Are your electronics a liability?

Selecting an electronics recycler is not a simple process.  Clients often know what topics to ask about but not how to ask to obtain the necessary information to make an informed decision.  This results in significant negative exposure.

The following is a brief explanation of items to discuss with your potential vendors to ensure there are no gaps in their system that would allow your company and customer data to potentially be exposed to risks when data is not properly destroyed.


Most companies determine their recycler based on certifications.  Although recycling certifications should prequalify your vendor, they should never be the deciding factor for the IT asset distribution company you choose.
Ensure your electronics recycler has a comprehensive certification program that covers environmental, human health, safety, security, data destruction and quality.

Review our QEHS Policy
 certs-microsoft-color  certs-rios-color

Full Chain of Custody

The number one, most often overlooked way to protect your company and brand and to comply with legislation is to be able to show full chain of custody of your IT and data-bearing electronic assets sent for disposal.

If your IT equipment could have personal employee information, financial data and/or intellectual property on it, you could have significant exposure if an asset cannot be accounted for during the data destruction and disposition process. This risk to your brand can only be mitigated through full Chain of Custody reporting.

Compliance for Chain of Custody means having the proper documentation to show any and all necessary parties a complete record of the entire recycling process. This means documenting each asset released to your recycler including make, model, serial number and asset tag.

With this documentation, you are one step closer to transferring liability of those assets and their data from your company to your recycler.

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Data Destruction

We all recognize the value in paper shredding bins in corporate offices. Sensitive documents are destroyed to ensure no company, employee or customer information is at risk of falling in to the wrong hands. But have you ever considered how many of those sensitive documents and data you have digitally? So when it comes time to replace your company laptops, drives or devices, how do you ensure that data is as safely “shredded” as its tangible counterparts?

Cobalt will provide data destruction for all fixed storage devices. Read our Data Security Policy.

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How many pages of information can be stored on one gigabyte of hard drive space?

Show me the answer
Document Type Average Pages/Doc Average Pages/GB
Microsoft® Word® Files 9 64,782
Email Files 1.5 100,099
Microsoft® Excel® Files 50 165,791
Lotus 1-2-3 Files 55 297,137
Microsoft® PowerPoint® Files 14 17,552
Text Files 20 677,963
Image Files 1.4 15,477

Source: Lexis Nexis


We have a four-step data destruction and eradication process that guarantees your information is removed from any data bearing device or IT assets. The process includes Data Wiping, Independent Rechecking, Shredding and Independent Audit by a trained third party.

Furthermore, we back our process by a million dollar insurance policy to better protect you.

Read the details of our data destruction process.

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Transfer of Liability

Documented transfer of liability is critical.  If your recycler can’t communicate in writing when your IT equipment and data is transferred to them then you are not protected.  When Cobalt accepts your assets as part of our Chain of Custody process, we take full responsibility of the data and we back it up with our Million Dollar Guarantee.

Read Our Transfer of Liability Policy


In most instances electronics recycling is not the only thing you do within your organization. With that in mind, you want align with a processor who understands this and makes recycling convenient but comprehensive.

We offer many services that are designed to both ensure your electronics are disposed in a safe, secure manner and also allow you to minimize the level of effort required to be in compliance with company and legislation guidelines.

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Ask what an electronics recycler’s Certificate of Destruction is backed by. You’ll likely find that most have inadequate insurance coverage that leaves you exposed without you ever knowing.

With Cobalt, we provide cyber liability insurance up to $1 million to protect your company from any losses should your assets be compromised for any reason during the disposal process. Along with our cyber liability insurance, Cobalt has a $5 million pollution liability insurance showing our commitment to not only your data but also our environment.

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Physical security can often be overlooked.  Asking what type of security an electronics processor has can be an important component in your decision. A few questions to ask:

  • What levels of security and access do their employees have?
  • Is there entry and exit security?
  • Is the facility fenced in?
  • What type of security and camera system do they have?

Once your equipment is transferred, securing your assets is of the utmost importance at Cobalt. It’s why we can back our process with our $1 million cyber liability guarantee.

Read our data security policy.

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Cobalt eliminates your risks, provides convenient solutions, and ensures that reuse and recycling is done right, every time.

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