A Comprehensive Approach to Electronics Waste Management, Recycling & Disposal of Laptops in Singapore

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Sustainable Asset Management Solutions Pte Ltd is the leading IT asset disposal service provider in Singapore. Our company has been serving organizations across industries in the safe and environmentally friendly disposal of electronic waste since our incorporation in 2005. The company managed to secure the top position through the years due to the high level of service and customer satisfaction. They have been highly successful in implementing a “reuse first” strategy in the disposal of used electronics. Globally, Singapore is known for its robust infrastructure. This is evident from the numbers of electronics that are deemed as end-of-life in very short time frames. These factors have created an e-waste problem in Singapore as there is simply not enough infrastructure to handle the disposal of electronics in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner. Typically, these electronics are then dumped with other general waste, ending up at an incineration plant or landfill. This can lead to various environmental problems and health hazards from the heavy metals and hazardous materials found in electronics. Due to our awareness of these issues, we have decided to come up with an e-waste pilot program. This program aims to get companies to start thinking about the proper disposal of their IT equipment and upholding a corporate social responsibility to the environment. This will be done through various educational seminars and awareness talks at business associations. We hope that in doing so, it will create an increased demand for proper e-waste services and an eventual e-waste solution for Singapore such as recycle & disposal laptop.

About Sustainable Asset Management Solutions Pte Ltd

At SAMS, we adopt an Integrated E-Waste Management System with a simple and seamless process beginning with the collection of e-waste from clients to the final refinement of the waste. E-waste collected will either be refurbished and redeployed or recycled and refined. Data on data-bearing devices will be destroyed to prevent any potential information leak. All processes are done in an environmentally friendly manner with zero landfill tolerance. SAMS is proud to be able to provide an auditable trail and a green report for all e-waste processes.

Sustainable Asset Management Solutions Pte Ltd (SAMS) is in the business of providing total solutions for e-waste management. We believe that dealing with e-waste is a science, and if managed well can be a value recovery process and a sustainable solution. Through our one-stop total solution, we assure our clients and partners that e-waste management can be simple and rewarding. Our services include collection and decommissioning, data destruction, recycling and refining of e-waste.

Importance of Electronics Waste Management

Electronics is a specialized, yet widespread waste stream. In Singapore, per capita, the amount of e-waste generated is about 19.45kg to 19.95kg annually. This means that as a country, the amount of e-waste generated every year could be as high as 60,000 tonnes of waste! As Singapore progresses economically, the amount of e-waste is only expected to increase. Waste is often seen as a secondary issue to the original problem, and often not much thought is placed into how to dispose of waste generated from technological products. Most would often resort to throwing the waste in the bins and place it in with the rest of the rubbish. This is not ideal for e-waste. E-waste can have toxic effects on the human body and severely detrimental effects on the environment in the long term. When e-waste is incinerated or simply dumped in landfills, the toxic substances may cause air and water pollution. This would then affect the surrounding ecosystems, and the effects of pollution may eventually become a global issue. The Ministry of Environment and Water Resources notes that the increase in the rate of e-waste being disposed into incinerators and landfills has risen from 33% in 2014 to a worrisome 85% in 2015. This is the reverse of what the original targets were, which were to incinerate 30% and landfill 20%. With more and more unwanted electronics being rapidly replaced with newer products, it would be safe to assume the rate of e-waste would also increase. Immediate concern is required in tackling the way e-waste is handled and to try and seek ways of recycling the waste. Electronics waste management company to come up with innovative solutions for e-waste management to address this pressing issue in a sustainable manner. The hazardous materials present in e-waste, once contaminating soil and water supplies, can have severe effects on public health. People have been known to take apart e-waste by hand, often in third world countries, and not in proper recycling facilities. They do this to salvage the metals which can be of value. This in itself is not an issue, it’s the way that they extract the metals and the lack of healthcare, safety, and environmental awareness which creates the problem. Burning cables to get to the copper inside is a common and efficient practice. However, by doing this they release noxious fumes which can cause respiratory damage and burn the cable at such a high temperature that it releases dioxins and furans. Ashes and slags left over from this process may contain heavy metals and these can easily seep into the ground. The damage to the environment and the people’s health is in the long term and often irreversible. This is a perfect example of how e-waste needs to be managed correctly from the early stages.

