FAQs about Computer Recycling

Answers To Common Questions

1. How do you destroy my personal data?

There are three levels commonly recognized for eliminating data:

 Clearing which is the removal of data from storage devices in such a way that there is assurance
that the data may not be reconstructed using normal system functions or software file/data recovery
utilities. The data may still be recoverable, but not without special laboratory techniques. Clearing
is typically an administrative protection against accidental disclosure within an organization.
For example, before a laptop is re-used within an organization, its contents may be cleared to
prevent their accidental disclosure to the next user.

 Purging or sanitizing is the removal of data from a system or storage device with the intent that the
data can not be reconstructed by any known technique. Purging, proportional to the sensitivity of the
data, is generally done before releasing media outside of control, such as before discarding old media,
or moving media to a different computer or laptop.

 Destruction of the storage device is when it is physically destroyed. We take the media apart to
attain the platen that the data is written to and then destroy the platen by grinding, as set
by US DoD 5220.22-M standards.

We sanitize and destroy all storage media to the standards of:
  * US NIST Special Publication 800-88: Guidelines for Media Sanitization
  * US DoD 5220.22-M: National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual (NISPOM)
  * Defense Security Service (DSS) which provides a Clearing and Sanitization Matrix (C&SM)

Specific destruction techniques include:
    * Physically breaking the media apart, by grinding, shredding, etc.
    * Incinerating
    * Phase transition (i.e., liquification or vaporization of a solid disk)
    * Application of corrosive chemicals, such as acids, to recording surfaces
    * For magnetic media, raising its temperature above the Curie point

2. What do you do if I want you to not use my Hard Drive?

 For media that is donated just to be recycled or that is not in working
condition, it is all destroyed after the media has been sanitized.