May 11, 2022

What is e-waste and why it is a problem?

In recent years, small and large businesses alike have been using a combination of both traditional and digital storage for their confidential documents.
However, storing and uploading digital content can be risky if it’s not carried out with data security in mind. In addition, even further risk of a data breach may arise from the improper destruction of unwanted devices. Therefore, it’s important that you dispose of your electronic waste securely to help prevent a data breach within your business.

What is e-waste?

Electronic waste, also known as e-waste, is described as electronic devices or appliances, from laptops, hard drives, and mobile phones to smart kettles and toasters, that have been discarded due to them no longer working, needing a repair, or simply being a dated model.
E-waste includes both recyclable and non-recyclable products, and it can often be unclear which is which, so these electronics usually end up in a regular waste bin. Despite most electrical items often being able to be refurbished or repaired, these items are often disposed of incorrectly. This contributes to the growing issue with e-waste, which Singapore is experiencing.
While some are discarding their e-waste in general bins, many Singapore residents are e-waste recycling in unsecured e-waste bins found in many malls. However, the other side of the e-waste issue in Singapore is that the e-waste bins that you can find outside of supermarkets and other large shops are not effectively regulated, meaning that often up to 30% of an e-waste bin is filled with non-regulated e-waste. [1]
The e-waste issue is something that the Singapore government is actively trying to solve through different initiatives for businesses to follow. As Singapore alone generates 60,000 tonnes of e-waste each year, which is the equivalent of 70 phones per person, it is essential that individuals and businesses alike are properly e-waste recycling in a way that is both effective and secure to help prevent another e-waste issue -  increased data breaches. [2]

Data Breaches

It is essential that businesses keep their confidential information safe, however, many companies across the world still don’t dispose of their e-waste efficiently and safely enough to ensure the chances of a data breach are minimised. [3]
In 2021, data breaches cost a number of Singapore businesses a total of $75,000, and with cyberattacks on the rise, disposing of your e-waste securely is becoming a vital practice for all businesses. Many businesses fall into the trap of thinking that simply deleting or wiping the electronic device is enough security before carrying out the e-waste recycling process. However, those who want to steal your confidential data can still retrieve it if the device is not permanently destroyed.
As a leading information security company, Shred-it can provide secure, safe, and environmentally friendly solutions for your e-waste, so you can be safe in the knowledge that your hard drives and other electronics won’t be at risk of a data breach.

Secure E-waste Recycling with Shred-it

It’s just as important to properly recycle your e-waste as well as effectively destroy it. We can offer our customers the peace of mind that data breaches will be minimised with our Hard Drive Destruction Service.
Although hard drives are typically the main medium for digital storage, data can also be stored on other devices such as CDs, DVDs, floppy disks, zip disks, and USBs. Our Media Destruction Service can help businesses to ensure these other mediums are also properly and securely disposed of and recycled without the risk of a data breach.
No matter which method of e-waste destruction you choose, both services will safely and securely dispose of your e-waste so your data is permanently destroyed, helping to prevent the risk of a data breach. Once your e-waste has been irreparably destroyed, our trusted partners will carry out their e-waste recycling process, so your business is not contributing to the growing e-waste issue in Singapore.


Disclaimer: This article is provided for your convenience and does not constitute legal advice. Readers should not take, or refrain from taking, actions based upon the content of this article. Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes. Please seek professional legal advice.

[1] Straits Times