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Business Liability

Why is E-Waste a potential legal liability for your business?

    There are serious legal considerations for businesses to consider when deciding how to dispose of outdated or unwanted computer equipment. There are many laws and entities that directly affect you as the original owner of computer equipment.  Thes are The Resource, Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976, CERCLA, "Superfund" laws, The Graham-Leach-Bliley Act, and HIPPA.

    All of this legislation (as well as other laws that apply in different jurisdictions and are too numerous to mention here) have potentially substantial impact on your company’s financial status and business reputation.  A greenSpan offers services that protect you from these pitfalls promptly, and at reasonable fees.

    There are serious legal considerations for businesses to consider when deciding how to dispose of outdated or unwanted computer equipment. This disposal of  "e-waste”,  or "e-scrap”,  is such a new problem that most businesses, schools and even governmental agencies are unaware of proper procedures necessary to avoid legal consequences. From final destination to responsible data destruction, here are some facts:

    Because electronic components contain many substances which are considered harmful if released into the environment, the disposal of electronic scrap at its ‘end of life’ is regulated and governed by the Federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and is enforced by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency. State and local regulatory authorities usually adopt the Federal standards as a minimum, and may impose stricter regulations within their local jurisdictions.

    Computer equipment and other electronics, which are reused, resold, or recycled into component materials, fall under the RCRA Scrap Metal Exemption clause. This exemption states that, with proper record keeping,  the need for costly special handling is eliminated. We are registered with the EPA as a handler of such waste with a site ID number of PAR000516419.

    Electronic scrap which does enter the waste stream must be managed as hazardous waste. In the event of disposal in a non-hazardous waste landfill, environmental remediation is governed by the stringent federal CERCLA, or "Superfund" laws. Under Superfund, an end user's liability for improper disposal is "joint and several," and may continue beyond an item's removal from the owner’s physical possession until its final disposition. In other words, not only must the first owner comply with RCRA/Superfund, but so too must every subsequent owner in order to avoid legal jeopardy for all owners. Remember, most electronics may be traced to the original purchaser by serial number records maintained by the manufacturers. (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976; as amended 1984)

    For instance, the lead in a computer monitor is toxic and hazardous when placed in a landfill. Original purchasers can be held responsible if the machine is improperly handled, regardless of how that original owner disposed of the machine! (Other laws have been enacted and many others are pending in the various states. A discarded machine in another state or country is still a potential liability for your business.) The asset tags displayed HERE were photographed from an e-waste pile along a polluted river in Guiyu, Republic of China.

 

A greenSpan Solution 

    Any monitor that is obsolete is recycled through a glass to glass recycler and the serial number recorded as such. Similarly, the components of any dismantled equipment are smelted only in approved US smelters. Any working monitors or equipment that is sold or donated is entered into our exclusive "A greenSCAN" data base, tagged with A greenSpan CALL US TO RECYCLE Tracking Tag. This provides the end user with our phone number to call to have the machine recycled. For the cost of shipping and handling, this machine is PRECYCLED and its proper disposal more specifically accounted for. All of these precautions are documented by item and serial number (monitors and equipment) and provided to you. This further establishes your "due diligence" required in proving your proper legal conduct in the disposal.

    This PRECYCLED concept is unique to the e waste recycling industry. Our service is documented in a Certificate of Non Exportation and Responsible Recycling with corresponding serial numbers to you.

 

Data Destruction and Hard Drive Erasure

    A greenSpan can assist your business with the protection of the privacy of your stored data and the liability for any failure to do this is crucial in the areas of financial and medical records.  We fully comply with every law and process that NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technologies) requires for secure data destruction.  These are the same processes that are required/used by the NSA, FBI, DOD, CIA, HIPPA, The Graham-Leach-Bliley Act, and more.  While some recyclers or organizations may tell you that they employ the correct methods of data destruction some do not.  Some are still using the retired Department of Defense specifications for erasing your hard drive media.  This is not the correct method any more and will leave your information exposed.  The NIST method is new and A greenSpan utilizes it. 

    The Graham-Leach-Bliley Act regulates the handling of customer’s and other consumers’ personal/legal financial records under federal law. Misuse of such information is held to be the responsibility of the institution or business that possessed the information.

    The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA): addresses the national standards for electronic health care transactions, health plans, health records and employers. It also concerns privacy protection for clients and patients.

    Both of these acts carry harsh penatilies for the mishandling of information.  Also, in both of these areas, the potential for legal liability and reputation damaging exposure is enormous. 

A greenSpan Solution

We offer two levels of privacy protection. We will erase the information with NIST approved software utilizing the secure erase algorithm required.  We also offer the certified physical destruction of a hard drive when specified.  If one does opt for having there hard drives destroyed they are shipped under security and destroyed so the data on these disks is gone forever.  Our methods employ the required practices specified by NIST and required by law.  Both service's are completed with a Certificate of Data Destruction which contain the equipment(s)' serial number.

    It is good professional, business sense to consider worst case scenarios and explore preventive measures which remove the need for remedial action and A greenSpan provides that preventive protection.

REFERENCE NIST DOCUMENT HERE 

 
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