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Complete data center asset safe disposal checklist

- 4 minute read

Data center asset disposal is a crucial consideration for businesses. This process needs to both comply with regulation and also be environmentally responsible. Data asset disposal is a complex task with a large array of variables to consider. Not only does it entertain the risk of compliance breach but there are also the issues of environmental pollution, illegal exportation and illicit work practices from untrustworthy third-party vendors. 

How are you disposing of your data? Do you have a fully audited chain of custody trail? It’s considerations like these you need to have the answers for. Read on for more information on data center asset disposal and the risks associated with non-compliance.

The data center asset disposal checklist

When disposing of data center assets, there are several key considerations to have a solution for alongside a list of concrete requirements you need to check off.

  • Do you have a complete data disposal project plan?
  • Have you properly decommissioned and disassembled your assets?
  • Has the data that was on these assets been properly destroyed?
  • Is your data destruction and decommission process well documented so any issue can be traced back to the source?
  • Do you have the solutions to destroy the full range of data storage mediums? Such as:
    • Magnetic hard drives and tapes
    • Flash storage
    • Storage Area Networks (SANs)
    • Solid-state drives
  • Have you created the reporting necessary to satisfy the data regulations and disposal laws you might need to comply with? For example, GDPR or the NIST 800-88.R1 standard.
  • Do you have protocols for asset management when they leave the data center?
  • Do you have a fully mapped chain of custody for each asset?
  • Can you ensure the security of assets during transit to any external disposal handler?
  • Are you tracking your assets if they’re being resold?
  • If you’re working with an external asset disposal provider, what documentation can they provide you for your regulatory requirements?
  • Do you have full visibility of your asset disposal and data sanitization, regardless of whether this process is done on-site or handled by a third party?
  • If working with a third party data asset disposal provider, what are their credentials?
  • Are they certified?
  • Do they work with subcontractors?
  • What is their e-waste or data sanitization process?
  • Do they offer proof that no hazardous materials are sent to landfill?
  • Can they provide you with an audit trail to prove no e-waste is illegally exported?

To find more information on data center asset disposal and the related requirements, get in touch with one of our specialists today

Looking for industry certification

For IT asset disposal (ITAD) and e-waste recycling in general, certification is vital. For businesses working with ITAD solutions companies, finding the right certification is the only way to do business. 

While it doesn’t necessarily guarantee a good performance, it's the first stage of vetting an organization to judge whether they're the right fit for your needs. Irresponsibly handled IT assets leads to strict consequences, such as huge fines. You need to ensure your asset disposal partner won’t cause you any issues. After all, one of your most valuable assets is your reputation. 

For example, here at TES, we work within R2, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 27001, ISO 28000, OHSAS 18001 and TAPA certifications. 

Compliance regulations

Regulatory compliance is ever-changing, meaning keeping up to date with the rules is a challenge - but a challenge every ITAD manager needs to face. 

For example, businesses in Europe need to consider the following regulations within any data center asset disposal:

  • The Batteries Directive: This regulation has been in force since 2006. It stipulates that battery disposal (from e-waste assets) needs to be done responsibly.
  • Energy using Products (EuP): This is an EU directive that works to guarantee that IT software has been designed to comply for the full length of the product’s lifecycle. 
  • Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE): This is one of the most important directives and applies to all EU and EEA member states. It requires manufacturers to properly label, register, recycle and dispose of products and equipment.

This list isn't exhaustive, but it does offer some key insight on regulations your safe asset disposal checklist must consider. To discover more on the considerations for the safe disposal of data and IT assets, read our blog here.

Similarly, asset disposal needs to be done in an environmentally compliant manner. Only by doing this can we ensure the least environmental impact for our retired tech. 

At TES, we’re proponents of the circular economy, where the maximum value is extracted from resources and tech is recycled to extend its lifecycle. To find out more about the circular economy and how TES is championing more sustainable business practices, explore our latest infographic.

Creating a circular economy in ICT

The circular economy offers a new economic model for sustainable business practices, new revenue sources, innovation and a more environmentally-friendly use of resources. 

In our infographic, you’ll discover the statistics for e-waste and recycling globally, a comparison of our traditional linear economy and a circular alternative and our process at TES - plus much more. 

To explore your copy, simply click the banner below. 



See how TES can help you today