Do Your Part to Recycle: Don’t Contribute to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

In an article for Natural History magazine, Captain Charles Moore tells how he discovered what has come to be called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. According to Moore, his crew was on their way back to their home port in Long Beach, California when they decided to take a shortcut through an expanse of ocean few sailors traverse. The waters in that area lack the nutrients needed to support sea life, making it a frustrating area for fisherman.

Moore talks about gazing from the deck of his ship, expecting to see a pristine ocean and the shock he felt upon the sight of plastic as far as the eye could see. He says that in the week it took to cross the area, the crew could see debris floating everywhere, no matter what time of day they looked (read article here).

Our Role

It’s easy for us to toss our trash into a bin and never think of it again, to shrug off where it’s ultimately going to wind up. It feels so satisfying to organize our files, clean unneeded paperwork off our desks, and replace tired computers and other electronics with newer, flashier versions that we can forget our responsibility to this planet.

If we leave recycling to “someone else,” we are part of a trend that leads to more landfills, increased greenhouse gases, loss of fossil fuels, and the reduction of natural resources. Fortunately, we only need to do our part, to be mindful of our role in recycling.

Mother Nature has it Down

One would think we’d take our cue from Mother Nature when it comes to recycling. After all, the Earth recycles and reuses everything. For example, dead animals and plants break down to become soil and provide nutrients to newly sprouting plants. For our planet, it’s all about reusing what appears to be useless.

For us, that means taking a moment to think about how our waste can be used in a new and better way, rather than rotting away in a landfill or filling the ocean with flotsam.

Finding New Life

Did you know that it only takes 60 days for a recycled aluminum can to be melted down, turned into a new can, filled, and placed back in a retail store? Aluminum is also used to make bicycles, building facades, and airplane parts. Glass is recycled to make containers, countertops, and even highway markers. As far as old computers and office equipment, once the glass, metal and plastic have been efficiently separated, they become part of entirely new items, given new life and kept out of a landfill.

Contact us at 936-228-5500 or visit our website here if you would like more information about how you can help the Earth through recycling e-waste and paper via mobile shredding services.

What Happens When Whole Nations Ban Electronic Waste?

Each year around the world, people throw out 50 million tons of old electric and electronic gear (known as electronic waste, or e-waste). This makes e-waste the fastest-growing segment of worldwide waste. And only a fifth of e-waste — that’s anything with a battery or plug — winds up in the official refuse and recycling schemes.

North Americans produce at least three times more e-waste per person than the world’s average. And the United States hasn’t ratified the Basel Convention, which keeps most countries from letting e-waste cross their borders if it contains heavy metals that could harm workers in the recycling industry.

Today, with China banning incoming e-waste, old gear is flowing into Thailand without permission. Police raids can’t keep up with the problem, and Thai workers incur health risks when dismantling improperly imported waste products containing lead and cadmium.

Do It Right. Have Tristar Dispose of Your Old Electronics.

In Houston, Texas, and the surrounding areas, we handle all waste responsibly, including your old appliances and PCs, laptops, tablets, flash drives, floppy disks, magnetic tapes and CDs. Shredding may also be important for advanced printers and copiers with hard drives.

Bring your documents and e-waste to have them shredded on-site at our Conroe, Texas, location while you watch. We dispose of all e-waste entrusted to us through eco-conscious methods that follow pertinent codes and laws.

Contact Tristar Document Shredding with any questions about how you can have sensitive material securely and properly destroyed.

Yes, Devices Can Be Shredded. Here’s Why You Should Have It Done.

Ready to recycle, donate or discard some old electronic gear? First you must be sure it has no clients’ information, personal information or trade secrets left on it. The last thing you need is for passwords, financial information or sensitive data getting into the wrong hands. A shredder crushes hard drives and tears them into miniscule bits, making data irretrievable.

  1. Traces of information on your personal device could enable fraud.

Your cell phone has stored GPS data, passwords, financial account access, sensitive communications, and personal details and photos of people we know. Does that include information you absolutely, positively cannot afford to leak? Restoring the factory settings on your phone is not enough, as authentication tokens may still be found and enable fraudsters to access confidential materials you’d meant to erase. Nor is removing the SIM card enough. All devices have internal data storage components as well as (or instead of) a SIM card. As technology evolves, so do hackers. A tiny piece of data in shrewd hands can wreak havoc.

  1. The only guaranteed way to wipe information from a phone is by having a professional shred it.

Typically, people and companies wipe old devices to prevent security breaches; yet data often remains recoverable. Degaussing alone is ineffective, although it works very well when combined with shredding.

We Service Business and Residential Clientele Throughout Texas

We are happy to dispose of household e-waste, and we can also provide onsite waste handling for community and commercial needs.

