What is eScrap?

Old Computers: What is eScrap?And How Does It Impact Your Business?

Some terms such as eWaste or eScrap have become popular in environmental, waste management, and recycling industries. You might wonder “what is eScrap, exactly?”  And, is it something I should worry about?

Businesses in California should be familiar with eScrap as there are certain items that are identified under the Electronic Waste Recycling Act. Such items must be treated differently than regular office waste.

What is eScrap?

Loosely defined, eScrap is made up of electronic components that are no longer functional or useful. Items like printers, fax machines, and copy machines are common eScrap items found in business settings. Televisions, recording devices, stereos, and computers are also forms of eScrap. Because these items contain valuable resources — and, sometimes, chemicals that can be dangerous to the environment — it’s not optimal to simply throw them away.

Some components that qualify as eScrap can be refurbished by manufacturers for further use. Or, they can be scrapped for valuable elements including silver, electrical wires, and plastics. You can also reduce environmental footprints by selecting products with care — don’t buy electronic items you don’t need and purchase for longevity when possible.

Recycling with Care

Computers, copy machines, and printers contain hard drives that contain valuable and confidential information about your business, customers, or employees. To protect that data, you should never scrap eWaste or turn it over for recycling without first removing the hard drive. There are various ways to destroy electronic data. For permanent destruction, consider having hard drives shredded by a commercial professional like Sergeant Shredder. Complete destruction of the unit ensures data can never be recovered. Plan ahead for data protection by discussing hard drive destruction options with vendors or manufacturers prior to leasing or purchasing office equipment (like copiers and high-end printers).

What kind of eScrap do you have at home or in the office?