How to Properly Dispose of Office Equipment 

When it’s time to discard an old printer, copier, or scanner, many firms might simply throw these devices in the dumpster. They discard these machines without thinking of the potential environmental impacts as well as the security risks.

One way to handle the disposal process is to leverage managed IT support for your devices which provides companies with an added layer of security and time savings. An IT support firm can provide you with the right copiers, printers, and scanners, and is responsible for their proper disposal, which includes handling any toxic elements and ensuring proper data protection.

Discarding a Copier or Printer

The first option is to consider donating the copier or printer if it’s still in good working order. Schools, nonprofit organizations, and other groups will gladly take a working machine that might still have a few years of operational life. Before donating the machine, take steps to wipe the hard drive to remove any content, and protect your business’ information.

If disposal is the only option, here are several tips for safe, environmentally friendly, and efficient disposal:

  • Check your state’s e-waste laws to be sure you’re following the latest guidance for electronics disposal.
  • Find a reputable recycling company that will dismantle the copier, dispose of ink properly, and will recycle some of the components with a manufacturer to reduce waste.
  • Talk to the manufacturer to see if they offer a “take back” program where they can reuse some of the machine’s components, which reduces the amount of material that ends up in a landfill.
  • Large office printers and copiers are heavy and bulky. Don’t ask employees to move these items and risk injury, instead rely on junk removal firms to take the machines to a reputable recycling center. Your managed IT professionals can coordinate this process, allowing your team to focus on work instead of the copier or printer.

Wipe the Memory

Modern copiers, printers, and scanners have internal hard drive memory that retains content and other details. Before donating these machines or bringing them to an e-waste facility, you should erase this data. If you don’t, then you risk losing your company’s proprietary information, giving hackers what they need to infiltrate your network, or potentially exposing customer data. You should remove the data before donating or disposing of the machines, and work with recycling firms that take steps to protect your data from the wrong hangs.

Copiers and printers have data storage to enable faster operation, but this comes with an increased security risk. Hackers can use data recovery tools to pull information from these hard drives. Before disposing of such machines, you can perform functions to reset and wipe the hard drive, following the instructions in the user manual. If you utilize managed IT support services, they’ll have experienced techs who use specialized deletion tools to prevent any issues. This provides you with additional peace of mind, as hard drives are tricky and can often keep fragments of data even when they’re reset. IT support services can also perform data backups to external drives or to the cloud, so you can have a copy of the information stored in the copier or printer.

If you are looking for a managed IT services provider, then consider Visual Edge IT, an industry leader in connected printers, scanners, copiers, and other related equipment. We provide our clients with complete end-to-end services, including advice on picking the best machines for their needs, as well as safe and secure disposal. Complete our contact form at our Contact Us Page , or call 800-336-1642 to get started with our team of managed IT professionals.

Featured Photo by Akil Mazumder