Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Smart people never recycle

Hey I know it is smart to re-use and recycle. I try to do it as much as I can. I even have a washed out a parmesan cheese container in the garage and filled it full of screws. I liked it because I could shake out just the amount I need. I’m glad a pizza was not around – I wonder how many calories are in a 1 inch drywall screw? My wife when she catches me looks particularly disgusted when I rinse off the coffee grounds from one of those 1 cent paper filters. No I am not that cheap – I’m a good guy trying to save another ‘Filter’ tree from being cut down. Actually I recycle those filters mostly because I am lazy. Once they are wet, they conform to the weird shape of the coffee pot easier than a new dry one.

We still collect aluminum cans for our local high school science department. Even though it seems like just a few cents from cans, over the years, I saw that they had purchased a full set of human skull facsimiles for their labs. There is nothing better for High school students than BONE HEADS right? We also collect aluminum tabs from cans and give them to Ronald McDonald house. Some McDonalds still have collection points and it is a fairly easy way to recycle for charity that does not take up a lot of space.

Now, I have a list of things that I DO NOT recycle. No I am not being a Grinch, but I am always a bit sensitive about data and you should be too. That means, hard drives are out. Honestly if you are done with that 40 meg archaic hard drive either just keep it when you donate your computer or unscrew the housing and physically destroy the disk plates inside. You can drill through them or bend them or scrawl all over them with a knife but PHYSICALLY break your hard disks before throwing them away. There are many programs that will help you ‘erase’ your disk, but in most cases a dedicated hacker with some time and knowledge may be able to dissect an operable drive and recover private data from basic erase programs. For any thumb drives, SD cards or other solid state memory, with financial data or other sensitive stuff like health files - I would destroy those too over trying to erase them.

Now given the reality that you may want to SELL a complete computer instead of giving it away, I have linked Disk Doctor’s file shredder program here. If you are passing your hard drive on to a relative or close friend, this program is generally highly regarded and will allow you to ‘clean’ your physical drives effectively. It costs $49 so it is inexpensive when selling lots of computer hardware, but again at the cost of new storage these days, it may be a better option just to buy Granny or your nephew a new hard drive for that same $50? So go ahead, recycle and reuse whatever you can, but do yourself a favor and store your hard drive’s spare parts in your recycled parmesan cheese containers. It’s what the smart people would do!

No comments:

Post a Comment