The majority of Irish homeowners would bring their old computers to local civic amenity centres, give it away to a relative or sell it on to another party. In Ireland, a problem arises for the disposal of redundant computer hardware.
Home users tend to discard their computers in the conventional manner, in rubbish bins, taking them to local civic amenity sites or by selling them on to other private buyers or in some cases, by trading them in or selling them at auction. Home users believe they do not have any data that would be of use to anyone or have taken the steps of “deleting” the files from the computer. Home users are not aware of the implications of the data that can be retrieved from their computers.
In addition, the WEEE (Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment) Regulations 2005 state that such equipment must be disposed of in a manner which will not damage the environment.
There are different options available for computers besides just throwing them away (or storing them). Many computers are built in a way that allows them to be repaired or upgraded, which means they can be reused. With little effort, these computers can be as good as the PCs currently on the market.
By eliminating e-waste, the environment is protected, resources are saved, and you make a difference to the quality of your local environment.
It is now possible in Ireland to re-cycle all electronic goods, including computers, in an environmentally safe ways. Electronic Recycling uses only certified disposal streams ensuring products are handled in accordance with all current legislation, including the 1996 Waste Management Act and the 2005 WEEE Directive. Your local Authority can provide more information of safely re-cycling old computer equipment.
You should also ensure that any important or sensitive data that may have been stored on a computer is properly removed. This entails running special ‘data scrubbing’ tools to permanently delete your data. Using the normal ‘delete’ key is normally not sufficient to remove confidential or sensitive data.