Electronics Waste Management Company

Data Destruction and Security Measures With increasing amounts of sensitive information being stored on electronic media, it is paramount that proper measures are taken to ensure that this data is kept confidential during the disposal of IT equipment. Whether your laptops are to be reused or recycled, SAMS provides secure data erasure or media destruction in compliance with industry best practices and standards. SAMS guarantees that all data containing devices are securely managed throughout the entire process. Any devices which are to be resold or reused will have all data wiped using advanced data erasure methods. Any devices which are deemed to have reached their end of life and require recycling will have all data containing media shredded and/or destroyed. All data destruction services come with a data destruction report containing a list of serialized devices and media which have had data destroyed. SAMS is so confident in its data destruction services that it offers an option for on-site data destruction at customer’s premises.

SAMS provides comprehensive materials recovery and data security services for all types of electronic materials. With a focus on secure data destruction, value recovery and environmental sustainability, SAMS offers a secure and comprehensive solution for IT asset disposition.

When it comes to disposal of electronic waste, data security and compliance with legislation has never been more crucial. Businesses now seek vendors who can not only help recover value out of their retired IT assets, but also provide certification of proper data sanitization and environmentally friendly recycling.

Recycling Services for Laptops

With global volumes of electronic waste (e-waste) expected to soar in the near future, sustainable disposal is a matter of global concern. This is especially so in Singapore, which is looking to formulate a national strategy to address a potentially toxic mix of heavy metals, hazardous chemicals, and rapidly increasing amounts of electronic refuse. As such, recycling laptops in an environmentally responsible manner would mean engaging with a qualified recycler who knows how to manage each material in the laptop, either through refurbishment, recovery, or recycling. As a provider of total e-waste management solutions, SAM has established itself as a regionally recognized authority on the sustainable management of e-waste. Our approach to recycling laptops is close in line with our approach to recycling computers where we seek to recover materials (such as precious metals) that can be reused and to ensure that all hazardous materials are disposed of in a manner that eliminates the risk of future environmental contamination. The eventual goal of any recycling process is to systematically break down a product into its various materials to prepare for reprocessing into a new product. In the case of computers or laptops, this involves removing the various hazardous and non-hazardous materials in a controlled environment. With regards to laptops, there are a few hazardous materials that need to be carefully managed, especially when dealing with large volumes of end-of-life laptops. These materials include the LCD panel (which contains mercury), the rechargeable batteries (which can contain cadmium, nickel, and other heavy metals), and the motherboard (which contains solder that is often lead-based). SAM ensures that all materials are processed within strict environmental and health & safety guidelines, with hazardous materials being consigned to specialized downstream recyclers.

Disposal Services for Laptops

Data security is guaranteed for the complete destruction of the end-of-life IT equipment. Clients choosing the recycling/extraction service will receive a fully comprehensive hazardous waste consignment note, ensuring that all materials are recovered, treated, and disposed of compliantly, meeting the WEEE directive and the UK 2005 Hazardous Waste Regulations. Clients will be comforted to know that all hazardous materials are processed in an environmentally sustainable manner, in turn protecting the environment from hazardous waste.

SAMS offers a number of secure laptop disposal methods and will choose the most appropriate option based on quality, age, and reusability, providing an economic and environmentally friendly solution. The best method of disposal for your laptops is dependent on the quality and reusability of the asset.

Data Destruction and Security Measures

At SAM, we understand the importance of data removal from retired laptops. It is a critical process that is directly related to security, and there are various methods of data destruction, each having its own advantages. Clearing the data using software is considered the most cost-effective and efficient method. Information on the hard drive is overwritten and thus erased, making the data irretrievable. However, in some cases, an overwritten hard drive can still be read using an electron microscope, which may be a concern for those dealing with highly sensitive data. As such, the ultimate method for data destruction is the physical destruction of the hard drive. Shredding the hard drive into small fragments eliminates any possibility of the data being retrieved. This is the most secure way of data destruction, but the downside is that the hard drive is rendered useless and cannot be reused. Some organizations may wish to retrieve and reuse the hard drives; therefore, it is the client’s discretion as to which method is most suitable for them. With security and confidentiality in mind, SAM has a partnership with a leading global ITAD company and brings with it vast experience in data security, data center, and IT asset decommission services for a wide range of IT equipment. Retired laptops that still have residual value could be remarketed. In this case, SAM adopts the same concept as providing usable laptops to the needy in Singapore. Laptops that can be put to good use are donated to welfare organizations that are in need of IT equipment. Any equipment that is unsuitable for donation will have its hard drive removed and shredded, with proceeds from this and any IT remarketing going into a fund to subsidize the overall e-waste recycling and disposal cost, therefore achieving complete e-waste management at a cost to our clients.