Give us a call at 936-788-4733. Out of our area code? Call us toll-free: 1-888-747-3397. Or visit our website to get a free quote.

 

Is Shredding Recycling?

People may only think of recycling plastic bottles or cardboard. However, many other types of products in a home or business may be recycled, including documents and data-storage devices.
Understand more about how document and data shredding are able to be recycled today.

What to Know About Document Shredding and Data Shredding

If a homeowner chooses to shred documents and brings the material to a local recycling center, the strips will generally end up in a landfill. Why is this so? Shredded paper often must be properly bagged, and the average homeowner may not bag the shreds before bringing them in for recycling. Shredded paper is recycled when individuals and companies turn to a professional shredding service, as such operations send bales of shredded paper to a recycling center, packaged in such a way as to make for easy recycling.

The need for document shredding is pretty straightforward, as names, account information, social security numbers and more can be found on paper documentation. However, much less is understood about data shredding. Data can continue to exist on old hard drives and more, even when devices are returned to factory settings. This can leave customers vulnerable to identity theft and more, while businesses can be held responsible for such breaches and may open themselves up to legal issues. Secure data shredding is a must in today’s world and should be performed by professionals, because toxic particles may be released during the shredding process.

Professional data-shredding services can keep hazardous materials out of landfills and old data secure. Know that floppy discs, DVDs, CDs, cell phones, jump drives, camera film and more can be safely recycled. An EPA-certified recycler may purchase such materials for reprocessing. In addition, after data has been removed from a device, it is then possible to recycle or sell a pre-owned piece of equipment.

What Is E-waste Recycling?

E-waste recycling involves the safe disposal of potentially hazardous components in some electronic items. When electronics are recycled, some of the materials may be processed and reused in order to limit the use of natural resources. Each state may have its own electronic-waste-recycling laws. Texas has made some manufacturers responsible for providing free programs to collect and recycle personal and home business computer equipment. Businesses may want to check for applicable state laws to ensure they safely recycle equipment while complying with current regulations.

Recycling Supports Your Community and Environment

There are many materials that can be kept out of landfills and be recycled, donated, repurposed or reused. Document shredding and data shredding helps keep reusable resources out of landfills. Churches, charities and secondhand stores may be able to make older devices available to families and organizations in need after the safe shredding of sensitive data.

Residents in Conroe and surrounding communities appreciate ways to reduce their carbon footprint and protect natural resources. In addition, affordable document shredding is not only available for residential needs but can be provided onsite for community and commercial requirements. Contact Tristar Document Shredding at 936-228-5500 or online to have sensitive material securely disposed of and protect your data while being environmentally conscious today.

The History of Recycling

Recycling is one of the most important trends right now, but its history dates back to ancient times. Here’s a brief look at the history of recycling.

Recycling in Ancient Times

In the 9th century, the first recorded evidence of recycling occurred. At that time, Japanese people recycled paper. Once they learned how to make paper using papyrus, they also learned they could reuse it, and recycled paper became a key component of producing it. Recycled paper, in those times, was considered more valuable than the original production. The recycled product was used many times over, often in Japanese artwork and painting.

Recycling in the United States

Though paper recycling remained relatively common in Asia, it was not done as often in the Western world. In the United States, the first true recycling occurred in 1690. At that time, a location in Philadelphia called the Rittenhouse Mill worked to produce linens. A key component of the work they did was to collect and recycle cotton products, including linens of all types. They used these materials to produce paper. The paper went on to be used in the production of books as well as newspapers.

Recycling During the Great Depression

During the Great Depression, the need to recycle was incredibly high. As a result, many manufacturers not only encouraged recycling but also advertised products with a double use, such as using biscuit containers to store the original food and also later to use as a lunchbox.

Recycling During World War II

Perhaps the most intense effort to recycle occurred during World War II. During this time, a massive effort across the United States and Europe took place to gather materials necessary for the manufacturing of weapons and machinery. This included the collection of steel, paper, rubber, tin and other materials necessary for producing anything to do with the war effort. More than 400,000 people came together to gather these materials.

Recycling in the 1960s

The 1960s brought numerous efforts to continue collecting items that are reusable. This includes glass, metals and yard waste. Paper collection was also a large effort.

Recycling in the 1970s

In the 1970s, the Earth Day movement took hold. It was first celebrated in April of 1970 and continues to be one of the driving forces behind recycling efforts in the United States and worldwide. This is also the time when the three-arrow recycling design was first produced. Curbside recycling began to pop up in some cities in 1974. And the U.S. Environmental Protection Agent launched its first grant program to encourage recycling in 1976.

Recycling in the 1980s and Beyond

In the 1980s and more recently, the efforts to recycle intensified, with more focus on a global effort. Efforts to clean up the world’s oceans began and, by 1985, there were national programs in the United States to encourage recycling.

