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FAQs - E-Recycling
SF Bay Area

Frequently Asked Questions: E-Waste Recycling

Why Recycle?

Few businesses realize the impact of e-waste on local and world environments; they usually think of their outmoded electronics as trash. The 2012 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report cites the volume of e-waste produced in the U.S. was over four million tons, and increasing. The discarded electronics contain harmful elements such as arsenic, mercury, lead and antimony. These unhealthy chemicals are known to cause seizures, cancer and lung damage.

What Items are classified as Electronics?

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act issued by the Environmental Protection Agency classifies electronics as computers, computer peripherals, monitors, televisions, VCRs audio and stereo equipment, DVD players, telephones, video cameras, facsimile and copying machines, cellular phones, video game consoles and wireless devices. Some kitchen appliances and other household electronics are also recycled. NCMSS accepts practically anything with a plug.

What technology items do you recycle?

As a full-service electronics recycling company NCMSS maintains the ability to process a wide variety of equipment. Find here a list representing some of the most commonly recycled items that we accept; however, this list is not all inclusive.

How does the California State law affect my business?

The Electronic Equipment Reuse and Recycling Act, administered by the California State Department of Environmental Conservation, require businesses to arrange for the collection and delivery of e-Waste to designated e-Waste recycling facilities. Businesses are required to know where their electronic waste is taken.

What are the Environmental Benefits of Recycling and /Reuse?

Electronic products are manufactured from costly resources and carefully engineered materials, including valuable metals, compound plastics, and special glass, all requiring energy to mine and manufacture. Recycling and reusing electronics preserves natural resources and reduces air and water contamination, as well as greenhouse gas emissions caused from manufacturing with raw materials.

Why Keep Electronics from Landfills?

Some electronic equipment parts contain elements that could be harmful to lives and the environment if incorrectly handled. Non-recycled e-waste can find its way into the environment. Water can be poisoned, air turned toxic, soil made infertile, and wildlife and plants suffer. Some components of electronics contain concentrations of regulated heavy metals, including barium, calcium, selenium, cadmium, silver and mercury. Most of these metals can be recaptured and safely disposed of in compliance with Environmental Protection Agency standards.

Why can't Electronic Items be thrown in the Trash?

Electronic waste (e-waste) is classified as a hazardous material. Electronic items contain dangerous materials such as lead and mercury, some in significant concentrations. The glass used for CRT TVs and monitors is approximately 20% lead, to protect consumers from radiation dangers. Each unit can contain as much as four to eight pounds of lead. Although these items are safe for everyday use, they become dangerous if shattered, allowing the lead to poison the area where it was broken. This is one of many reasons why the proper disposal of e-waste is a major concern for everyone.

What are the Consequences of Improper Disposal of Electronics?

In addition to the public health and environmental dangers, improper disposal of electronics is a crime. A violation can result in penalties up to $27,500 per violation according to the1976 Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Section 3008 of the United States Code, 6928.

Does NCMSS ever Purchase Surplus Equipment?

Individuals: NCMSS does not buy equipment from individuals, although there are exceptions. If an individual has a large quantity of surplus equipment that needs liquidating, we will do our best to help you. Feel free to contact us.

Corporations: Generally, NCMSS neither charges disposal fees, nor buys assets; however, there may be exceptions to that rule, such as a company shutting down operations. In these situations, we attempt to negotiate a fair return on the business equipment. Please contact us to discuss.

How many Years' Experience does NCMSS have in the Electronics Recycling Field?

We are approaching our first decade.

What does it mean to be R2 Certified?

R2 Recyclers are obligated to recycle in an environmentally friendly fashion. Recyclers without R2 certification may send anything to a landfill.

Do any of your e-waste get sent Overseas?

We do not send e-waste to third-world countries (non-OECD), or to countries that have no electronic recycling law. All downstream vendors have verified certification. If we do send recycling materials overseas, they are sent to certified companies with high environmental standards. Please contact us with any specific questions on this matter.

Does NCMSS do Regular Pickups of e-Waste from Businesses and Buildings?

Yes. NCMSS works with businesses with residential and commercial buildings, providing them with exemplary e-cycling solution. Please contact us for more information on these services at info@computerrecyclingsf.com.

Can I Drop off Items at your Facility?

Yes. Our normal business hours are 9am - 5pm Monday though Friday. Please call ahead so we can plan for your arrival.

What Happens to my Equipment?