Sustainable Practices and Environmental Impact

Although the environment is a concern frequently put on a low priority compared to financial and production interests, Sustainable has identified that environmental responsibility is becoming a vital factor to the success and public image of a company. Sustainable believes it is important to be proactive and take on responsibility for the recovery and recycling of its products, as well as reducing any negative impact on the environment. By implementing product stewardship and extended producer responsibility (EPR), our services offer a valuable solution to customers who are looking for responsible disposal of their IT assets. Our programs assist our clients to meet increased global pressures for environmental compliance, as well as address their own corporate environmental goals. EPR is a mandatory requirement in the EU and is already a growing trend in the Asia Pacific. This legislation requires companies to be responsible for the entire lifecycle of their products, which involves taking back and recycling their products, and minimize any and all negative environmental impacts. E-waste has been recognized as a major environmental issue worldwide and as the volume of IT equipment increases every year, so too does the environmental threat. E-waste contains many toxic and hazardous materials that are harmful to the environment if not disposed of carefully. A typical cause for concern is when e-waste is exported to third world countries and is disposed of using unsafe and dirty methods such as open burning and landfill disposal. Such processes can have a harmful effect on both people and the environment and can cause long-term pollution. By utilizing the services of Sustainable, our clients can be assured that their retired IT equipment will not cause harm to the environment and will be disposed of in an ethical and responsible manner.

Sustainable Asset Management Solutions Pte Ltd’s Approach

Since the proper disposal of IT equipment is not a common knowledge and there are various perception of what is the “proper” way. This usually leads consumers and companies into disposing IT equipment without considering the after impact to the environment. Some of the common means of disposal include, dumping the equipment in the bin, selling it as scrap metal, giving it to the karung guni man, and donating it to charity organizations. All these means of disposal have a direct and negative impact to the environment if not done properly. Dumping equipment in the bin means that it will end up in incinerators and landfills, and in Singapore, that would mean it would release toxins into the air when incinerated. Also, electronic equipment usually contains hazardous materials and chemicals. By selling the equipment as scrap metal, the harmful chemicals from the circuit boards etc will still leech out when the metal is being melted. This is also the case with the electronic equipment that is being shipped to developing countries for secondhand use. A study done by the Basel Action Network showed that a high percentage of broken monitors and TVs exported to Nigeria for ‘secondhand use’ after repair, actually end up as dumps, with the proportion as high as 75%. And most of the working equipment being used there will also end up in landfill. As for donations to charity organizations, as noble as the act is, most organizations will not want equipment that is not in working condition. The equipment then ends up being passed around and stored until it is eventually thrown away. Seeing the negative impact to the environment, there has to be a feasible solution for the proper disposal of IT equipment.

Obsolete Computer Equipment In a study by Neilson and John, about 60% of the respondents did not know what to do with IT equipment that is no longer working. And in another survey done by global environmental organization Greenpeace, about 30% of respondents said they store or dispose of broken, obsolete, or unused electronic products in garages, closets, and storage spaces. With that as the case, there has been an increase in the improper disposal of computer equipment. And this is not limited to only individual consumers, it businesses also have the tendency to store IT equipment that is no longer of use with 59% of companies reporting that they store used IT assets in offices or warehouses.

Abstract With the competitive advantage that the IT industry enjoys and the rate at which technology is growing in Singapore, there is a significant increase in the sale and consumption of IT equipment. According to a survey conducted by Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), the number of households using personal computers has increased from 55% in 2006 to 78% in 2009. At the same time, new IT products are being launched in the market restlessly. In the lifecycle of IT equipment, obsolescence and retirement is the phase where it is being replaced by newer and better technology. With the overwhelming fever for technology, consumers and companies are letting IT equipment stockpile in their homes and offices as they don’t know what to do with the retired equipment.

Environmental Benefits of Proper Electronics Waste Management

Due to the hazardous materials present in electronics, particularly laptops, managing, recycling, and disposing of these items improperly can be harmful to the environment. One laptop contains a plethora of hazardous materials, including lead, mercury, cadmium, and lithium in the battery. Globally, it is estimated that 40% of these materials are disposed of in landfills, 39-41% are stored in households, and 12-15% are given to friends or family members. Only 10-15% of these materials are reported as stored and disposed of in a safe and environmentally friendly manner. Laptops are also more frequently replaced than other electronics, making their waste a rapidly growing issue in need of solutions. Sustainable Asset Management Solutions Pte Ltd offers this solution to the Singaporean market, an environmentally friendly and comprehensive approach to electronics waste management. Through the implementation of our 4R’s process, we offer Recovery & Reclamation, Reuse, and Recycle for all types of electronics, including laptops. Our recovery and reclamation process ensures that all materials are processed in an environmentally friendly manner, while our reuse process focuses on extending the life of the electronics and preventing e-waste from developing.

