Most people have some knowledge of the chain of custody in civil and criminal law. When it comes to e-waste, or the disposal of electronics and electrical items, the chain of custody refers to where the items are in all stages of the recycling process.

The recycling process involves who or what company had initial custody of the item, the transfer from the company to the recycling agency, analysis, and final disposal of the item.

Understanding Chain of Custody in E-Waste

The chain of custody in e-waste ensures that a company is appropriately disposing of electrical and electronic items. With more research about the release of dioxins, a toxin, being released into the environment from improper e-waste disposal, being able to verify a companies’ chain of custody is essential.

Besides keeping the company safe by properly recycling e-waste, the chain of custody protects customer information. If somehow customer information is leaked after you’ve gotten rid of the e-waste, you can prove you’re not at fault, as long as you’ve followed the proper protocols.

The chain of custody helps identify if there are issues with how you dispose of e-waste and if you’re at fault if personal information is leaked.

Not Every Company Disposes of E-Waste Properly

Whether it’s intentional or unintentional, several companies don’t dispose of e-waste properly. The improper disposal of e-waste can lead to a leak of customer information as well as toxins such as dioxins.

Many companies state that they have devices sitting for multiple weeks before they are wiped of customer information. When they wiped the software, they didn’t use a secure platform, and most of them didn’t record serial numbers for recycling.

How to Have a Strong Chain of Custody for E-Waste

The best way to protect yourself against any issues involving e-waste, proper disposal is crucial.


When someone comes to pick up your e-waste at the end of life, you’ll want to ensure you document who is picking it up and when. Even when a qualified person comes to pick up the items, you’ll want to make sure they’re collecting the waste properly.


Partnering with an ITAD partner can ensure that you can track it along its route when an employee picks up your e-waste. Doing so can help you in case any information is leaked or something happens along the way.

Data Destruction

While destroying customer information should happen before the ITAD employee comes to pick up the e-waste to ensure it’s gone, using an ITAD employee to make sure it’s all gone is beneficial.


When your electronics arrive at the processing plant, they’ll wipe the devices and then determine if they can be reused elsewhere. They’ll look for the entire unit to be repurposed or parts.


Regardless of whether they use the entire e-waste or parts that you’ve recycled, you’ll receive a certificate noting that you’ve properly disposed of the items. Most are e-Stewards certified.

Newtech Recycling does e-waste recycling the right way, always keeping the chain of custody intact to protect your personal data and protect the environment. Get in touch with us today for a quote on your recycling!

Related Terms: Electronic RecyclingDioxinsTERRA

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