic remarketing, recycling, and disposal needs. We strive to be a true steward of the environment and are always improving our methods and strategies for helping businesses mitigate the risks and capitalize on the benefits of recycling electronic waste. R2 certification further demonstrates our commitment to knowing and providing the best industry practices to our clients.

Contact us today to learn how we can help your business process and recover value from e-waste: bharris@bcdelectro.com.

Bcd Electro Announces Electronics Recycling News and White Paper: Asset Retirement Should Be in a Company’s Action Plan

White Paper: Three Important Aspects of E-waste Recycling, Data Breach Protection Best Practices

Asset retirement should be in a company’s action plan.

Nearly every enterprise has equipment in a data center that is outdated or underutilized. When companies are looking to recycle or repurpose old electronic equipment, a better understanding of what equipment is in stock and how it’s being used is needed. “You must identify and know what assets you have in your inventory, what’s operational, what is close to nearing the end of its lifecycle, and what is being under utilized,” says Cortney Horstman, recycling coordinator for BCD Electro. A lot of headaches can be saved by working with a vendor that can repurpose or recycle, making certain they are wiping the data before it ever leaves the door.

This is an industry where it pays to be proactive.

Consider the high cost of downtime. Even a small outage can cause big problems for businesses. What is the company’s RTO (recovery time objective)?

Here is a white paper for free download:
Three important aspects of safe E-Waste Recycling
Data breach protection best practices

That’s where data center infrastructure management tools prove their worth. “Prove your worth by keeping your equipment up to date and in best operating condition. When you are investing in equipment, review your current inventory and retire the equipment that is pulling from your bottom line….Your CFO notices,” says Horstman. This is an industry where it pays to be proactive.

Know the company’s needs when looking for an asset disposal partner.

A company that specializes in hardware repair or asset disposal should be able to ascertain what makes more economic sense: to repair, reconfigure, or recycle it. By maximizing equipment’s value, an asset recovery service can improve the environmental status of the company.

When seeking a company for asset retirement, “Look to work with companies with reputable asset recovery programs and data security compliance knowledge,” states Casey Kistler, business development director from Wind Stream. “Know your needs when looking for an asset disposal partner. For example, a company where data security is mission-critical will want to go with a service that keeps detailed records of serialization, wiping and destruction of your equipment,” says Horstman.

Hardware resellers and disposal services will provide complete reports down to the final destination of the equipment, whether it be a certificate of destruction or information about recycling activity. Make sure to use a company that is audited by independent auditors to ensure compliance. If continually recycling or reselling surplus hardware, look for a service that will set up an ongoing contract with you.

BCD Electro, and through its subsidiary BCDElectro store, is a full service remarketing and recycling company. Through a broad suite of best practices, business-ready solutions, services and products BCD Electro provides secure and timely control of key product lifecycle management processes to help companies accelerate revenue, drive innovation, reduce costs, improve quality, and ensure regulatory compliance. We specialize in recycling IT , telecom, networking and hospital equipment as well as sales of excess inventory from manufacturing operations.

For more information contact:

chorstman(at)bcdelectro(dot)com

BCD Electro Now Offering Compliance Help for New Mandated Conflict Minerals Reporting in Electronics Recycling

Recent conflict minerals update on reporting procedures shows very strong favorability in re-use of minerals derived from recycled sources.

On August 22nd, 2012 the Securities and Exchange Commission approved the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Section 1502 lays out new details for companies who deal with conflict minerals. This will become an important part of a company’s electronic recycling program.

Companies are becoming more aware of the harsh realities and real consequences of conflict minerals in their product supply chains. Understanding the countries of origin involved in a blurry smelting process can vary with great differences between materials and products involved. This makes tracking down the details of the required conflict minerals report for all companies who are producing products with the four main minerals.

