US Businesses Responding to E-Waste Challenges

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First "60 Minutes" and now PBS "Frontline" have run alarming documentaries on the threats posed by improper disposal of old computers and electronics, or e-waste. A growing number of US businesses are combating the problem with sophisticated disposition services from companies like Converge that safely demanufacture, recycle and remarket IT assets. These services each year prevent millions of tons of materials from harming the environment and generate revenue from unwanted hardware.

Converge technicians safely remove computer components before recycling and remarketing decisions are made

IT asset disposition has become a very complex business process

A growing number of U.S. enterprises are adopting clean, secure, affordable disposal practices for their unwanted computers, cell phones, monitors and other IT assets.

Last week's PBS "Frontline" documentary "Digital Dumping Ground" showed graphic images of toxic e-waste dumps in Ghana, China, India and other developing nations.

"The 'Frontline' expose did a fantastic job of bringing to light all that is bad in this space and the terrible consequences of illicit e-waste disposal. That said, there are also extraordinary success stories of companies that have a solid IT asset disposal process in place and are doing it right," says Frank Cavallaro, CEO of Converge.

Using advanced IT asset disposition services from Converge, these organizations not only avoid environmental hazards but also reduce costs through remarketing of still-viable computers and components.

"IT asset disposition has become a very complex business process," says Chris Adam, director of IT asset disposition services for Converge. "The cost of doing it right pales in comparison to the damage that can be caused by doing it improperly. Obviously, there are clear environmental risks, but throwing old computers into the Dumpster also poses serious financial and data security risks as well."

A recent IT disposal market study by Converge revealed that IT managers at medium and large U.S. companies are very aware of the e-waste problem. Their overriding concern, according to the survey, is data security.

"As the 'Frontline' piece pointed out, the amount of private data left on computer hard drives is shocking," says Adam. "It is very difficult for companies to completely erase these devices. And trying to verify data erasure on thousands of devices across a large organization is beyond the in-house capabilities of most IT departments. That's where a specialized provider with global infrastructure like Converge is a real value to an enterprise."

Converge provides its clients with real-time tracking of every single IT asset flowing through the disposition process, along with certificates of destruction and certificates of recycling in accordance with the treatment of each device.

Unlike typical recovery and recycling vendors, Converge has decades of experience in electronics distribution and can assess global market prices and resell computers and key components such as CPUs, memory and properly prepared hard drives. This allows companies to recapture money from devices that are still in good working order.

"We applaud PBS for keeping this problem in the spotlight," concludes Cavallaro. "The more we educate corporations about secure and environmentally friendly ways to handle e-waste, the better our future will become."

About Converge
Converge is a global supply chain partner for technology-driven companies. The company's three business units are dedicated to just-in-time distribution of electronic components, comprehensive asset-recovery services and secure IT asset disposition (ITAD). Converge's ITAD business unit provides secure, compliant, end-of-life IT asset disposition services, including data erasure, disposal, recycling and remarketing of systems and components to enterprise clients. Founded in 1980, Converge is headquartered in Peabody, Mass., and has offices in Columbus, Ohio; Irvine, Calif.; Singapore; and Amsterdam, along with support centers throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas. For more information, visit http://www.converge.com.

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PETER GREER
Converge
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