How To Dispose of Hard Drives In The UK

If you have a hard drive that needs recycling, you may be wondering where to dispose of it. Here are the best places to get your hard drive recycling done in the UK. The best way to dispose of hard drives — and destroy digital data that is no longer needed — is to have them physically destroyed by a professional document destruction company. This is the most effective and risk-free way to ensure information is permanently destroyed.

Domestic Hard Drive Disposal

In the lead-up to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was essential that businesses make the right decisions when it came to ramping up cleaning and sanitising procedures to protect employee, patient and visitor safety. Unfortunately, re-imaging of harddrives that may have contained confidential business information was not enough. Companies and individuals now have a great many questions. Here is a guide to the best ways to safely dispose of hard drives for health and safety compliance.

Your family doctor may have told you to limit the number of physical copies of medication you use so they can be dispensed more safely. Unfortunately, once a hard drive is formatted, there is no way of removing all the information from the file. Therefore, it is not possible to dispense a prescription from your computer even if you have a signed prescription. This poses quarantine and compliance issues and means physicians will be unable to provide the right treatment. The best way to safely dispose of your hard drive is by proper, healthcare professionals using the data destruction shredder. Apart from taking the above steps, it may also be beneficial to take inventory of all the files and folders on your hard drive. This can be done both during your normal period of use and when collecting your hard drive shredder service.

Typically, you will want to evaluate folder structure, file types, size. Keep all files that need special handling in a folder separate from your other files for a safe selection. If you are having problems determining which files are data-intensive and can be safely deleted, then take a backup copy of your files and delete them one-by-one using the included data shredding software. Another way to ensure your data is safely gone from your hard drive is to use the Software As Data Protection (SADP) programme. This is a quarantine tool that can overwrite deleted files to confine their space. When the program is used, important data on hard drives will be overwritten using special data security layers, which provide far greater security than overwriting a file.

Only a professional document destruction company should be accepting of repeat delivery of damaged files from a customer’s computer. Before heading down this route, you should investigate whether the computer contains any of the following: Before accessing your hard drive for the first time, you should make sure it is without viruses and anti-virus software installed. Once it has been sanitised, ensure the virus and anti-virus database is up-to-date and that you are looking after it by preparing an appropriate information security plan including a backup copy of the hard drive’s data.

How to Dispose of Old Computers UK

It’s a good idea to say goodbye to your old email, hard drive / thumb drive and chemical / hard drive chemicals by officially recycling them. We recommended the UK-based Rain-Soak. Rain-Soak’s Collection Service can be found at It offers a safe, cost-effective and fair way to get old physical media such as hard drives and e-memories back into the public domain. For more information, please visit

The Royal Free Hospital in London has a huge collection of used medical, medical imaging, and technology media. Following the guidance from the media specialist, Media Base, they’re now storing these media in specially designed back-up media cabinets. This makes sure measures are in place so that their 3.5 million pieces of media never go to landfill. They also have an option of making these media ‘published’, meaning anyone who obtains them can share them freely.

Pictures of Media Base can be found at . Once you’re properly prepared to get your media out of landfill and into the public domain, please ensure that you are not dealing with explosive chemicals. There’s no substitute for testing your media to make sure it’s safe to handle. Seek the advice of an expert to safely dispose of your media. This includes, but is not limited to, the use of specialised soil/pH balanced, water & air purification, UV permeable and air-tight containers. For newspapers and magazines, contact your local waste company for where to send them. Make a note, as paper and plastics aren’t processed by incinerators in the UK and are therefore not a danger to be sent to landfill. For call references, just google to see what your local businesses accept. Some brands, such as Media Base, already use environmentally friendly technologies to safely recycle electronics.

If this is the case, then it will be more beneficial to send them containing damaged media before they undergo conventional recycling. Amazon energetically processes their e-waste and sending it to Ecosia is a no-brainer. The devices are lifted onto a conveyor belt fed by air, where the e-waste is separated from other debris, used as compost and melted down. This process reduces e-waste by 90%, making more valuable forms of renewable energy available to develop solar energy plants and reduce the use of fossil fuels. Ecosia provides recycling certificates to keep their clients informed about how the e-waste they receive is being used and managing the logistics of e-waste.

Secure Hard Drive Disposal

To ensure the best possible recycling results, document destruction companies typically create and maintain evidence of destruction. In order to meet safety requirements, shredding companies will document destruction by physically photographing the destroyed media, keeping a copy, and submitting the copy to the owner’s recycle office for recycling.

You can request proof of documentation of shredding by enclosing your destruction receipt from your document shredding partner. To destroy hard drives at home safely, you must do so by an approved company. An approved shredding company can be anybody, but be sure to find one that is authorised and regulated in the UK. Read the leaflet carefully to confirm that the company you choose meets all the necessary criteria before opting for service. In general, electronic waste (e-waste) in the United States originates from developing countries, where conditions for recyclability are minimal. Evidence of such e-waste is often found in the form of “junk” e-waste.

UK companies may present modern technology to dissipate waste before sending the waste overseas, but UK businesses often import e-waste from emerging economies. We cannot expect e-waste from emerging economies to be properly disposed of in the UK, because they decide where the material is manufactured and thus, where the e-waste will ultimately end up. To help minimise unnecessary e-waste from being imported to the UK, the government introduced the Electronic Products Care Directive. If businesses wish to dispose of e-waste manufactured in areas other than the EU, they are now required to find particularised and sustainable solutions that are compatible with electronics recycling legislation here in the UK. Download our free guide to gain a better understanding of the electronic waste industry.

A fast growing and controversial trend in hard drive recycling, USB flash drives are commonly thought to be safe for recycling. However, there are varying opinions among recyclers, and there may be misunderstandings of what is acceptable. These USB flash drives can also be used in personal computers and digital cameras, which is a reason to recycle them and not to throw them away! USB also came about because manufacturers started to store their data on external USB storage, sourced from external devices, using a port on the side of the device. This feature most likely came about because of recent media innovations. If the external or internal storage cannot be recycled or substituted, the new technology actually decreases the size of the original media by removing the data and reusing it. Most USB flash drives can be safely recycled.

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