How to dispose of confidential waste
Big business and smaller firms are risking fines of up to £500,000 if they fail to sort the waste put in a skip they hire as part of an office move or premises refurbishment.
The Data Protection Act makes your company responsible for the proper handling of confidential data. Section 53A of the Act forces all companies to ensure that confidential waste is stored and destroyed correctly.
Despite the Information Commissioner’s office issuing instructions on how to handle, manage, store and destroy confidential material, there have still been breaches of the Data Protection Act with sensitive material falling into the wrong hands.
The results are the same whether it is as a result of not encrypting employee laptops or correctly destroying employee laptops or correctly destroying printed confidential waste.
The Data Protection Act states: “Appropriate technical and organisational measures shall be taken against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of or damage to personal data.”
The reason for this is quite clear. During the course of running your business, you will collect personal and financial information from your customers like their name, address, telephone numbers, email addresses, date of birth and credit card details. Failure to safeguard this information could result in your company repeating the following offences…
- The NHS was fined £325,000 for allowing patient data to fall into the wrong hands. Computer hard drives containing sensitive patient data that should have been destroyed were instead sold on the internet. This could have been avoided with a professional hard drive and media destruction service.
- Wolverhampton City Council was found to be in breach of the Data Protection Act after confidential waste was thrown in a skip on their premises. Printed confidential waste should be properly destroyed by shredding with either a mobile or off-site shredding service.
- Scottish Borders Council was fined £250,000 after employees’ pension records were found in a paper recycling bank at a local supermarket. Confidential waste should always be properly disposed of and separated from normal recyclable waste.
Meeting your Data Protection obligations
Whether your confidential waste is in paper form or stored in a digital format, you can gain peace of mind that it has been disposed of correctly by obtaining a Certificate of Destruction.
And companies seeking to promote their green credentials can start by seeking advice from the Health & Safety Executive about how to reduce their impact on the environment.
Here at ProSkips, our approach to recycling has been developed on principles of economic and environmental sustainability. We are very proud to be a supporter of the halving waste to landfill scheme and we always aim to reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill wherever possible each year.
We are also committed to helping everybody who hires a skip from us, from residential customers to small businesses and major multinational companies, keep on the right side of the law. We can provide advice on disposing of a range of materials, including Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment, as well as arranging skip permits.
If you are looking for a local skip hire firm we can provide the best service at the best price. ProSkips can provide same day hire and collection as part of our service. For more information, contact us today.
Image credit: Hans