Recycling continues to improve with organic-waste collection, removal of dangerous materials such as Styrofoam, and the investment in clean energy to reduce the need for production of harmful materials.

If you would like more information or would like to get a free quote on e-waste recycling or document and/or hard drive shredding services please contact us at 936-228-5500 or visit our website here.

Document Shredding: DIY vs. Professional

Keeping documents you no longer need, whether its in an office setting or at home, means you’re taking the risk of that information falling into the wrong hands. For businesses the outcome could be fines, a lawsuit or worse; At home the outcome could be identity theft.

In order to protect yourself and your clients, it’s important to securely and properly destroy documents and data that you no longer need. You can do it yourself, or you can hire professionals – but which method will work best for you?

Here’s a little infographic to break down the process for you. We’ll let you decide which one is best (and when you do, give us a call).

Innovative Products from Recycled Goods

Recycling saves energy, reduces garbage and helps to keep the environment clean. It helps both people and the environment. With the growing concern for the environment, many companies and households are recycling. Recycling 125 aluminum cans helps save enough energy to supply a home with power for a whole day. Only 33.4% of the waste produced in USA is recycled, so much more energy would be saved if everyone recycled.

Importance of Recycling

By recycling, we conserve the raw material that would have been used to make new products. This saves the resources and also protects the environment. Most raw materials for products are obtained from logging or mining; both processes contribute to environmental pollution and degradation. With recycling, there is less need for new raw material.

The energy required for manufacturing products from recycled material is considerably lower than that used for manufacturing from new material. It also saves the energy required to extract and process raw material.

Recycling reduces the buildup of garbage in the environment. If products are not recycled, they end up being disposed as garbage and taking up a lot of space on landfill sites.

Products Made from Recycled Goods

Skateboards

A company based in Los Angeles uses discarded nets to make skateboards. The nets are melted into tiny pellets that are used to make the skateboards that are 27 inches in length and 9 inches in width.

Construction Material

Even though used disposable diapers and sanitary pads are really disgusting, they can be used to make construction material such as tiles, fiber-based roofing and even vinyl siding. After sanitizing, machines are used to separate the wood pulp from the plastic. The wood pulp can be used to make oil filters, wallpaper and recycling paper; the plastic can be remanufactured into vinyl siding and roof shingles. What is left of the solid can be used in the creation of green energy.

Footwear

A footwear startup in Los Angeles sells women’s flat shoes made from PET plastic yarn. The soles are carbon-free and their packaging is fully recyclable. Plastic bottles are first cleared of any labels and hot washed, then they are then processed into yarn. The yarn is treated into a soft, breathable and foot-friendly material which can be heated into the proper shape and fixed to the outsole and insole. Approximately 3 bottles are used to create one shoe.

Plastic Lamps

Recycled plastic bottles are also used to make lamps and chandeliers. The plastic bottles are first cleaned and sandblasted, then they’re sculpted into decorative shapes. Even the plastic bottle tops can also be used in the process.

Necklaces, Bracelets and Beads

Upcycled plastic can be used to make bracelets, necklaces and beads. Designers are turning to recycled plastic for unique jewelry designs. They can also be made at home with some plastic bottles, a pair of scissors and heat.

Tires

Tires are one of the most problematic waste products. Fortunately, they can be broken down and remanufactured into storage baskets, chairs, coffee tables, rockers for children and decorative pieces.

Recycling doesn’t stop with plastic, aluminum and paper – you should recycle your electronics as well: old computers, cell phones, TV’s, etc. A lot of the materials that make up our electronics are valuable: silver, gold, titanium, copper, iron and more. When recycled by a professional service, these valuable materials can be removed and re-used. Just like electronics contain valuable materials, they also contain materials that are toxic to us: arsenic, lead, mercury, cadmium and many more. Recycling electronics prevents these from ending up in a landfill where they will eventually leak out into the ecosystem, turning our air toxic, water toxic and harming our plant and animal life.

If you would like more information on e-waste recycling, or would like to get a free quote, please contact us at 936-228-5500 or visit our website here.

The Role of Hardware Destruction in Cyber Security

The data on our myriad of devices — including computers, cell phones, flash drives and SIM cards — must have done something very right because they appear to have been granted eternal life. Seriously. No matter how many how-to articles we read or friends who assure us they “know how to wipe it,” data has a way of coming back to haunt us. The technology and electronics experts at CNET report that, with the right tools, data can be recovered, even after we believe it’s been wiped away.

The ability to restore old data may make the job of prosecutors a little easier in a RICO case and that’s something most of us can live with. What we don’t want to deal with is the way bad guys (and gals) can mine private information about us simply by having access to any one of our devices.

