When most people think of IT Asset Recovery and Electronic Recycling in data centers they automatically think of servers, tape drives, and tape libraries as being what would carry any value. An often overlooked item are the data tapes themselves.
Only 13% of what is categorized as e-waste is properly recycled. That number is astounding when you consider e-waste represents 70% of all toxic waste. It is important to be mindful of what you do with your electronics when you are done with them. Items like data tapes that have a life of about 30 years can be recertified and recycled, keeping them and hazardous materials out of landfills.
When most people think of disposing of end of life media, security is at the forefront of their minds. Preventing data breeches is of the utmost importance for companies which raises concerns when considering recycling. In 2016 already 155 data breeches have been reported. That number is up 4.7% from last year. The risk and fines that could be associated with compromised data can be costly not only financially to a company but also to their reputation. Making sure any information on media and drives is secure is crucial. Many companies that will send drives to be wiped and recertified don’t realize the same can be done with tapes. Through a data wiping process done through overwriting that is NIST 800-88 and DoD compliant, the data can be eradicated. Data recovery specialists are unable to retrieve data once the process is complete. The tapes are then able to be recertified and the original owner can have peace of mind their data is safe and they recycled their media responsibly.
When your company is going through a change of equipment, decommissioning a data center, or being upgraded, end of life media has value and should not be overlooked. The money normally spent on data destruction and recycling should be put back in your budget.