Handling either information or products requires recyclers to take extra measures.
Security, not necessarily the bottom line, can be the highest priority when handling a number of highly recyclable items, according to presenters at a session called “Safe & Secure” at the 2012 Paper Recycling Conference in Chicago.
Greg Smitas general manager of Chicago-based R4 Services, noted that when a bank or other entity allows personal financial information to slip through security barriers, it can cost about $60 per account holder to cover the cost of ensuing credit monitoring.
If, as in one recent incident recounted by Smitas, some 21 million people are involved, the financial penalty can hurt even the largest companies and put smaller ones out of business.
Thus, said Smitas’ colleague Sean Rooney, the chain of custody concerning paper documents and electronic storage media is of paramount importance. Rooney noted that a company such as R4 must constantly monitor and upgrade its safeguard procedure in three critical operational aspects: administrative, physical and technical.
At InterGroup International, Euclid, Ohio, Neil Gloger and his employees often are the custodians of off-spec brand name packaging. For these clients, said Gloger, security is equally important in the prevention of counterfeiting and “re-packaging” (unauthorized reuse of discarded brand-name boxes, bags or pouches).
Among the steps InterGroup International takes to ensure customers that their discarded packaging is being completely destroyed is to shoot video of the destruction process and offer live streaming video of the destruction.
Gloger also said the security and chain of custody aspects of recycling brand-name packaging or products means “we’re in the report-writing business” in addition to recycling.
Tom Kunkel of Green Delete, Chicago, said his company has strived to both ensure complete security information while also obtaining the highest asset recovery value for discarded electronic goods.
Kunkel said Green Delete recently became the first “National Association for Information Destruction (NAID)-certified hard-drive sanitization operation.”
While Green Delete still offers its customers the option to send hard drives and other memory products to a shredder, it has recognized that “resale value is also a consideration,” said Kunkel.
The 2012 Paper Recycling Conference was Oct. 14-16 at the Marriott Magnificent Mile in Chicago.