Who among us wants someone else to know the passwords to every online site we visit or, for that matter, which online sites we visit? Who wants to expose the names and phone numbers of their friends, family and business associates? Who wants to share photos and videos that were meant to be private?

With so little privacy in this world already, the least we can do is protect our personal and business information from those who would try to exploit it for their own gains. Like Jimi Hendrix and his guitar at the Monterey Pop Festival, the only answer is destruction — the total and complete destruction of all that information-rich hardware.

What we do is take all those outdated electronics — like iPads, cell phones and computers — and pulverize them. By the time we’re done, they are literally laid to waste and no one, no matter how talented, could possibly access the information contained within. Magnetic tapes, CDs, DVDs, SIM cards, old floppy discs and hard drives — we render them useless. We accomplish this by using state-of-the art equipment to shred the items and turn them in nothing more than scrap metal. And in order to be environmentally responsible, the scrap metal is then recycled and used to produce other products rather than end up in a landfill.

If you’re considering having your old hardware destroyed, there are two more things you should know. The first is that we are a trusted member of the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID), meaning you can trust us to follow the strictest possible standards. And finally, our mobile shredding unit makes it possible for you to witness the entire process from start to finish.

Although we are proud of our services, the most important thing we offer you is peace of mind. You will never have to worry that someone has access to your information who should not have it. Visit www.TristarShredding.com for more information or contact us today and let us help you keep your private life private.

What Documents Should I Shred?

Most people know the importance of shredding documents that contain sensitive information, but some documents you need to hang on to for future reference. So the question is, how long should you hold on to a document before you shred it? The infographic below, care of the Federal Trade Commission, is a guide to help you know when to store a document and when to shred it.

When you’re ready to shred those documents give us a call – you can do a one time walk-in drop off at our physical location:

Tristar Document Shredding
500 North Loop 336 East, Suite 106 – 107
Conroe, TX 77301
Monday – Friday, 8am to 5pm, and Saturday by appointment only

OR you can schedule a mobile service to come to you and pick it up. We provide commercial, community and residential document shredding services. Our mobile shredding unit comes directly to your location allowing you to monitor the shredding process as it happens. There is no need to remove rubber bands, staples, or binder clips. Our shredders handle it all in one simple operation.

Contact us today to get a free quote or to schedule a service.

 

 

 

Why Shredding Old Devices is a Must!

Christmas has come and gone, and with it we know a big wave of smart phones have been replaced with newer, more high tech models.

Cell phones are involved in every aspect of our lives nowadays: we use them as phones, GPS devices, portable computers, and more. Whether you realize it or not, your phone has sensitive information stored on it. Smart phones store all of our usernames and passwords. They have direct access to our bank accounts. They have email addresses, physical addresses, phone numbers and pictures of our families and friends.

While we all love getting new devices, it’s important to remember that there is a proper way to dispose of the old devices we no longer use. Having used mobile devices shredded is the only 100% guaranteed way to wipe the stored memory from that device.

Just in case you need convincing, here are 5 reasons to shred your old devices:

  • Restoring your phone to factory settings doesn’t always work. Research was conducted by a team at Cambridge University and their research study found that 80% of the time authentication tokens, which are essentially an electronic key to access confidential accounts and information, were able to be recovered from the devices that had been restored to factory settings. So 80% of the time they were able to access the confidential information of the previous owner that had been “wiped clean” from the phone.
  • The SIM card is not the only part of the phone that stores information. If you remove the SIM card from your device, that does not remove all the stored information within your phone. Just like the phones in the Cambridge research study, all devices have internal components that store information — whether they have a SIM card or not. Removing the SIM card will remove the information stored on the SIM card, but not the information that is stored in your device internally.
  • Destroying it is not enough. You can run any device over with a car or crush it with a hammer, and that STILL doesn’t guarantee that all the right memory chips and internal components that store information have been correctly and totally destroyed. The only guaranteed way to wipe information from a phone is by having a professional shred it.
  • A little information goes a long way. As technology evolves and gets smarter, so do the thieves and hackers. Oftentimes, all they need is one tiny piece of information in order to unlock the door that leads to much more crucial information.
  • Your whole life is on your phone. From emails to bank accounts to photos of loved ones — every little detail about you is stored on your phone. That is reason enough to want to make sure the information on your phone is destroyed properly, by a professional, to ensure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

If the information on your personal device is recovered and stolen it could create numerous problems for you, including identity theft and fraudulent bank account activity. We take precautions with other sensitive information – for example, we don’t just throw away papers with our social security numbers and bank account information – so why aren’t we more cautious with that same information in digital format?

Do your research and you’ll find that data destruction and e-waste recycling are the only safe ways to dispose of your devices. When you’re ready for an expert to take those old devices off your hands and destroy them safely, give us a call at 936-788-4733 or visit our website to get a free quote.