Media Disposal FAQ

What is electronic media secure disposal service?
How is the electronic media destroyed?
I have a problem disposing of all my computer equipment. Can I bring any old computer equipment?
Am I responsible for the security of the media after I drop it off?
But I have to return some of my hard drives to the manufactureer (i.e. Dell) when they fail in order to exercise our warranty to get free replacements. What should I do in these cases?
Why not just continue using the degausser for data destruction on electronic media?
What about our users? Can they use this service?
Can we set up our own secure electronic media disposal service in our own building?
Are there any solutions for secure disposal of paper? Is the UF recycling service sufficient?

What is the electronic media secure disposal service?
A trusted service set up by the Information Security Office that enables you to drop off electronic media and have it securely destroyed for you.  UF has contracted with Secure On-Site Shredding (SOS) who has a document and media secure disposal service, to provide secure rollaway bins and pickup/destruction services.  A business associate agreement is in place, and the destruction service meets the UF security requirements for data destruction.

How is the electronic media destroyed?

Most forms of media is shredded on site, but for technical reasons, sometimes SOS takes certain media back to their NAID certified facility in Clearwater for shredding. We will receive a certificate of destruction from SOS, which we can track to the bin numbers, and thus to specific scanned serial numbers of hard drives. Once shredded, SOS delivers the remnants to a smelting plant that recycles the metal.

I have a problem disposing of all of my computer equipment.  Can I bring any old computer equipment?
No.  Unfortunately we cannot accept non-electronic material (except fiche or film) or electronic components that are not media (storage).  We have a limited budget and are charged by the pound.  The following table indicates what we will accept:

CDs, DVDs Yes Paper, binders, manuals No
Floppy disks Yes Fax machines, copiers No – remove hard drive and bring hard drive
USB flash memory drives Yes Monitors, keyboards, mice No
XD, SD memory sticks Yes Printers, scanners No – remove hard drive and bring hard drive
Data backup tapes, video tapes Yes Network devices No – remove hard drive and bring hard drive
External hard drives Yes Desktops computers No – remove hard drive and bring hard drive
Removed internal hard drives Yes Servers No – remove hard drive and bring hard drive
Personal digital assistants Yes Laptops & tablet PCs No – remove hard drive and bring hard drive
Cell phones; smart phones Yes Office phones No
Microfiche, film Yes Microfiche Machines No

You can use SOS for destruction of all of these materials if you wish to set up your own service contract and if you follow the University regulations for surveying equipment.

Am I responsible for the security of the media after I drop it off? 
No.  That is one of the values of this service.  Once you drop off your media, the Information Security Office is responsible for its security.  The Information Security Office is also responsible to ensure SOS continues to meet its security obligations in the contract.  We will audit their secure storage, transportation and shredding from time to time.

But I have to return some of my hard drives to the manufacturer (i.e. Dell) when they fail in order to exercise our warranty to get free replacements.  What should I do in these cases?

In those cases where you need to retain the hard drive, do not use this media disposal service.  Any media turned over to the secure disposal service will be destroyed.  Instead, continue to use the Information Security Office degausser for the few disk drives you need to return.

Why not just continue using the degausser for data destruction on electronic media?
The degausser works well for its intended purpose.  But we’ve found that we have needs that go beyond what the degausser can do.  The degausser was not meant for mass destruction of large numbers of magnetic media.  We’ve seen people bring boxes full of hard drives to the Communicore to degauss prior to disposal, and it takes a very long time.  It works fine for a small number of hard drives, and as mentioned above for hard drives that you need to return to the manufacturer in order to exercise the warranty.  But if you have to degauss floppies, or a large number of hard disks, you will find the degausser somewhat of a challenge.  Finally, the degausser does not work on optical media such as CDs and DVDs.

Our hope is that the secure disposal service will complement the current degausser solution.

What about our users?  Can they use this service?

Yes.  You can be the collection point for your users and then bring their electronic media to the disposal dropoff for them, or you can explain the service to them and direct them here.  We will accept this media from any faculty or staff.  However, we recommend that you explain the service to them for their own use, AND that you offer to be a collection point for them.  The more ways that you can make it easy for them, the better chance we have to rid the HSC of loosely secured confidential information.

Can we set up our own secure electronic media disposal service in our own building?
Yes.  Contact the Information Security Office and we’ll help get you started.

Are there any solutions for secure disposal of paper? Is the UF recycling service sufficient?

UF Procurement has negotiated a contract for secure disposal of paper and you are welcome to contact the vendor to arrange for service. The recycling service offered by UF Physical Plant is only for non-confidential paperwork. Paper containing Restricted or Sensitive Data is not to be disposed of via normal garbage or paper recycling.