October 21

As the landfills pile up around the world, how safe is it for our discarded tech to end up in e-waste ‘mountains’?

This gallery of pictures from The Guardian gives a brief visual glimpse of the challenges of e-waste recycling and global efforts to reduce waste.

“Even though the size of products is getting smaller, the pile is still growing. There‚Äôs so many more being used.”

—Jim Puckett, executive director of Basel Action Network

Focusing on recycling operations in Guiyu, China, you can see the conditions people sifting through tonnes of dumped hardware deal with in hopes of finding valuable metals and parts. There are abundant health and environmental concerns when pieces are burned and melted down for scrap and toxins are released into local air, water and land. When it comes to digital storage devices like hard drives, there are data security concerns. Discarded hard drives that aren’t properly ‘wiped’ risk allowing private information to fall into the hands of interested ‘parties’ from the world of organized crime and identity theft. With the amount of digital devices we use continuing to grow, these challenges won’t be disappearing any time soon.

The e-waste mountains – in pictures

You can read more Platter Chatter posts about recycling e-waste and data security.

Category: data loss prevention

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