After a hard drive is recovered by DriveSavers, our standard practice is to return the equipment to the user.
We don’t repair the drives so if they are not working when they come to the lab, they leave in the same condition. When a customer doesn’t want their broken equipment back we degauss it, which makes it unreadable in any form and then it is recycled in an environmentally safe fashion.
If you choose to keep your recovered drive and it appears to still be functional, you can use it as an external backup drive. We don’t recommend putting it back into service as your main hard drive if you lost data using it. But as a backup device you might be okay.
Should you decide to donate or recycle your drive be sure to use a software program to perform a low-level wipe of the drive’s data. Simply reformatting a drive or creating another partition will not overwrite the data!
If you have a drive to recycle, here are some outlets that offer free or low-priced service:
Goodwill Industries – In partnership with Dell, Goodwill offers free recycling of computer equipment at many of the charity’s locations throughout the country. There is no charge for this service, and the donor may qualify for a tax deduction. Here’s a link to the Dell/Good will Reconnect Program. The program accepts donations of all brands of computer equipment, not just Dell products.
Best Buy – Best Buy offers free recycling of computer equipment at locations throughout the country. Here’s a link with more information and a list of what type of gear can be recycled.
Apple – Apple offers its own recycling program and accepts donations (Mac or PC) at no charge. Apple may issue the donor a credit for donations that have monetary value. For more information on how to participate, check out this link.
EPA – For general information and guidelines regarding electronic equipment recycling, contact the Environmental Protection Agency at this link.
Respect for the environment is part of the guiding philosophy at DriveSavers. We’ve been certified as a “green company” through the Bay Area Green Business Program.
As part of that certification, DriveSavers will strive to exceed all applicable regulations regarding the environment.
We will work to conserve energy, water, materials and other consumable resources. We will work to help prevent pollution and waste and also look for ways to be an environmentally responsible member of the business community.