Disposing of Hardware and Software - Employees

Introduction

The removal of older computer equipment is an issue of increasing importance.  There are several thousand computers, printers and peripheral devices distributed throughout the University campus.  Items that are no longer of service to a department or user will need to be disposed of properly.

The disposal of media, computer equipment and computer software can create information security risks.  These risks are related to the potential unauthorized release of sensitive or confidential information, violations of software license agreements, and unauthorized disclosure of intellectual property that might be stored in hard disks and other storage media.

Most electronic equipment contains circuit boards, mercury switches, relays, and other components which are manufactured with materials considered to be hazardous, and cannot be disposed of in the general trash.  If it is determined that computer equipment cannot be reused or recycled, then it should be disposed of in compliance with University, state and federal laws for environment responsible disposition and in accord with University computer disposal procedures.

Computer and electronic storage equipment identified for disposal or redistribution must be reviewed and then subsequently cleaned by an approved data erasing process.  Licensed software and institutional data deemed to be the property of the University must be removed prior to disposal or redistribution of equipment.

All such equipment and software media is to be sent to Information Technology Services (ITS) Inventory Services for evaluation to determine the status and best means of disposal or redistribution.  If it cannot be sent, an ITS TAC rep will visit the departmental location.

Based on the assessment of the equipment or software by the Information Technology Services department, the items will be classified as follows, and dealt with appropriately, irrespective of what budget originally purchased the item.

Redistributed:

If computer meets current minimum standard requirements, it may be redistributed to a location within the university.  Recommendations from the originating department will be considered when redistributing the technology, but the final location will be based on the overall needs of the university.  Software licenses no longer needed will be pooled and given to the next customer who needs it, with preference given to the original purchasing area.

Sold:

Any hardware considered no longer in service to the university but is functioning may be sold via our resale store.  ITS will ensure the hardware is cleared of all software licensed to the university and any data left by the previous user.

Salvaged:

Any hardware that can no longer be used, but has useful parts, will be salvaged for its parts.  Those parts could be used by the ITS department.

Disposed:

Computer hardware and peripherals, which cannot meet the above categories, will be disposed.  This equipment will be picked up by a reputable environmentally certified recycling company in compliance with all local, state, and federal laws. Software media will be disposed of by destroying the media.

Asset Management

In order for ITS to keep accurate records in the university asset inventory management system, ITS should be contacted when the status of a computing asset changes so that the current status can updated.