E-Waste & Paper Disposal

Secure E-Waste Destruction, Recycling & Resale

Go to Information Security Program

SF State's certified e-waste vendor, Electronic Recyclers International, Inc. (ER), will pick-up and securely destroy campus e-waste. This vendor was chosen based on requirements for ensuring all e-waste capable of storing sensitive data is properly destroyed.

 

Q: What is e-waste?
Q: How do I recycle my e-waste
Q: What are the major policy changes?
Q: How do I recycle or dispose of an electronic device such as a computer, laptop, printer, old phone, PDA or other device that has a memory card?
Q: How do I discard optical media (CDs & DVDs)?
Q: The device has possible resale or re-use value. Do I have to destroy it?
Q: I've never stored sensitive data on the device but it has reached it's useable life. Do I still have to destroy it using this service?
Q: I have some suggestions for the Secure Paper and E-Waste Disposal program, where can I send them?
Q: Should I order the Electronic Recyclers International pallet or the Gaylord box for my department?
Q: How does my e-waste need to be secured prior to pickup?
Q: How do I verify an Electronic Recyclers International employee?
Q: What if a computer or laptop doesn't boot up or load the operating system?
Q: How do I erase media securely?
Q: I want to degauss my media and non-volatile storage before surplusing or sending it to Electronic Recyclers International. Can I do that?
Q: I want to drive a nail through or otherwise physically destroy my computer or media before surplusing or sending it to Electronic Recyclers International. Can I do that?
Q: I've recently heard that I should be concerned about the disposal of copiers. Should copiers be disposed of with Electronic Recyclers International as well?
Q: What happened to the campus "Swap Shop"?

 

Q: What is e-waste?

A: E-waste (short for "electronic waste") describes surplus, obsolete and broken electrical or electronic devices, including computers, monitors, keyboards, hard drives, USB drives, electronic media, electronicsmobile phonestelevision sets, and copiers.

Here is a list of Ewaste items accepted by ERI:

  • Televisions
  • Monitors
  • Laptops
  • Plasmas
  • LCD's
  • Printers
  • Fax Machines
  • Copiers
  • Scanners
  • Cable or Satellite Receivers
  • Key Boards
  • Mice
  • Stereo Equipment
  • Network Equipment
  • Servers
  • Telecom Equipment
  • Cell Phones
  • Electronic or Video Game Consoles
  • DVRs
  • DVD Players
  • Copy Machines
  • All Business/Office Electronics
  • Medical Equipment with NO BIO Hazards
  • Small Household Appliances i.e. Microwaves
  • Projectors
  • Portable DVD Players
  • VCRs
  • Portable Digital Music Players
  •  

Q: How do I recycle my e-waste?

A: Please call or email your department IT staff to schedule a drop off. Your department IT staff will then contact the person in charge of the nearest location to schedule the drop-off. Our four on-campus locations are Procurement, Hensill Hall, the Library and the Fine Arts Garage. Fine Arts and Procurement are locations open to all campus departments for drop-offs. The Hensill Hall location is open to the College of Science and Engineering. The Library location is open to the Department of IT and Academic Technology. These sites will be serviced every 2nd Friday of the month by Electronic Recyclers International.

Our two off-site locations taking e-waste are Romburg Tiburon Center and the Downtown Center.

Do not leave e-waste items at the Recycling Center as this is not a secure location.
 

Q: What are the major policy changes?

A: When disposing of a device which is capable of storing sensitive data, regardless of whether there is a SF State property tag, and regardless of its value, the responsible Chair or Department manager must sign a Property Survey Request Form to attest that the item is being disposed of through a secure e-waste vendor.  In the case of lost inventory, a Cabinet Officer or Dean must sign the Property Survey Request Form.
 

Q: How do I recycle or dispose of an electronic device such as a computer, laptop, printer, old phone, PDA or other device that has a memory card?

A: To dispose of an electronic device, complete the Property Survey Request Form and have it signed by your department manager.  Remove the SF State Property Survey tag sticker. Send the original completed form to the Property Office (Corp Yard) and keep a copy for your department records. Call your department IT staff to ask them how they would like you to dispose of your e-waste.
 

Q: How do I discard optical media (CDs & DVDs)?

A: CDs and DVDs can be discarded in the regular blue recycle bins found around campus. (A Property Survey Request Form is not required.)
 

Q: The device has possible resale or re-use value. Do I have to destroy it?

