Can You Recycle Hard Drives?
So, the inevitable has happened. Your hard drive has been getting slower and slower, and now it’s finally given up for good. What can you do with your old hard drive?
You’re probably wondering whether you should simply toss the hard drive, keep it in a drawer, or do something else. Yet did you know that it’s possible to recycle hard drives?
Not only is it possible, but it’s something that you should be doing. In this guide, we’ll look at why you should recycle your old PC hard drive and how to do it safely.
Let’s get started!
Why You Should Recycle Hard Drives
E-waste (electronic waste) is a serious issue in the United States. According to recent statistics, only 20 percent of e-waste is recycled, and all the rest gets thrown away.
This is a serious problem. Making a computer, or any of its components, has a serious environmental impact. The factory that made them will pump out a lot of CO2, which contributes to climate change.
There’s another issue too. The minerals that go into a hard drive are often mined in conflict zones using child labor. For instance, cobalt makes up key parts of hard drives, and a lot of it is mined in the Congo, where child labor, exploitation, and horrendous working conditions are rife.
When you recycle a hard drive, you reduce the demand for new cobalt. If everyone recycled their electronics, the exploitative market for this and other minerals would collapse.
How to Recycle Your Hard Drive Safely
If you want to recycle your old hard drives, there are a few things that you should know. Firstly, data security should be paramount: you should never send off your hard drive with any of its data intact, even if it’s broken down.
If you want to be very secure, you’ll need to wipe your hard drive using a government-level method. This involves using a program that can write random data to your hard drive multiple times, overwriting the old data that used to be on the disk.
If your hard drive has broken down, you may be able to wipe it by connecting the hard drive to your PC with an appropriate cable and power supply. If it has truly broken and you can’t wipe it, you could still have the hard drive degaussed, which involves using a powerful magnetic field to wipe the drive.
Once you’ve removed the data from your hard drive, you can recycle it. You should always use a legitimate recycling company like this business. They’ll recycle the hard drive in line with standards and regulations, which means you can rest easy knowing your hard drive has been recycled correctly.
Save the Planet: Recycle Your Old Hard Drives
You should recycle hard drives when you’re done with them. It helps the environment and helps lower the demand for conflict minerals. You’re helping out your fellow man and helping the planet at the same time.
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