E-Waste Glossary

At ProTek Recycling, we’re experts at properly recycling your electronics and destroying your data. To better understand what it is that we do, and to become an expert yourself, we’ve put together a list of definitions for the terms used most often in our field.

Check it out below:

Carcinogens: Cancer-causing substance that can be released into the air from electronics that are improperly disposed of.

Certificate of Destruction: A certificate verifying the complete deletion and destruction of data from hard drives.

Chain of Custody: The documentation showing the full process of acquisition, transfer, handling, and disposition of physical and electronic materials.

Data Destruction: The process of destroying data stored on tapes, hard disks, and other forms of electronic media so that it is completely unreadable and cannot be accessed or used for unauthorized purposes.

DEC: Department of Environmental Conservation.

Degaussing: A physical destruction method that scrambles the magnetic sectors on the disk as well as damaging internal components such as the read/write heads.

Electronics Recycling: The process used to recover useful materials from the electronics, such as metal, glass, or plastic.

Electronic Waste (e-waste): Electronics that have come to their EOL or EOU and are to be disposed of.

End of Life (EOL): The point at which a product can no longer be used for any purpose whatsoever and should be properly disposed of/recycled.

End of Use (EOU): The point at which a product can no longer be used for its original purpose but may still be useful for something else.

HIPAA: Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. United States legislation that provides data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information.

Identity Theft: The fraudulent acquisition and use of a person’s private identifying information, usually for financial gain. Can occur when electronic devices are improperly disposed of.

New York State Disposal Ban: As of January 1, 2015, consumers may no longer dispose of certain types of electronic equipment in landfills, waste-to-energy facilities, or at curbside for trash pickup.

NIST (National Institution for Standards and Technology): NIST overwrite pattern uses the strongest wiping technologies to remove all data from a device to ensure that all sectors of the drive are securely wiped.

Refurbishing: The process of repairing or changing certain components (hardware or software) of a product to extend its life and allow it to be reused for its intended purpose.

Shredding: The process of physically destroying a hard drive. The information-containing disk is broken into small pieces and mixed with the material from hundreds of other drives.

Software Destruction: The process of over writing data on a hard drive 3 or more times with random number sequences. All data is rendered irretrievable without destroying the drive itself.

Zero Waste: The conservation of all resources by means of responsible production, consumption, reuse, and recovery of products, packaging, and materials without burning, and with no discharges to land, water, or air that threaten the environment or human health.

Once you understand and become familiar with the terms involved with electronics recycling, you can make more informed choices about getting rid of any unwanted electronics. When you recycle with ProTek you can ensure that your electronics will be disposed of an environmentally friendly way and that your data will be properly destroyed. Get in touch with us today for a free quote!


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