How to Protect Personal Information When Discarding Old Electronics

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Reworx, a Certified Recycler, is able to protect personal information and properly dispose of old electronics.

Protect your ID by recycling your old electronics with a certified recycler.

After opening that new laptop, tablet or cell phone this holiday season, be sure to protect your identification when discarding the old items.

John Bonham, general manager of Reworx electronics recycling in Kennesaw, Ga. explains the importance of finding a reputable recycler that guarantees that all confidential health, financial or other information will be completely destroyed. “If information isn’t properly destroyed, someone can find a person's banking or other history and even steal their identity,” said Bonham.

“Individuals or companies should first consider a recycler’s integrity,” Bonham explained. “Some recyclers may promise to dutifully recycle used electronics, but instead they ship the items to third world countries, or worse, burn the parts. Second, look for a recycler that is transparent. Visit a recycler’s website to ensure that it has the highest certifications, and that its procedures adhere to the standards of those certifications.”

Reworx generates revenue to sustain, support and grow the mission of their nonprofit parent organization Nobis Works. Reworx is among only a few recyclers that have earned five of the top certifications for data safety and security, elevating it to the most elite group of IT asset management and electronics recyclers. It is one of only two nonprofit electronics recyclers in the world to achieve the status. “By using a reputable recycler like Reworx, individuals can be confident they’re working with a group that ‘does it right,’” assured Bonham.

One company that puts its consumers first and works to protect their data’s security is DISH Network. In 2013, DISH chose Reworx to handle its recycling needs. Reworx has recycled almost three million pounds of DISH satellite receivers and other obsolete material – enough to fill about half the Georgia Aquarium. Once a set-top box is no longer viable, Reworx sorts, breaks down and recycles or resells its materials like plastics and precious metals. “The energy savings alone in recycling these receivers are enough to power more than 2,200 homes in one year,” said Jim LaRocque, DISH SVP of Service. “Reworx not only furthers DISH’s sustainability efforts, it yields another critical byproduct: opportunity,” said LaRocque.

Brian Bemisderfer, Refurbish Department team lead is one example of the Reworx/DISH partnership’s success. “After an ATV accident 13 years ago, I began using a wheelchair and couldn’t find a job with an employer unfamiliar with my abilities,” said Bemisderfer. “Then I discovered the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency. The staff there helped me find an employer whose mind was open enough to let me prove myself. I landed at Reworx two years ago. I like the fact that this company gave me the chance to prove my abilities to do the job. I’ve received a promotion and enjoy making an impact, both environmentally and socially,” he said.

Reworx electronics recycling certifications include: e-Stewards 2.0, R2:2013 (Responsible Recycling), ISO 14001:2004, ISO 9001:2008 and OHSAS 18001:2007. Requirements to meet these include protection of customer data and privacy, environmental protection, health and safety assurance, quality assurance/customer satisfaction and conformance to domestic and international laws throughout the recycling chain. Reworx also is a Microsoft Registered Refurbisher and federally approved contractor under the GSA Environmental Schedule 899-5 for reclamation, recycling and disposal.

Located at 7000 Cobb International Boulevard in Kennesaw, Ga., Reworx employees refurbish or recycle IT assets and HVAC materials. Reworx has the capacity to process five tons of electronics hourly. Reworx employees also can drive its mobile data destruction unit to a business to sanitize and destroy the hard drives on-site.

The mission of Reworx is to generate excess revenue to sustain and grow parent organization Nobis Works. Since the 2009 launch of this social enterprise, Reworx has supported more than 40 jobs for individuals with disabilities and other barriers. Reworx processes end products in accordance with all applicable e-Stewards and R2 guidelines, and EPA, OSHA and DOT regulations.

Nobis Works is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Marietta that develops and provides job training, employment and vocational support for youth and adults with disabilities and other barriers to employment. For 37 years, this community rehabilitation program has provided job training, employment and on-the-job support for 24,000+ individuals throughout Atlanta and 15 states, resulting in independence, confidence and workplace success.

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Jim Vitale

John Bonham
since: 10/2014
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