• Denrique Davis

The Hidden Cost of Free IT Disposal

Updated: Sep 2



The term FREE is attractive, especially as no one likes having to spend money unnecessarily, so it is natural when you see FREE you think ‘instant cost-saving’, however when it comes to IT disposal it does not pay to cut corners. The data security risks associated with selecting a FREE IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) company over a Reputable Accredited ITAD Company can come at a heavy hidden cost. It is not hard to find a Free IT Disposal service, a quick search on Google or Bing will pull up multiple results, but the cost is not the only thing you need to consider when selecting the right ITAD partner, so below we have listed a few important questions you should ask:

What Does A Professional IT Asset Disposal Service look like?

Secure effective IT disposal requires skilled professionals to remove all data from Media or IT equipment before the assets move onto the next stage in their life cycle whether the equipment is refurbished and redistributed or recycled. Data destruction is a time-consuming and expensive process when using the correct tools. Any provider offering a FREE, or a very low-cost IT Disposal service maybe too good to be true, they are unlikely to be able to spend the time, effort or outlay doing the job correctly as it simply would not be cost-effective. As a result, your company’s’ data could be at risk of getting into the wrong hands.

Are they Using the Right Tools for the Job?

A key part of secure data destruction is using the correct tools, data erasure software like Blancco approved by UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), overwrite any existing data files so that data is irretrievable, without tools like this it is impossible to confirm that data has been erased or destroyed definitively. Yes, there are free data erasure tools available, but these are not as reliable or robust as NCSC approved tools, potentially putting your company and its customers at risk.

There have already been 540 reports of data breaches since January this year, affecting more than 163 million individuals. Non approved data destruction methods can lead to confidentiality breaches and so it is extremely important to establish how your chosen ITAD partner provides their data sanitisation service and what tools they use. The repercussions of a data breach could include a hefty fine from the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) and can do irreparable harm to your business and hard-earned reputation.

Are they registered with the Environmental Agency?

Any reputable ITAD company will be registered with the environmental agency and carry a waste carriers’ licence which must be renewed yearly. This registration shows they are committed to disposing of IT in a legal, ethical, and responsible manner in line with the Waste Electrical and Electronic equipment Directive (WEEE 2013). Once your IT equipment has been collected your ITAD service provider should provide you with a Waste Transfer Note which simply means the responsibility of disposing of your e-waste has been transferred from you to them. Ensure your chosen provider has an up to date waste carriers licence and can provide you with the correct documentation when handling your IT Equipment Disposal.

How can they support my sustainability strategy?

Tackling the issue of climate change and reducing our carbon footprint is a shared responsibility whether you are an individual or business, and this must also be taken into consideration when selecting an ITAD partner. Advance Services is committed to a 0% landfill promise, meaning that none of the assets that have been through the recycling process will end up in a landfill site.


Most free ITAD companies cannot guarantee responsible environmentally friendly disposal methods, as they aim to dispose of non-marketable assets in the cheapest way possible to avoid additional outlay this can lead to hazardous IT components such as batteries and monitor screens containing toxic compounds being disposed of in landfill sites. The UK alone is responsible for around 1.5 million tonnes of electronic waste, and only 17% is recycled responsibly, so it is important to be aware of how your assets are being ‘recycled’.

Advance Services provides the tailor-made cost-effective solutions for all your ITAD requirements. We provide a fully trackable service for your IT assets, a full audit and waste transfer note is provided to you before your assets are removed from your premises and all our secure vehicles are fitted with GPS trackers so we know where your assets are at all times. We use NCSC approved data sanitisation tools and our data sanitisation services can be carried out at your premises or our secure facility. Once the data has been securely removed from all data retaining items you will be provided with an itemised data destruction certificate, so whether you are donating to charity, redistributing within the company or recycling you can rest assured your IT equipment is in safe hands. Want to know more? Get in contact a member of the team today.

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