You must file a report if your company produces products or materials made with of the following types of minerals:

Columbite-tantalite

Cassiterite

Wolframite

Gold

These are some of the most critical components in Electronics, so these new procedures apply directly to many major manufacturers who we work with as electronics recycling partners in the Dallas, North Texas and US. Columbite-tantalite is used in capacitors and is critical in the production of speed combined with compact design and reliability oriented electronics like hearing aids and pacemakers. Cassiterite is critical for producing tin and is not just responsible for cans. The solder on a vast number of circuit boards is produced using Cassiterite as the main ingredient for its tin blend. Wolframite is the dense metal that makes many phones vibrate. Gold is used in so many applications from jewelry to electronics to dental products, even many companies that operate outside the country are finding out they’ll have to report for gold related sales in the US.

The reports are simple and the law carries many stipulations that exempt companies who have a legitimate issue with reporting. Despite the simplistic process and regulation, the laws impact has already been huge, cutting the trade of some of the guilty minerals by over 90%.

Over the course of the drafting of the law many called for an exemption for recycling citing that it could help increase recycling efforts and lead to less need to mine around the world. An inquiry showed that reasonably only a small portion of recycled and scrap materials could be conclusively proven to be of offending origin, so the law outlined that: “If a company’s conflict minerals are derived from recycled or scrap sources rather than from mined sources, the company’s products containing such minerals are considered ‘DRC conflict free.’”

Regardless of the rulings BCD Electro has proudly worked alongside many other organizations for years to promote responsible trade laws and regulations that promote a fair global economy. BCD has helped companies with ethical electronic recycling of materials and downstream accountability showing that we keep a focus on promoting a healthy recycling environment. Some see compliance with the new law as a significant burden to their business, an unfortunate reality when some could have been using clean recycled components from right here in the US and instead chose the cheap African alternatives.

BCD Electro

BCD (http://www.bcdelectro.com) is a full service remarketing and recycling company. Through a broad suite of best practices, business-ready solutions, services and products BCD Electro provides secure and timely control of key product lifecycle management processes to help companies accelerate revenue, drive innovation, reduce costs, improve quality, and ensure regulatory compliance. We specialize in recycling IT , telecom, networking and hospital equipment as well as sales of excess inventory from manufacturing operations.

Contaminants Found in Computers

 

Contaminants Found in Computers…

What you need to know…

Outdated, unwanted and broken computers and other electronic equipment are known as e-waste (electronic waste). E-waste that is not disposed of properly is considered hazardous because it contains metals and other materials that can harm humans and the environment. Rapid advances in computer technology have resulted in a ballooning volume of outdated and discarded computers. The average life span of a computer is 2-3 years and items that break are usually discarded rather than repaired due to the relatively low price of replacement equipment. Obsolete and unwanted computers usually end up destined for landfills, incinerators or hazardous waste exports. Millions of computers and computer-related equipment become obsolete or “retired” every year.

The reuse of used electronics equipment and consumption of materials recovered from electronics to manufacture new products boosts the U.S. economy, creates jobs and sustains natural resources, conserves impressive amounts of energy in the manufacturing process and reduces greenhouse gas emissions from those facilities. Additionally, reuse & remanufacturing keeps these contaminants from the ground and air preventing ground water contamination.

Cadmium

-Found in chip resistors, infrared detectors, and semiconductors. Cadmium is persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic.

Lead

-Found in glass panels in computer monitors and in lead soldering of printed circuit boards. Lead can accumulate in the environment and have a detrimental effect on plants, animals, humans and water resources. One computer monitor can contain up to 8 pounds of lead. Consumer electronics may be responsible for 40% of the lead found in landfills. The principal pathway of concern is lead leaching from landfills and contaminating drinking water supplies.

Mercury

-Found in position sensors, relays and switches (e.g., on printed circuit boards) and batteries. When mercury makes its way into waterways, it is transformed into methylated mercury in the sediments. Methylated mercury accumulates in living organisms and travels up the food chain.

Hexavalent Chromium or Chromium VI

-Used to protect against corrosion of untreated and galvanized steel plates. Major pathways are through landfill leachate or from fly ash generated when materials containing Chromium VI are incinerated.

