Computer Recycling Questions/FAQ


Q:  Why are recycling computers and other electronics necessary?  Why not just throw them away.

     A:  There are a number of reasons why you should recycle instead of just throwing away your electronics.  The most critical is that electronics not disposed of properly can be harmful to the environment.  There are a lot of toxic materials in electronics that could potentially leach into the ground and possibly into our drinking water.  Another important reason is to keep the amount of trash in our landfills down.  There are literally millions of electronics being disposed of every year.  If properly recycled the amount of trash sent to our landfills will be just that much less.

Q:  What security steps are taken to prevent my personal information from being distributed into the public?

     A:  Our top priority is to make sure information is not spread to the public.  We actually have 4 security levels for information removal.  How we do this is a hard drive or storage device is completely wiped clean up to Department of Defense Standards by using professional sanitizing software.  This will completely eliminate all existence of the prior user and all previous programs (including operating system).  The drive is also written over with a series of 1’s and 0’s as an added precaution. If you feel that this is not enough security we can also shred your hard drive rendering it unusable and unrecognizable.  All drives that can not be securely wiped will be shredded or rendered unusable.  For more info please visit our security page.

Q:  Some other recyclers are formatting or crashing the partition tables. Is this a proper security method?

     A:  Absolutely not! Formatting a drive does not remove data. Even after a format all your information can be completely recoverable with cheap or even free software. Crashing the partition tables is no better. To be secure the drive information needs to be erased and wrote over.

Q:  How will we know that the information in our hard drive(s) have been securely removed?

     A:  The programs that we use saves information about the security work done to the hard drives.  Once the information is securely removed from the drives the information will be sent back to you. (Recycling Verification purchase needed)

Q:  Why do you need 4 security levels to remove information off of a hard drive?

     A:  4 levels of security are necessary because not everyone uses there hard drive to store there personal or confidential information.  The typical consumer might not need as secure of data removal as a large company.  Government agencies and financial institutions like banks or lending companies are required to remove information to Department of Defense standards. 

 Q.  Do you charge for higher security removal and how much is it?

     A.  Our single security removal wipe is included with a $4 computer recycle. Washington State recycling program customers will have there hard drives shredded by a Washington State approved dismantler.  We have a 3 wipe and a 7 wipe that we do charge to perform.  The reason for this is the time that it takes to perform each wipe.  Depending on the hard drive it could take up to 7 hours to securely wipe each machine.  For pricing and more information please visit our security page.

Q:  Other recyclers are charging to recycle electronics. Why does Recycle Techs accept some items for free?

     A: At Recycle Techs we believe that people are more likely to properly recycle their retired equipment if it is affordable.  Not every person or company has a large budget set aside for the recycling of their used equipment.  Granted we are not able to accept every item for free.  For example, we will accept some good working CRT monitor for free but non-working CRT’s are not always easy or cost effective to fix.  What we do is just pass on the recycling charges to you without jacking up the price.

Q:  How does the US regulate how electronics can be disposed?

     A:  Different laws are coming into effect every year about how to recycle electronics.  Not every state has strictly enforced good recycling practices but the US has recognized that there is a problem and is going through the appropriate steps to correct this issue.   Each state can have different rules and regulations about recycling so please check with your local EPA office for details.

Q: How can you recycle systems for so cheap?

     A:  Most of our profits are from rebuilding and reselling the system. We are not physically breaking down every system brought in to be recycled which costs recyclers time and money.  Instead we try to reuse as much of the system as possible.  This created a market for older used systems which are still in demand.  Another reason is that we resell the systems typically to single users or smaller companies and not try to sell pallets of systems at a fraction of its going price.