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K-State Today

April 21, 2016

Earth Day Week 2016: Electronic waste and sensitive material recycling

Submitted by Betsy Edwards

Every year, the Information Technology Assistance Center, or iTac, organizes a universitywide Shred Day in October to properly dispose of paper records and electronic media on the Manhattan and Polytechnic campuses. This service is free to campus departments and is an easy way to securely destroy sensitive data and files.

Departments can place their paper documents with personal identity information — Social Security numbers, birth dates, credit card numbers, etc. — in designated bags and boxes to be collected. Documents for shredding include Scantron forms, greenbar grade sheets, rosters printed from K-State Online, KSIS records, papers with personal identity information, data with credit card information, personnel files and more.

Once the paper leaves campus, it is shredded into one-half inch particulate size, then mixed and tumbled and eventually compressed under 70,000 pounds of pressure into paper bales. The bales are transported to a paper mill and recycled into other paper goods.

Electronic waste, or e-waste, includes computer media like hard drives, CDs, tapes, etc. In November 2015, iTAC ran a Hard Drive Recycling Day to collect and properly dispose of e-waste from university computers. Hard drives were taken to the Facilities Recycling Center for degaussing. Degaussing is a way to demagnetize magnetic storage media like tape or a hard disk drive to render it permanently unusable. After the hard drives were degaussed, they were sent to a contracted vendor to be shredded.

If you miss one of these events, secure disposal of paper and electronic media is still available year-round to K-State departments by contacting the Facilities Recycling Center.

For more information about Shred Day, contact iTAC at 785-532-4918.