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Business expands to shred hard drives and recycle e-waste

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Expanded service: Alan Oatley, manager of Guardian, which has expanded its document destructions and paper recycling service to also include e-waste, such as old computers and cables, and the shredding of hard drives (Photograph supplied)

Electronic waste that weighed the equivalent of five family cars has been salvaged and shipped from Bermuda to be recycled in the US.

And that was only the most recent shipment made by Guardian, a secure document destruction and paper recycling company. The salvaging of e-waste is an ongoing process.

E-waste such as personal computers, servers, cables and shredded hard drives in the shipment weighed more than 18,000 pounds (8,160 kilograms).

The recycling process serves a number of purposes, including security and protecting the environment.

Dealing with e-waste is an expansion of the services Guardian offers. It started in 2005, shredding office papers and documents that were then transported to a recycling facility in the US.

Each year, the company sends about 250,000 pounds of shredded paper overseas.

The company now deals with e-waste. A particular service it offers is the shredding of hard drives to securely destroy any confidential or sensitive data they might hold.

Components, such as high value precious metals contained in the e-waste, is recovered at the overseas recycling centre.

Jonathan Smith, president of National Storage Company, the holding company for the storage businesses Central Filing, Guardian and Vault, said the critical mass that can be achieved in a large country, such as the US, meant the recycling of e-waste was efficient.

There is also an environmental benefit. He said: "People are looking for a more environmental sensitive solution, so we are giving them options."

Mr Smith said it fitted with the company's business philosophy and ethos. The more that is recycled, the less ends up being dumped by the side of the road, he added.

"We are committed to recycling and removing electronics from our local waste streams to better protect Bermuda’s environment. It’s the environmentally responsible thing to do," he said.

E-waste is collected from residents and businesses, and now there are drop off points in Hamilton and Southampton. The only charge is when a business wants to guarantee that hard drives are destroyed.

The company uses an industrial-sized shredder. Mr Smith said: "In the 15 years I have been in this industry, data security requirements have grown exponentially. Our companies pioneered secure document retention and storage, secure destruction and in the safe handling of IT waste. We’ve added the hard drive shredding; we’ve added the recycling services and our customers are thrilled to see this."

Alan Oatley, Guardian manager, said: "Office paper waste contains valuable company data and must be handled and destroyed to the highest industry standards. The same applies to e-waste. There is a need for the safe handling of IT assets such as laptops, servers and personal computers. We are trusted with paper, so this is a service we are pleased to offer customers."

The company's new, free e-waste collection service for end of life PCs, laptops and cables, has drop off locations at AF Smith, Tumkins Lane, Hamilton, and at Guardian’s main site at 22 Industrial Park Road, Southampton.

For more information on IT and e-waste collection, e-mail info@guardian.bm or contact@centralfiling.bm

Broken in pieces: shredded hard drives ready to be shipped to a recycling facility in the US where components, such as precious metals, can be salvaged (Photograph supplied)
Not going to waste: Guardian accepts old computers, many of which contain parts suitable for recycling (Photograph supplied)
Not going to waste: computer cables and power leads are collected by Guardian, and transported to the US to be recycled (Photograph supplied)

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Published May 12, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated May 13, 2021 at 8:25 am)

Business expands to shred hard drives and recycle e-waste

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