Information Technology Asset Disposition (ITAD) has grown to the point it gets multiple mentions at ISRI2022. Two sessions on Tuesday, March 22, Data Destruction Trends for ITAD, and Spotlight on Electronics: Emerging Trends in Electronics Recycling and ITAD – Sponsored by Blancco, gave the latest on trends in electronics circularity.
Billy Johnson, ISRI’s chief lobbyist, sums the playing field up when he says, “We went from recyclers to ITAD. We’re effectively secondary manufacturers today.” He notes that electronics manufacturers now look for their products to have multiple lives, meaning they can be resold in developing markets once they are no longer cutting edge in developed markets.
Russ Ernst, executive vice president of products and technology at data security company Blancco, and Karen Fedder, Blancco’s North American Director of ITAD, noted recyclers need to be careful when handling electronic equipment that may contain stored user data. “If an asset comes back into the marketplace with any personally identifiable information on it, you’re liable,” Ernst says. Fedder notes that companies across the supply chain as well as investors are looking at data disposal as part of their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) concerns.
During the Electronics Spotlight, moderator Craig Boswell of HOBI International noted how devices like refrigerators have grown so sophisticated they track all kinds of personal data. “Unintended consequences can happen if this data gets out. Let’s say there’s health issues that restrict your diet. You can’t handle diary. Now there’s ads on your phone for almond milk,” he explains.
Panelist Chris Cleet, vice president of policy, environment, sustainability, and regulatory at the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), says recyclers can expect their customers to inspect gaylords of recovered electronics, because they need the materials and they need them clean. “Recyclers are becoming our suppliers. You are closing the circle,” Cleet says.
Photo: PADNOS trader Chih-Hsuan (Sandy) Pierce of ISRI’s Michigan Chapter asks a question during Data Destruction Trends for ITAD at ISRI2022.
Photo courtesy of ISRI.