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IT Disposal Made Easy

January 04 2018

January. A time of reflection and new beginnings.  A time when it is out with the old and in with the new.

IT refreshes can happen all year however, we know that businesses typically start to think about the clearing out and claiming back spare desks at the end of and at the beginning of the year. When you're done with old laptops, Mac’s or PC’s, you probably already know that you can’t just throw it out with the commercial rubbish. Make sure you recycle it properly, including safely removing any personal and company data on your computer's hard drive.

Recycling computers can be relatively straightforward as long as you know where to go. Your council might be the first port of call if you just have a recycling centre nearby however, if you are a business then a trip to the tip in working hours is not usually a viable option.  What you need is an IT Recycling  company that can collect and take care of the secure data destruction and the safe recycling of it as well.

Ucan Recycling offer one of the best IT recycling services in Yorkshire. As a social enterprise, it is our ethos to not only dispose of IT equipment with reuse rather than landfill in mind, but will also try collect your old computing equipment free of charge from your home or workplace if you have 10 or more items to collect and are within a 50 mile radius. It could be that we can combine the collection with another in the area in order to keep it a free IT collection. However, we will have to charge for one offs or for low quantities as we obviously need to cover our costs.

Ucan Recycling will also offer to wipe your data securely, free of charge. We use industry standard software Parted Magic and to wipe is our preferred method of destruction as it means that the drive can be re-used, thus backing up our reuse ethos. Other data desturciton methods are available, for instance shredding and degaussing - please see our data destruction page for more information. (insert link) We can supply a Certificate of Destruction as proof for your files if required.

If you'd prefer to take data destruction matters into your own hands before handing over your device then follow our advice below.

Factory reset your computer before recycling it

Before recycling a laptop or desktop, you should reset it to its ‘factory settings’. In theory, this leaves only the bare operating system and pre-installed programs on the device – removing access to your files and any programs you’ve added.

It's essential to make sure you've backed up all the files you want before you begin this process. Store them safely on an external hard drive, your new computer, or in online cloud storage. If you wish to reinstall software from your old computer onto a new one, note down the licence keys. You'll need these to install paid-for software (including Microsoft Office) on a new machine.

Remove the hard drive

If you’re recycling a laptop or desktop and would prefer not to dabble with data-shredding software, the safest way to make sure your data isn’t accessed is to physically remove the hard drive.

You can put an old hard drive into an external caddy - available for about £12 online. This will convert it into a USB hard drive that you can use to store and access data, just like a regular external hard drive.

Alternatively, you can smash the old hard drive to make it unrecoverable. It's physical work - you'll need to destroy it with a few satisfying blows of a hammer to break the ‘platters’ that hold the data.


For more information on IT Recycling or to book in a collection then please call us on 0113 242 4421 or email or use the contact form here.

Ucan Recycling is an award winning IT Disposal and IT Recycling Specialist. Contact us now for advice on how to safely dispose of your IT equipment, including Laptop recycling, laptop for reuse, computer disposal, data destruction, free data wiping and many other IT disposal services.