A: You are not required to destroy re-usable or resaleable devices, but you must overwrite the media or non-volatile memory before releasing it for reuse.  Transferring SF State property to other campus departments is highly encouraged. (A Property Survey Request Form should be completed.) You may not take SF State property home for personal use or sell it.  SF State Procurement offers a number of services for reselling SF State propery outside the campus community through a formal Surplus Auction. Contact your Procurement representative for more information.
 

Q: I've never stored sensitive data on the device but it has reached its usable life.  Do I still have to destroy it using this service?

A: Any devices with the potential for storing sensitive data need to be destroyed in a secure and environmentally sound manner.  The program with Electronic Recyclers International meets those requirements.  You should not use any other service or destroy the device yourself.
 

Q: I have some suggestions for the Secure Paper and E-Waste Disposal program, where can I send them?

A: If you have suggestions for the program please email sustain@sfsu.edu.
 

Q: Should I order the Electronic Recyclers International pallet or the Gaylord box for my department?

A: At this time we will not be able to expand past the four on-campus locations currently collecting E-waste. In order to keep this as a free service we have to have centralized locations. Our four on-campus locations are Procurement, Hensill Hall, the Library and the Fine Arts Garage. Please call or email your department IT staff to schedule a drop off. Your department IT staff will then contact the person in charge of the nearest location to schedule the drop-off. Fine Arts and Procurement are locations open to all campus departments for drop-offs. The Hensill Hall location is open to the College of Science and Engineering. The Library location is open to the Department of IT and Academic Technology. These sites will be serviced every 2nd and 4th Friday of the month by Electronic Recyclers International.

Our two off site locations taking e-waste are Romburg Tiburon Center and the Downtown Center.

Do not leave e-waste items at the Recycling Center as this is not a secure location.
 

Q: How does my e-waste need to be secured prior to pickup?

A: E-waste should be stored in a secure area that is locked and/or staffed at all hours to prevent unauthorized access.
 

Q: How do I verify an Electronic Recyclers International employee?

A: Ask the employee to show his or her company ID. The identification badge will have a picture, name and the Electronic Recyclers International company logo.
 

Q: What if a computer or laptop doesn't boot up or load the operating system?

A: In general, don't be concerned about overwriting sensitive data, as our e-waste vendor is responsible for securely disposing of all media regardless of whether the system "boots."  If you want additional assurance of sensitive information destruction, you can remove the hard disk from the non-functioning computer, install it onto a working computer and use an overwrite software such as diskwipe to overwrite all hard drives, flash drives and memory cards. See additional methods in the following question.
 

Q: How do I erase media securely?

A: Redeployment of computers within SF State between departments or to external surplus auctions requires trusted erasure or overwrite of confidential data. Normal deletion only erases the information used to access the files on a disk, not the actual files.

To securely delete files containing confidential information on a Macintosh, put the files in the trash then select: Finder > Secure Empty Trash

To securely delete the contents of disk volumes on a Mac use Disk Utility.

There are many utilities tor Windows that can securely delete files and the contents of disk volumes. Eraser is one that is easy to use, has been available for many years, and is free.
 

Q: I want to degauss my media and non-volatile storage before surplusing or sending it to Electronic Recyclers International. Can I do that?

A: Deguassing is not generally considered a secure overwrite method and it renders the media generally unusable. Since resale and re-use is preferred and Electronic Recyclers International provides secure overwrite or complete destruction services after evaluating the equipment for possible resale, degaussing is strongly discouraged.
 

Q: I want to drive a nail through or otherwise physically destroy my computer or media before surplusing or sending it to Electronic Recyclers International. Can I do that?

A: We have a viable campus service for secure destruction and obtaining re-use or resale. There is no reason to take these steps and it is recommended to refrain from this action since it reduces the reuse and recycle options.
 

Q: I've recently heard that I should be concerned about the disposal of copiers. Should copiers be disposed of with Electronic Recyclers International as well?

A: Yes, copy machines and multi function machines today are mostly variations of a computer and many have internal hard drives which hold private and sensitive information. Electronic Recyclers International accepts copiers and they should be disposed of in the bins indicated.
 

Q: What happened to the campus "Swap Shop"?

A: Due to budget cuts which impacted staffing, and physical space restrictions, the Swap Shop is indefinitely closed until further notice. In general, most computing equipment today has little reuse value because of rapid changes in technology but if you believe your computing hardware is useful to other campus units, post its availability on the itannounce@sfsu.edu (if you are a member of that listserve) and/or sustainable@sfsu.edu distribution lists. Alternatively, you can offer it to a state-sponsored surplus auction through Procurement (contact Procurement regarding these auctions.) In either case you need to overwrite the media or memory as indicated above before its release and fill out the appropriate sections of block #3 of the Property Survey Request Form.