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If you’ve been around a while, you probably already know that at Greenaway we don’t just shred paper. Because confidential information is stored in many different ways, we have had to modify the way we destroy it. Computers store a wealth of confidential information, but it can be almost impossible to destroy it by conventional methods. Simply deleting the files won’t permanently remove the data, just your immediate access to it. You can remove the hard drive from the computer, but then you are still left with a hard drive full of your personal information. That’s why we developed a way of shredding computers and computer parts using our state of the art shredding machines. But what happens to the computers we handle?



A lot of the machines brought to us are deemed ‘dead’, despite the fact that there is only a fault with one element within them. Even if the fault runs deeper, the parts of a machine that complex are incredibly valuable, and can be reused in new machines. So all computers are first harvested for parts. They are taken apart, and various elements, such as motherboards and CPU’s are set aside to be sent to computer recycling plants, where they can be used as components in new machines. The hard drives from all machines are removed and stored securely until the machine is ready for destruction.


The Shredding Process

One all of the salvageable parts have been removed, the computer is an empty shell of metal and plastic. We take this, along with the hard drive, and run it through the shredders. Wonder what that looks like? Check out this video. Below that first layer of blades are several more, which reduce the computer and everything left in it into tiny shard and particles of metal. This process is quick, and leaves us with a pile of plastic and metal where a computer once stood. Our shredders ensure that nothing is left in-tact enough that data could be recovered from it.



Once the machine has been shredded, the resulting pieces need to be sorted and sent away to their respective homes. Computers are made from a lot of different materials, and each one can be reused in new machinery. Aluminium and iron can be lifted out using magnets sent away to make cans, copper can be melted down and turned into new wires, and plastic can be sent to a specialist plastic recycler to be made into any number of new products. Computers even contain gold – one of the rarest metals on the planet – and this is removed and reused in new electronics, jewellery or currency.


Companies that sell these products have a legal obligation to provide their customers with a safe way to dispose of their old machines when they buy new ones, and many of our computers or other electronic devices come from these programmes. The raw materials used to create the waste materials can be easily sorted and reused, so it is a fantastic boost for the environment too. For more information about recycling computers, or to request your own shredding visit, please just get in touch with us today for a free consultation.