Monday, April 22, 2013

AVA Environmental Blog "Earth Day"

AVA Environmental Policies & Services
Saturday April 20th 2013

Just in time for Earth Day  2013  AVA Recycling has updated its Environmental Policies as it reviews practices and directions in the past year, noting both achievement as well as where we’d like to improve operations. In 2012 AVA began sustainable technology partnering particularly with IT outsourcing, managed services and consulting firms to bring the value added services of proper electronics disposal and responsible recycling to their clients when decommissioning their tech equipment i.e. computers, servers, laptops, tablets, cellphones, TV’s, monitors and other obsolete machinery.

Eventually we’ve added computer and electronic servicing, repair and resale stores as public drop off points to receive consumer electronics from neighborhoods and surrounding communities.To date AVA has 15+ ‘drop off’ partners in the City of Chicago, the suburbs and Rockford area and over 10 IT referral partners and many more planned as we go through 2013. AVA is also planning to duplicate this network in the Rockford IL and Cincinnati OH area in the coming year. With this expansion and growth AVA should expect to achieve greater throughput and therefore a need to analyze more closely the choices for end market scrap vendors.

AVA’s consideration of its vendors balances financial as well as sound
environmental and regulatory compliance together. AVA has also strived to
create business relationships with as many certified R2, e-Stewards, RIO’s,
ISO 14001 and ISRI vendors as possible. Additionally AVA is seeking to
build relationships with vendors who have reputations for sending materials
to intermediary smelters that become suppliers to American manufacturers.

Our environmental policy further states:

        “AVA supports initiatives for ReUse, Reduce & Reclaim that 
contribute to healthy and sustainable communities that are both
             economically and environmentally sound.”

To this end AVA is proud to be an member of the Re-Use Alliance and is interested in new initiatives such as the ISRI (Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries) & CEA (Consumer Electronics Association) ‘CRT Challenge’.
AVA, as a member of the College & University Recycling Coalition has
also been proactive in helping non profits especially schools, churches
and colleges develop  e-Recycling programs within our key service areas.
The AVA Institute has created an internship program which addresses e-Recycling as part of the IT curriculum in Chicago land technology schools 
and colleges.

AVA will continue to update its environmental blog as new practices and initiatives come into effect, please visit the links below spotlighting AVA Recycling’s approach to healthier and safer communities and the planet.
At AVA everyday IS Earth Day!

Monday, February 25, 2013

AVA Sustainable Technology “Green IT” Partnerships In 2012, the year commencing the IL Electronics landfill ban AVA launched its sustainable technology or “Green IT” partnerships as an innovative collaboration of companies from the Chicagoland IT sector to assist AVA in offering e-Waste recycling point of contact as an 'added value service' to the IT services they already provide to business customers. This has become the case particularly with AVA's referral partners. Additionally, AVA began partnerships with computer repair and resale shops in and around Chicagoland to act specifically as “drop off “ sites serving consumers in these partners local business districts often resulting in creating new business customers in proportion to the electronics they accept, as the consumer gets to know the partner and the regular technology service they offer. Effective SEO results of AVA's website particularly on Google considerably boosts the traffic and hence new customer to these partners. These partnerships have created specific business advantages to both referral and drop off or co-location partners in addition to the Greening of their brands which is becoming an upcoming marketing strategy as well as a factor of compliance's. These opportunities should be a 'no brainer' for almost every IT or computer tech company or business but to AVA's amazement this isn't always the case. However more and more technology publications have in recent years been expanding on the economic and business case for technology sustainability. In July of 2011 Gartner Inc., the world's leading information technology research and advisory company based in Stamford CT issued a press release, “ Improving Sustainability Will Become a Top Five Priority for 60 Percent of Major Western European and North American CEOs by 2015” In that release Gartner says; ““Sustainability is no longer a ‘soft’ and tangential aspect to organization performance,” said Simon Mingay, research vice president at Gartner. “A sustainable approach to business activities is generating tangible business benefits for organizations today, through a combination of operational efficiencies and market growth opportunities.” Another recent news release from IT Manager Daily:”Green IT: Understanding its Business Value” by Megan Berry of the PBM Media Network writing about the business value of Green IT says the following; “Cost savings are a major reason why green IT has momentum. Reduced spending on equipment and energy, paper and ink, tax breaks and other financial incentives make green IT a practical way for companies to save money. Environmental regulations created to address climate change force businesses to be environmentally friendly. Consequently, new economic opportunities exist. Supplying and servicing energy efficient equipment and developing green technology are just some of the ways in which companies can grow revenue and fuel job growth in a low-carbon economy.” Additionally the article sites reasons why some IT companies have been slow to come on board the Green IT train: “Resistance to change, apathy, and competing priorities are universal problems. However, they can be overcome through education and leadership.The data needed to make informed decisions around green IT initiatives is often fragmented and must be collected and analyzed from a holistic point of view. Manual data collection makes it difficult to piece together a complete picture of a business’s carbon footprint.” Berry goes on to say. The resistance to Green IT that AVA has experienced with the IT firms it has outreached regarding the program seems to fall into the category of “competing priorities” mentioned in Ms. Berry's statements above. Most of the IT managers we have contacted see the ultimate sense in Green IT as regards the recycling aspect and appreciate a company that can make the process easy and seamless for them as AVA Recycling does. AVA Data Destruction & Customer Peace of Mind: A critical issue that must be addressed hand in hand with environmental sustainability is data destruction. Electronic recyclers by law must provide for secure data erasure as part of the collection / recycling process. AVA has a firm policy and practice which can be viewed on its website. In 2013 AVA has expanded this service to provide hard disk disabling on site for businesses that request the service. AVA plans to invest in portable equipment that can more easily start the destruction process. Ultimately most all of the hard drives we acquire are shredded through a certified process. A very small percent may if the drive has redeemable features will undergo the data overwrite process started by the Department of Defense in the 1980's also called the DOD method. AVA has found however that less than 2% of the drives it collects have reusable potential. In summary AVA's partnerships have been win – win relationships with no downsides for our partners. These Green IT partnerships have proven AVA's philosophy that environmental sustainability can go hand in hand with economic sustainability. We look forward to advancing these partnerships even expanding into additional fields and industries beyond technology centered markets and industries. For more on AVA recycling and the topics discussed click the links below. AVA Recycling Home page: About AVA / Data Destruction: AVA Partnerships: Related links:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Where electronic data hides.

Recently I visited a prospective client in Oakbrook IL and was asked if AVA could provide in house data destruction of their digital copier/printer. I said sure though for a moment I was puzzled and had forgotten that newer digital copiers have installed hard drives. Over that weekend I was doing some casual research on data destruction (unrelated to copiers) and unexpectedly came across the article from the Info Law Group, "FTC Issues Guide to Businesses on Securing Digital Copiers".
This sparked my curiosity as to how many other personal and business devices that are used daily are capturing and retaining proprietary or confidential business information (CBI) that escapes our awareness? For instance, AVA recycles lots of cell phones for consumers and our corporate customers who usually remove the SIM card prior to submitting for disposal. Even without the SIM many phones do retain data. So what about scanners or other electronics designed to read data?

We will continue to update this blog as new information becomes available.
It's our hope that our readers will consider the apparently many overlooked places where their important data may hide and be proactive in securing these storage devices. In the meantime we invite you to read the entire article noted above which has been reproduced here with the kind permission of the author Richard Santalesa and the Info LawGroup:

AVA recommends our readers visit for other pertinent articles, papers & information on legal issues surrounding data related topics.
Thanks again to Richard Santalesa & Info LawGroup.

For additional info go to: