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Posted May 3rd, 2011

What Happens to Your Data?

What Happens to Your Stored Data When You Recycle Your Old Computer?

It is important to dispose of and recycle old cell phones, electronics and computer equipment appropriately, and many counties and businesses are helping to make it simple for you. Don’t forget though – anything you have ever stored on your hard drive does not just disappear because you “delete” it. There is always a record.

So, what really needs to happen to your clunky old PC before you bring it to the computer recycling event happening in your area?

Before you drop off your computer, think about what you’ve stored on it. In most cases, we store data on our computers. Where will the data go when the computer is recycled? The fact is that transferring personal or important files to the Recycle Bin does not delete them. It merely tells the computer to overwrite them when necessary. So, before you take your old computer to a computer recycling event, take the time to properly copy and dispose of the data on the machine.

How do we do that? One option is “shredding.” Shredding the hard drive is a very simple way to destroy the remaining information, or data.  Not all recyclers offer this service, so check to see if the event you are attending will be offering hard drive shredding services. The process is simple. The computer case is taken off and the hard disk drive is removed. (This is the small metal box where all your information is stored.) The hard disc drive is then dropped into a machine that grinds it into pieces as useless as confetti; and those tiny pieces, almost all metal, are recycled when the process is finished.

Recycling is worthwhile and important, while other forms of computer and electronics disposal are not good for the environment. Securis offers zero-export, zero-landfill electronics recycling and state of the art data destruction.


Jeremy Farber, Securis

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