Brominated Flame Retardants

-Found on printed circuit boards, semi-conductor components such as plastic covers and cables. Once released into the environment through landfill leachate and incarnation become concentrated in the food chain.

The BCD Digital Data Destruction System

The BCD Digital data destruction system, an in house proprietary disk wiping system conforming to NIST 800-88.

NIST 800-88 is the most up to date, complete and proven data wiping standard.

Here is a  report on the NIST Standard:

http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/drafts/800-88-rev1/sp800_88_r1_draft.pdf

 The BCD system also includes automated reporting with serialization.

With the BCD System, BCD Electro can process large and small quantities of hard drives and provide data breach protection at very competitive pricing.

You may be using outside vendors to process HDD’s, or using outdated software and wasting employee time in non core activities.

 

Why not just grind ‘em up?

 

Reusing an item means that it continues to be a valuable, useful, productive item, and replaces new items that would utilize more water, energy, timber, petroleum, and other limited natural resources in their manufacture. Businesses can save significant dollars in disposal by reselling or donating items that are no longer needed. This method of “materials exchange” results in disposal savings by the generating company, and saving in the purchase of the material by the recipient organization. Reuse adds value!

 

Williams, E.D.
United Nations Univ., Tokyo, Japan;

…….In contrast with many home appliances, life cycle energy use of a computer is dominated by production (83%) as opposed to operation (17%). The yearly life cycle cost of owning a computer is about 3,000 MJ/year, half again that of a refrigerator, a much larger appliance that uses far more electricity in operation. The short lifespan of computers and the variety of computing needs of users suggests that extension of lifespan, for example by promptly reselling to users who need less computing power, is a promising approach to mitigating environmental impacts.

 

NIST 800-88 is the latest and most complete data deleting method

 

The National Association for Information Destruction (NAID),  reported that top executives from 300 firms ranked data security as one of their top critical issues. Environmental concerns are leading them to consider reuse of IT assets they might once have destroyed. Other organizations lease IT equipment. Both scenarios require methods to securely remove confidential data without physically destroying drives. Recyclers and refurbishers looking to win customers that have data breach concerns, and, are focused on going green, are using NIST approved and certified data erasure to present a safe option for disk sanitization that outperforms many other disk wiping utilities.

NIST 800-88 data erasure overwrites information while leaving the disk operable….. preserving assets and the environment. Many hard drives have hidden and locked areas that potentially include remapped sectors, which standard multi wipe data wiping freeware and less sophisticated overwriting tools cannot access or erase. The NIST method offers  advantages for electronics recyclers and their customers.

Studies indicate that the life energy use of a computer is mostly manufacturing (81 percent). Operation is 19 percent. Extending a hard drives usable life by data wiping and reuse is a valid approach to reducing energy consumption associated with manufacturing and destruction.

 

NIST 800-88 erasure standards using Linux based reporting tools such as the BCD System can be most effective because they will erase data in remapped sectors. A broader range of support for network hardware, such as enterprise servers, storage area network (SAN) environments and fiber channel disks can be had with this method as well.

Most importantly, the capability of NIST 800-88 with Linux based automated and serialized reporting can keep track of the drives that have have sanitized. This method also provides  a validation certificate showing the overwriting procedure was completed successfully or not. Companies that rely on their electronics recycler for data breach protection must insist on auditable data breach protection.

The cost for data erasure is minimal, data breaches cost companies $5 million on average, the real costs are damage to corporate reputation and regulatory non-compliance.

 

Call or email today and get a quote on your hard drive data protection needs

 

214 630 4298

bharris@bcdelectro.com

Can system administrators avoid using Java?

Java’s security difficulties have made the life of a system administrator a nightmare lately. Billions of devices and numerous work PCs run java in a huge number of applications, all maintained to some standard to prevent security weakness and to protect data. In the last few months Oracle has struggles to quickly hot fix issues that reveal major security concerns in their software architecture. On January 13th 2013 Oracle was set to release a new security patch that should prevent the drive by browser attacks, but by late January it had already been shown that the patch could be bypassed by hackers.

