Tracking IT Asset Disposal And E-Waste Chain-Of-Custody For Compliance

How is it that a St George Bank computer monitor, destined for recycling within Australia, turns up on a toxic e-waste dump in West Africa being pulled apart by young children? According to this ABC news article, it appears no one really knows the answer. Even though regulatory standards require documented e-waste management, reports indicate that over 500 container loads of e-waste arrive at West Africa from developed countries each month.

The Growing Costs And Complexities Of E-Waste

The volume of e-waste is staggering – fueled by our tech-centric modern day life. In 2014, Australians alone generated around 25kg’s of e-waste per person according to the Australian Academy of Science and the numbers are rising the world over. In India alone, e-waste reserves are growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 25%. APAC accounts for around 40% of the overall e-scrap market share. These discarded electronics contribute to landfill and contain highly toxic materials which will pose a high risk to the environment and human health.

The Critical Need For Accurate Asset Disposal Data [Not Just For The Balance Sheet!]

The need for better intelligence around the disposal of assets is now a moral and strategic imperative. The reality is, however, that many organisations aren’t able to accurately account for asset disposal lifecycles and continue to make do with legacy systems and manual tracking methods such as excel spreadsheets or email exchanges.

In fact, global rates for formal e-waste treatment are estimated at less than 20%, meaning the majority of discarded electronic devices are processed un-documented. In this time of increasing threats to data security, ensuring the proper destruction of confidential information should be one of the highest priorities for all companies.

E-waste can also be a source of value since it often includes metals, precious metals, and other useful materials such as carbon – so in this sense, accurately tracking recycling at a component level is important. The recovered materials can then be used in new goods, thereby saving resources and cutting down on landfill.

Asset Intelligence Ensures Transparency, Accountability And Auditability

Asset intelligence technology, like assetDNA from Relegen, offers organisations a cloud-hosted, collaborative solution for tracking the entire chain of an electronic component’s life. Key to the system is the allocation of a global unique identifier, enforced by the software, and carried via an appropriate tag [Barcode, RFID, DPM, Convert Security], which serves to associate all through-life data about the item, as well as workflows for safe and compliant disposal processes and more. It enables organisation to track an item’s journey through multiple people, agents, locations and procedures; from identification and collection, to storage, packing and shipping, to remarketing, or recycling, to data destruction, dismantling and destroyal. Other functions also include:

Chain-Of-Custody Visibility And Authentication

  • The ability to identify and manage each asset – down to a component level – as unique, using secure serialisation software and auto-ID tags such as barcode and RFID.
  • An automated data-driven audit trail of each chain of custody event.
  • A complete history of the lifetime of that item.

Improved Safety And Data Security

  • Minimised risk of data security breaches by recording where items are now, have been, are going.
  • Warnings, notes and alerts for authorised parties to enforce procedure, ensure safe-handling and security.
  • Data-driven audit trails to demonstrate compliance that e-waste was handled properly and never fell into the wrong hands at any time.

Greater Efficiencies And Productivity

  • Automation of manual tracking processes.
  • Automated collection of accurate event data using mobile applications.
  • Ability to perform accurate audits and compliance checks faster.

How Do Your Asset End Of Life Workfows And Data Stack Up?

Does your organisation have a proper handle on IT asset lifecycles and disposal processes at all times? Do they meet industry best practices and regulatory requirements? Do you know exactly where each asset has ended up? Do you have chain-of-custody documentation to prove how they got there? Are you assured with certainty that data security has not been breached?

If not, then please reach out to Relegen on or +61 (02) 9998 9000. Our enterprise asset intelligence system – assetDNA – can be hosted in the cloud for multi-agent access to manage data on assets, as globally unique, through their full asset lifecycle to demonstrate chain-of-custody from beginning to end-of-life as it passes through the hands of a myriad of stakeholders to ensure you meet the growing safety, security and compliance requirements for asset disposal.