Compliance with Regulatory Standards

Singapore has recently enacted the Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) regulations to hold producers responsible for the end of life management of their electronic products. This is in line with the producer responsibility principle. As an international company with operations in high density consumer markets such as the European Union (EU) and US, the multinational clients that SAM’s engages recognise the importance of adhering to global regulatory standards to provide them with a consistent solution for their technology. SAM’s services are designed to comply with these standards and provide clients with a solution for the varying WEEE regulations worldwide. All recycling and waste management services are performed in accordance with the Basel Convention Technical Guidelines and WEEE Directives for the European Union, as these provide a framework of requirements for waste stream management on a global level.

Benefits of Choosing Sustainable Asset Management Solutions Pte Ltd

This approach ensures that IT assets, determined to have residual value, are refurbished and prepared for resale into the global market. Functional or end-of-life IT assets that have no resale value are recycled and processed in an environmentally responsible manner to minimize any adverse impact on the environment. Our company works with a select group of licensed recycling partners both locally and abroad to ensure that all e-waste is processed using best environmental practices. Customers can be well assured that all data storage media deemed to be of high sensitivity is destroyed using the most secure and fail-safe methods available.

Our company employs best industry practices with regards to handling of electronic waste, which include liability tracking and a full audit trail, secure and transparent data destruction techniques, and high-tech integrated processing. Companies in Singapore can be assured that their retired IT assets are being processed in an environmentally responsible manner. Our systems have been designed to provide a comprehensive approach from the point of IT asset collection through to processing, resale, recycling, and disposal. Customers are provided with online access to our asset management system, which details an audit trail for each IT asset collected. We couple these services with a revenue sharing program to provide an offset for processing and recycling fees. recycle & disposal laptop Customers can also benefit from our efficient and cost-effective services. Our team of experts ensures that all data on the laptops is securely erased before any recycling or disposal process takes place.

Reliable and Efficient Services

Our seamless services are a result of our closed-loop system operations where laptops collected are sent to our in-house recycling plant. This ensures that we are able to manage the entire process and maintain a high level of security and accountability compared to our competitors. In addition, our investment into research and development has seen us develop a unique recycling process for lithium batteries (a hazardous waste) and a plastic recovery process from e-waste. This has allowed us to recover certain plastics and by-products that were previously incinerated and exported to other countries for processing. All these results in greater environmental benefits by means of reducing hazardous waste landfill and the carbon footprint resulting from shipping waste overseas. Our processes contribute to resource conservation and reduction in environmental pollution.

Cost-Effective Solutions

By outsourcing your disposal and recycling projects to Sustainable Asset Management, it is more extensive than conducting an offline donation, selling your old equipment to a passerby, and many other disposal methods. We aim to nullify the environmental impact as well as fully comply with NEA’s regulations. With limited labour, time and resources, doing it yourself often takes a longer time and the end result may not be very effective. There’s also a risk of all your data storage devices being re-sold or reused and may possibly cause a breach of confidential data, we ensure that will not happen with our secure data destruction services. With lesser potential hassles and risks, we can offer cost-effective solutions for even the smallest quantities of items. E-waste includes a wide range of materials some of which are recyclable by our vendors and some that may not be accepted by our vendors (e.g. batteries). Based on the quantity and type of e-waste, we will try to offset the costs with recyclable materials and potentially hazardous materials will have to be treated as e-waste hazardous waste and will incur additional cost. With fast changing technologies, computer refresh projects seem to occur all too often these days. We offer our clients a current market value rebate for their old IT equipment that still holds some value or a trade-in value for the equipment that is being replaced with new. This essentially lowers the overall net cost for the client’s refresh project.

Commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an important tenet at SAMS Ewaste. We believe that corporations contribute to societal health and welfare and that business organizations have a responsibility not just to their shareholders, but to all stakeholders, including customers, employees, suppliers, local communities, non-governmental organizations, and government. In essence, CSR is about the way businesses manage the economic, social, and environmental impact to ensure positive long-term effects. SAMS Ewaste is working to marry business success with our commitment to operate with integrity, transparency, and always contribute positively to the local and wider community. With community programs such as IT donation exercises and recycling events to raise public awareness on e-waste, we aim to be responsible global citizens, avoiding little or no harm to the societies in which we operate. This is an ongoing process requiring periodic assessment, and we believe that this is in close parallel to our commitment in maintaining a durable and long-lasting client/vendor relationship.