The Absolute IT Asset Disposal Blog

ITAD Myth Busting – Important Questions To Ask Your IT Asset Disposal Company


If you’re looking for a safe and secure way of disposing of used IT assets, you probably have a shortlist of companies that offer similar services. On the surface, the only difference between many ITAD (Information Technology Asset Disposal) companies is their price point. But there are other important criteria you must consider when choosing an asset disposal company. Below you’ll find 5 important questions to ask about the common claims made by ITAD businesses.

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1) Which GDPR Are You Compliant With?

Since 31st December 2020, the EU GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) hasn’t technically applied to UK businesses. Instead, since Brexit, UK companies are governed by the Data Protection Act 2018, which includes the GDPR as it stood in May 2018. While there is still general concordance between the UK and EU, there are several fundamental differences between EU and UK regulations in this respect, so you should always ask ‘which GDPR’ the asset disposal companies adheres to – and ensure they offer a written contract outlining the details.


2) What’s Your Environmental Strategy?

Some ITAD companies claim to have a “No waste” or “Zero landfill” policy, but there should be evidence to support these claims. In our experience, the best-case scenario for IT recycling is a 70% - 90% recovery rate for materials, which is not the same as “no waste”.

You should also bear in mind that some ITAD firms claim to be “zero waste” when in fact, what they do is reuse old IT assets. This isn’t just a matter of semantics. As a client, you deserve transparent and accurate information.


3) Is Your Service Really Free?

Keeping recycling costs under control is a priority for most businesses, but don’t be tempted by “free IT recycling” offers without fully understanding what’s involved. Free IT recycling services tend to:

- Do a cursory data cleanse and dispose of old components in landfills, often outside the UK.

- Refurbish and resell the equipment, usually in developing countries and in many cases without adequately disposing of sensitive data. There’s nothing inherently wrong with reselling refurbished and professionally sanitised IT assets in the developing world or anywhere else – but you can’t take any chances with data-bearing hardware. Recovering from data breaches is costly and it only has to happen once to ruin your reputation, so going for a “free” recycling service is often a false economy.


4) How Long Does Your Process Take?

Be wary of companies that claim to overwrite assets on-site in “a few hours” or “a couple of days”. We know from experience that secure data sanitisation can take time, especially when dealing with a large asset base or mixed media storage. A premium service requires attention to several processes and has to be conducted thoroughly with a clear audit trail at each step, so beware of shortcuts.


5) Do You Resell Assets?

Some ITAD companies offer low-cost recycling or data sanitisation services because they make most of their money reselling used IT equipment. While this is a legitimate business, you want to make sure that the quality of the asset disposal services isn’t affected by the drive to get as many devices ready for re-sale as possible. You also deserve a good rebate from the value of assets resold by a third party. Unless the assets are going to a verified charitable cause, you shouldn’t be giving a commercial enterprise resale material for free!


Working With an ADISA-Accredited ITAD Company

The best way to be sure that you’re receiving the best service is to use an ADISA member company, such as Absolute ITAD. An ADISA certification ensures a company meets strict asset recovery, sustainability, and data security, standards. Not only that, but it also confirms you’re working with a company that meets stringent criteria in areas like supply chain transparency, UK data protection legal compliance (and EU GDPR if appropriate), and chain of accountability.

Absolute ITAD is an ADISA-certified company and as such, we’re fully committed to providing secure IT asset recycling and disposal without taking shortcuts. Get in touch to get a quote or to learn more about our services.

How To Dispose of Old IT Equipment

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