Equipment is 'Refurbished'. This is equipment or components that we can test, data strip, and resell or donate, or

Equipment is 'Recycled'. This is equipment that is taken apart; the hazardous materials are captured, separated and processed into materials (plastics, metals and glass) to be reused in other products.

NCMSS has a no landfill and a no export policy. For more details, click here.

What do you do with unusable Equipment?

Irrespective of equipment age or condition, NCMSS will address all aspects of asset retirement and computer equipment recycling needs. If we are unable to refurbish, or restore equipment to a usable state, then the equipment disassembled, down to the circuit board level, and then processed.

What are your Service areas?

We pick-up equipment throughout the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento areas.

How much lead time is required for a pickup?

We generally pick-up within 72 hours of initial contact.

Is there a Quantity Minimum Pick-Up?

Yes. In most situations, there is a 10 items minimum. However, if there is a collection scheduled in your area, we may accommodate smaller collections. For additional information, call us at 415-366-8120.

How do I arrange a pick-up?

To arrange a pick-up please call, email, fax or use our online Pick-up Order Form.

Do you ever Charge a Fee for Recycling?

Rarely. Our goal is not to charge a fee. Occasionally a customer has no equipment to recycle, but wants data destroyed. This is the type of situation when a fee is charged. Our goal is to gain maximum value from the recycling process, which offsets the need to charge fees.

Where is the Best Place for me to Store my Equipment until it can be picked up?

For safety and health reasons we request equipment be stored on ground level, at a setting that can be easily accessed by our staff and vehicles.

What happens to Hard Drives?

Generally, two things can happen to hard drives:

Physical Destruction. Typically, hard drives are destroyed when: a) Expired PC's are broken down for recycling; b) A customer insists they be destroyed; c) A hard drive is defective and cannot be erased using software.

Data Erasure Using Software. Hard drives destined for Refurbishment are erased of all previous user-data. Use of specialized software certified to Department of Defense Standards make you feel comfortable that confidential information remains confidential.

What if my Company Requires Onsite Data Destruction?

NCMSS offers both onsite data eradication and on-site hard drive shredding. Prior to leaving your facility, our technician provides a detailed report of what was erased or physically destroyed, by; make, model, and serial number. You will also receive your Certificate of Destruction at that time.

What Data Destruction Options do you provide?

NCMSS offers three options:

Overwriting: which involves over-writing several times with random sequences of data so that the data cannot be recovered even with sophisticated data recovery tools;

Degaussing: (Erasure of the magnetic field)

Physical destruction: The difference between overwriting, degaussing and physical destruction. Overwriting- the drive is re-purposed and redeployed back into the market. With degaussing and physical destruction, the drive is rendered useless.

I want to recycle my Equipment, but I want all of my Hard Drives Destroyed and not Reused.

Then, that's what will happen. Data Protection/Security and Client confidentiality are vitally important to NCMSS, particularly in today's global climate. Notify a member of our staff of your wishes when arranging pick-up and your hard drives will be removed and destroyed. We can shred the drives, destroying them completely. You also receive a log of the serial numbers of the drives destroyed.

Can I witness my Hard Drives being destroyed?

Yes. Many of our clients have opted for this method of secure destruction. If you would like to use this service, give us a call.

How do you ensure our Data is completely erased?

We designed a data destruction device which performs DOD (Department of Defense) 7 pass data wipes. Once erasure is complete, the drive is stripped clean of data.

Does NCMSS provide Proof of Data Erasure?

Yes, for customers who request data erasure, NCMSS provides a Certificate of Data Destruction. NCMSS hard drive data destruction complies with National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) 800-88 guidelines.

Are you able to Inventory Equipment for our Company?

We can scan equipment serial numbers, and generate an inventory list for you. In addition, we can provide you with a release of liability, releasing your corporation from future equipment liability.

Isn't My Equipment Worth Something?

With new computer equipment prices dropping each year, so does the value of used equipment. The resale market for used equipment in the United States is exceedingly low because of the cost of manufacturing computers is dropping. Moreover older machines do not have the capacity to run the newest software programs. For all these reasons machine upgrades are becoming progressively less frequent. However, NCMSS recognizes that some equipment, when working, may retain some share of its residual value. In these circumstances, NCMSS may credit a portion of the value back to the customer to cover recycling costs, or purchase outright from the client.

Is NCMSS the right solution for your business?
Thoughts? Want to learn more? Let’s talk.


Call: (415) 366-8120