Bankruptcy. Lawsuits. Illegal dumping. Abandoned e-waste. Data breach.

Words no IT manager ever wants to consider, let alone hear, when evaluating partners for managing their company’s e-waste, yet some that are all too common, especially in Florida, where e-recycling vendors have a long history of bankruptcies leaving customers to pay for millions in cleanup costs, failure to pay rebates, and improper disposal of resulting in costly HIPAA data breaches

If reading the headlines of other companies’ misfortunes makes you wonder: “Do I really know where my ‘recycled’ IT devices end up?,”  you’re not alone. Don’t be left paying the consequences – and cleanup – of illegal e-waste dumping.

Avoid fines for illegal dumping and improper disposal of e-waste with a vendor who is:

  1. CERTIFIED to securely destroy data and recycle scrap responsibly.
    Unfortunately, some vendors may illegally claim certification to secure your trust and lock in your business, but their certifications may be fake or expired. Check the authenticity of essential vendor certifications, like e-Stewards, NAID AAA Certification and R2, during your RFP process by checking the certification body’s website for the vendor you’re evaluating.
  2. INSURED to cover environmental and data security risks.
    HIPAA has strict requirements for the disposal of personal health information (PHI), including the types of containers permissible for disposal and the length of time that organizations must keep PHI accessible. Vendors abandoning sensitive health information open you up to a potential data breach and significant financial repercussions. When looking for a vendor, request a certificate of technology or cyber errors and omissions insurance coverage. This isn’t included in general liability coverage, and can cover a range of tech-related issues and data breaches.
  3. CONTRACTED to accept legal liability for processing.
    Instead of finding a vendor that promises “unlimited” liability coverage without proven resources to back up these commitments, find a partner that is insured with an appropriate level of insurance for your needs, and has a proven track record of security and integrity. Before signing a contract, also make sure it stipulates the transfer of asset ownership with the vendor to ensure there’s a transfer of liability.
  4. TRANSPARENT by sharing what happens to all material and devices.
    Reliable vendors should provide inventory, milestone disposition reports so you know where each asset is in the process, and can ensure you get paid what is owed for valuable devices that are recycled and resold.
  5. TRUSTED by existing and past customers.
    Research vendors before signing a contract for any red flags. A few red flags to watch for: vendors who are unwilling to provide references upon request or a track record of canceled contracts.

Read more e-waste horror stories from Florida

Creative Recycling Systems, based in Florida with locations across six eastern states, filed for bankruptcy, leaving property owner Carolina Pines I LLC, and contracted customers, including South Carolina’s Horry and Lexington counties, legally responsible for nearly $1.5M in cleanup costs. Cleanup included a warehouse with nearly 6.5 million pounds of e-scrap, including a substantial volume of CRTs, more than a dozen 53-foot trailers full of material, and cleanup of hazardous materials, like arsenic and lead, released during crushing. (Source)

Owner of Jacksonville, Florida, processor Legie E-Scrap Recycling faced felony charges for improper management of hazardous e-scrap, including between 200 and 250 CRT computer monitors. The warehouse owner where the e-waste was abandoned was required to pay more than $23,500 for the clean up of the 47,000 pounds of hazardous waste (source).

CONTACT CASCADE TODAY to avoid your own illegal dumping disaster.