How Are Magnetic Hard Drives Shredded?

Quite a few customers have asked us exactly how we shred a hard drive. To help explain this, below are the steps that a magnetic hard drive goes through.

Introduction to the Shredder:

The hard drive is placed into the shredder. Industrial shredders for electronic equipment like hard drives typically have solid and metal-cutting blades. 

Cutting Mechanism:

The blades in the shredder are made of heavy-duty metals, such as hardened steel or tungsten carbide. Depending on the shredder’s design, they are arranged in a crisscross pattern or a spiral or helical arrangement.

Initial Contact and Cutting:

When the magnetic hard drive passes through these blades, the outer casing, usually aluminum or hard plastic for external drives, is first cut. The strength and sharpness of the blades allow them to slice through this material.

hard drive destructionDestruction of the Magnetic Hard Drive’s Internal Components:

As the shredding continues, the blades come into contact with the hard drive’s internal components. This includes the platters (which store the data), the spindle, the read/write arms, and the circuit board. The blades are designed to cut through these materials, breaking them into smaller pieces.

Fragmentation of Platters:

The platters, typically made of aluminum, glass, or ceramic coated with a thin layer of magnetic material, are the most crucial part of data storage. The shredder blades must be strong enough to deform and fragment these platters, making them unreadable.

Discharge of Shredded Material:

The resulting debris, consisting of small metal, plastic, and other materials, is expelled from the shredder. This material is usually collected for disposal or recycling.

magnetic hard drive recyclingEnsuring Data Destruction for Magnetic Hard Drives:

The effectiveness of the shredding process in destroying data is due to the physical deformation and fragmentation of the platters. Since data is stored magnetically on the surface of the platters, their physical destruction renders the data unrecoverable.

The entire process is quite forceful and noisy, requiring robust machinery. The shredders must exert significant force to break down the hard drive’s materials, especially the metal components. The shredder’s design, including the blades’ pattern and strength, is crucial for thoroughly destroying magnetic hard drives. 

Read more about how Securis destroys hard drives here.




Why Inventory Matters in Electronics Recycling and Data Destruction Policy

In electronics recycling and data destruction, inventory reports plays a pivotal role in ensuring transparency, compliance, and peace of mind for both service providers and their clients. This article delves into the nuances of inventory management, exploring why meticulous record-keeping is indispensable for e-waste and data destruction policy

Filling the Void Left by Electronics Recycling and Data Destruction Services

When companies and government entities engage in electronics recycling and data destruction services, they are often left with a void. This void isn’t physical; rather, it’s the absence of the electronics and data that were once present. Post-service, a critical question often arises: What proof exists of how data was destroyed or where a recycled component ended up?  In scenarios like audits or unforeseen incidents the ability to peer into that void and get solid information can be crucial.

The Significance of  Audit and Inventory Reports Post-Service

The answer lies in the quality of the audit or inventory reports generated after the physical work of decommissioning is completed. This documentation becomes vital, serving as a record of exactly what was done, much like an insurance policy when you need it most, often under less-than-ideal circumstances, which is why we include it as an invaluable part of our e-waste and data destruction policy

What Constitutes Quality Inventory Management in Electronics Recycling?

Quality inventory reports in electronics recycling and data destruction must detail what was collected and what happened to each item. The most valuable data for tracking electronics are serial numbers or asset tags. These unique identifiers make it easy to account for individual items among thousands. Once an item can be identified details about what happened to that item and any associated data can be easily tracked. 

Tracking the Fate of Each Item: From Recycling to Destruction

Secure and comprehensive inventory management should clearly document the disposal process of each item. It’s crucial to record the method of data destruction for data-containing devices, whether it’s shredding, disintegration, or wiping. This information not only ensures compliance but also provides peace of mind to the client.

The Role of Recycled Weight in ESG Reporting

Environmental metrics, particularly recycled weight, are integral to inventory reports. They contribute to a company or agency’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting. A good inventory report provides raw data that can be used to support environmental reporting without substituting it.

The Need for Speed: 3 Business Day Policy at Securis

At Securis, we understand the importance of timely inventory reports. Our e-waste and data destruction policy ensures that all inventory reports are completed within 48 hours. Lengthy delays, which are common in the industry, are inefficient and often lead to frustration.

Advantages of Using a Raw CSV File Format

We believe that a raw CSV file is the most effective format for inventory reports. This format allows clients to import the data into any system they choose, offering flexibility and ease of use. Fancy PDFs, while visually appealing, often prove impractical due to their non-manipulable nature.

Lessons Learned: What Works and What Doesn’t

Our two decades of experience in the field have taught us valuable lessons about what is helpful and what is not in the context of electronics recycling and data destruction. These insights, drawn from interactions with both large and small companies and agencies, have shaped our approach to inventory management.

The Unwavering Importance of Inventory Reporting in Electronics Recycling and Data Destruction

Our experience has shown that the importance of inventory reports in electronics recycling and data destruction policy cannot be overstated. It’s the backbone of accountability, transparency, and compliance in this industry. As we move forward, we expect to see continued evolution and innovation in inventory practices, ensuring that they remain robust and reliable.