So with company systems administration in mind many system administrators had to disable java on all of their systems. Depending on the network this could have been done pretty easily, for example in a windows environment using group policies to activate the file system and take control to set 3 entries:

Computer Configuration–Preferences–Windows Settings–Files–File–Delete-Find: “HDD-\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre7\bin\plugin2\npjp2.dll”
Computer Configuration–Preferences–Windows Settings–Files–File–Delete-
Find: “HDD-\Program Files\Java\jre7\bin\plugin2\npjp2.dll”
Computer Configuration–Policies–Administrative Templates–Windows Components–Internet Explorer–Internet Control Panel–Security Page–Internet Zone–Java Permissions–Enabled–Disable Java

When used correctly these setting delete the Java plug in responsible for the security vulnerabilities. If a user needs java you could set it up with them on a as needed basis. Any in house sites, like intranet, will be safe from this adaptation as well, so user will be able to run Java in those instances. Also if you have online sites that you must connect to and use Java, you can add them to the “Trusted Sites” in windows and guarantee only java on those sites. It wasn’t too hefty a work around in most cases, but in others the network was not so tightly run, nor were all the people responsible for those networks as prepared as a major business.

Some businesses lost information because of this issue. Now Oracle has finished what they say definitively puts an end to this issue and released an update that patched the version of the Java client. But while they worked to fix the issue many worked to help create new systems to catch Java’s failings, each step along the way costing businesses money that they otherwise wouldn’t have had to spend. The ripple effect that occurs when data is lost hits finances in businesses, that’s why when you recycle IT equipment if you going with the cheapest auctioneer you could be at risk for a major oversight.

At BCD Electro we’ve been protecting our clients data as a top priority while even big businesses and major industries have simple oversights that cause them to lose critical data. We’re diligent in the protection of our customers business from any loss, and in many cases hope to help them increase revenue by creating a solid method of remarketing, recycling and refurbishing to ensure maximum returns from all products from new to legacy.

Contact us today to get started: bharris@bcdelectro.com

Recycling Old Computers and Other Equipment

Computers are very useful for performing numerous work related tasks. The machines are also modes of entertainment such as listening to music, watching movies, pictures and playing games. But after these machines have performed their last tasks, people generally throw them away. It is in such a situation that computers can create a problem for the environment. Computers contain heavy metals, carcinogens and toxic chemicals and not disposing them in a proper way can create a harmful effect for water and air supplies in a large area around where they are dumped. In such a scenario, computer recycling becomes a necessity.

Computer recycling is not a recent phenomenon. Since the advent of these machines, developed countries have found different ways to get rid of these electronic devices. One of the most common methods was to export them to second world countries. Import and export of e-waste is illegal in some ways, but as developing countries offer cheap labor and major business incentives for cheap disposal and recycling more and more shady recyclers exploit loopholes. Many developed countries have followed suit and dispose of their waste in other countries. There is hope though- if you do not want your old electronic device to be tossed into a landfill or burned, the below information can give you better recycling options.

How we can help

One good way of recycling your old electronic hardware is by looking for a reputable recycler. A ethical recycling company will provide you information about the type of labor they are using, if they are exporting the e-waste or how they are recycling different parts of the computer. Before you give your computer device to the recycler, it is recommended that you wipe the device’s hard drive of all your personal information or clear it of any sensitive data. At BCD we offer destruction and erasure services that are certified with NIST 800.88 technologies that ensure your data will be protected.

Reusing old components

If your equipment is still in working order, but not valuable enough to reclaim a recycling company is a good option. An ethical recycler will be upfront with you about who the recipients of the devices are, what components are beings reused and if you can get any money back for it. At BCD we can show you a clear path where the electronic components go and ensure you that they are not affecting the environment with downstream accountability at every step.

Contact us today to get started!

Offering Secure and Convenient Recycling of Electronic Equipment in 2013

Welcome to 2013. With the new year comes more great change!

