Data breaches of several top tier organisations in 2022 catapulted cyber security into the nation’s conscience.
In response, more entities are adopting General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), designed to safeguard personal information and data. Despite extra vigilance surrounding security, redundant IT equipment can hold data that can compromise individuals, a business, its customers or employees.
Steven Batumalay, Shred-X ITAD Solutions and Relationship Manager, says more awareness of data security, from both the general public and businesses, has created opportunities for e-waste service providers.
Shred-X has built its reputation on securely destroying data. Having started in 1999 within the paper recycling industry, Shred-X evolved to provide a range of destruction and recycling solutions for a myriad of materials other than paper, including IT and data assets, media, uniforms, dated or contraband products, used coffee cups and QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) waste, textiles and clothing, ensuring ethical landfill diversion for materials which previously had no other disposal alternative.
Shred-X’s expertise in providing IT asset disposition (ITAD) and e-waste recycling services has been sought after by many global partners within the Asia Pacific region. Expanding it’s footprint, in November 2022 Shred-X acquired RCube Solutions, an Australian-owned and managed ITAD company focused on e-waste diversion from landfill and mitigation of data theft.
“Shred-X has been one of the fastest growing companies in the e-waste and secure data destruction industry,” Steven says. “It’s been making the right technology and resource investments to service clients and with a focus on providing sustainable and environmentally-friendly solutions.”
Nearly every electronic or IT device a business uses contains materials that can be recycled into new product components. Almost 100 per cent of electronic devices – computers, tablets, hard drives, mobile phones and printers – can be recycled once they reach the end of their useful life if done through the correct channels.
Steven says Shred-X has partnered with Australian recyclers to divert e-waste from landfill, recovering valuable resources such as lead, copper, aluminium gold and titanium and alleviating the reliance on increasingly scarce virgin materials.
It’s widely recognised that e-waste is a global problem – the United Nations estimates that only 12.5 per cent of the 20-50 million tonnes of electronic waste worldwide is recycled, with the rest ending up in landfill or cluttering up homes and offices. Those discarded in landfill not only pose a risk for the data stored, but can leak dangerous chemicals into the environment with devastating effects on local communities and wildlife.
Steven says there’s more awareness in Australia regarding how e-waste should be treated and recycled responsibly, largely due to government restrictions on exporting e-waste to developing countries, and a focus on corporate Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) policies.
“E-waste is the fastest growing waste industry not only in Australia but globally,” Steven says. “Hence there is more and more investment from local and international businesses and government, which is great for the Australian economy.”
Shred-X aligns itself with five of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), that were first implemented into the global sector in 2016. Shred-X is actively invested in these goals with one of its SDG’s being SDG 9: building resilient infrastructure, promoting sustainable industrialisation and fostering innovation.
Steven says it is part of the organisation’s ethos to help companies achieve their targets by finding a new home for waste besides landfill.
He adds that while e-waste recycling is a positive disposal method ensuring that precious metals and components are recycled, an alternative sustainable option is to repurpose or reuse IT assets. The IT asset recovery service is one of the initiatives Shred-X has implemented to help customers maximise their IT investment in technology hardware through the asset buyback program.
Steven says for electronic assets containing data, repurposing is possible after a process called data sanitisation. Sanitisation involves a multiple pass data overwriting process to ensure that data cannot be retrieved through commercially available data recovery processes.
“Our e-waste repurposing alternatives deliver a compliant, sustainable solution to end-of-life asset management plan and is one that can also be integrated into a business’s corporate social responsibility project,” he says. “With a national customer base of more than 20,000 Shred-X can help businesses to securely manage their e-waste and at the same time improve their bottom line by tapping into any unrealised value in their spent technology.
“The Shred-X solution promotes a circular economy, providing environmental sustainability and financial benefits to business.”
Editorial: Waste Management Review (March 2023 Edition)