With rapid advancement in technology, businesses find themselves with outdated electronic devices more frequently. Recycling outdated electronic devices is an option companies can take to prevent e-waste piling up work spaces and landfills. Per the Environmental Protection Agency, more than 200 million components of computer equipment are generated every year. Yet, less than 20% percent of these electronic pieces are being recycled leaving more than 150 million electronic hazards being dumped in landfills.

Computers contain heavy metals and toxic materials that can harm the environment when they enter the soil through landfills. Burning different components of these electronic also releases toxic gases that create a negative effect on the atmosphere. Disposing electronic equipment responsibly is one of the main concerns voiced by many businesses in the current scenario.

Environmental responsibility, Data security

To prevent the harsh environmental impacts of electronic wastes, BCD provides multiple easy options for e-waste disposal in a responsible manner that does not involve exporting it to third world countries or dumping it in landfills.

Environmental liability, standards compliance and identity thefts are some of the major concerns of businesses today when they are disposing their old computing units. From highly confidential company information to personal and financial records, the data on laptops, desktops, business servers consist of patented and sensitive data that can be misused if it falls into the wrong hands.

Services at BCD can help companies return to lease, recycle or resell your outdated computer equipment in an environmentally conscious and secure manner that observes all the regulatory guidelines set for the procedure. Companies can be guaranteed of sensitive data protection by removing labels and tags from equipment, shredding inoperable disks and overwriting hard drives. BCD has proven service and performance in protecting sensitive information while recycling excess computing equipment.

Customized recycling service

For special industries and other partners who need integrated deployments and nonstandard service, BCD offers flexible services that include customized recovery solutions. Recovery and recycling services from BCD have convenient and free options for electronic disposal. When working with us, businesses can be rest assured that their equipment will be recycled responsibly.

Contact us today to get started!

Enjoy your new devices this holiday, let us worry about the old!

In the electronics industry November and December are actually some of the busiest months. While many people are taking time off for family and celebration, they also are buying electronics and throwing out old devices. Unfortunately many of these folks will toss something toxic into the garbage and it’s all because of the lack of knowledge of the many simple recycling opportunities available to them.
Some cities are better equipped to handle the recycling necessity better than others. Managing a recycling program that allows drop offs of lead filled televisions and electronics, as well as paint and batteries is a must. Community awareness is a must too but actually one of the hardest parts of maintaining an effective program. At BCD we work with cities and large counties in the DFW metroplex and surrounding region to help us keep products that it would be best to recycle out of landfills.

Cities that struggle with electronic waste can alleviate that risk through many recycling opportunities available to them including partnerships with BCD Electro. When cities stay informed about recycling they recover valuable resources and keep our environmental impact on mines and landfills to a minimum.

Many types of devices can be reused and some pose threats to public health if buried in a landfill, pretty much anything with a circuit board or cathode ray tube should be recycled. Some specific types of equipment your town should be keeping separate for recycling include audio equipment as well as DVD players and VCRs, MP3 players, radios and stereos, speakers, and remotes for those devices as well as TVs cordless phones and cell phones. If you have video equipment like digital recorders, camcorders or tape recorders or even just an old film camera recycling can keep batteries and flash bulbs from being improperly dumped into the trash.

Many people are worried about personal data that might be on their hard drives when they turn in a computer for recycling, and with good measure because even if you delete something from a hard drive by throwing it into the recycling bin and then deleting it, that memory can actually still be accesses inside the hard drive using simple program. That means that just using windows recycling bin to delete everything and clean a hard drive actually is not enough, because that only delinks the memory from being filed, unless it was overwritten with something it still exists.

This does not mean however that you have to destroy a hard drive to make absolutely sure that your old files are gone. A trusted electronics recycling company like BCD electro can clear those drives using an NIST 800.88 compliant process that ensures the files can never be accessed again. That means all of your tax, banking and work files will be safe from any unwanted behavior.

Be safe this season and celebrate responsibly by keeping those old devices out of our ground water! Have a great holiday everyone and remember most cooking disasters can be solved with extra bacon!