Covanta is a leader in sustainable materials management providing environmental solutions to businesses and communities across North America. Through its network of facilities and state-of-the-art services, Covanta is a single-source partner in solving today's most complex environmental challenges.
With secure destruction, your products and materials are monitored, witnessed and completely destroyed through a 2000° F incineration process, preventing them from ending up in places they shouldn’t be, like ecosystems or communities where they can pollute, enter circulation and cause harm.
This is essential for products that pose an environmental or health risk; aren’t fit for consumers because they’re defective, off-spec, outdated or have been recalled; or contain sensitive or private information.
In any case, if the materials end up in the wrong place or in the wrong hands, your company could face serious repercussions.
Improperly disposing of products and materials in landfills could damage your company through fines and litigation and also harm your reputation. From an environmental and public health standpoint, you don’t want your company called out or sued for introducing potentially hazardous or toxic materials into communities or ecosystems. Some materials, like pharmaceuticals or items containing mercury and other heavy metals are directly harmful if they’re simply sent to a landfill, as they can leach into soil and waterways and adversely affect plant and animal life. If nothing can be done to separate out toxic materials and recycle or safely dispose of the rest, only secure destruction will suffice.
Additionally, you don’t want to send recalled, obsolete or unsellable returned materials to landfills. While they may not necessarily pose an environmental risk, they can still harm your brand. Imagine if defective or dangerous versions of your products were recovered and sold to consumers. You didn’t sell those products, but your name is attached to them. Also, if you sell higher-end products and protect your profit margins by controlling demand through a limited supply, people who recover and sell your discarded products could dilute the value of your products.
Finally, there’s the matter of private information to consider. Paper documents may be both recyclable and non-hazardous, but if they’re classified and simply put straight into the recycling or waste stream, they can be recovered by those with hostile intentions. Although computers and other electronic devices that store information can be recycled , certain components must be destroyed to prevent data from being recovered from them. Even prototypes and other intellectual property unintended for a wider audience can be problematic if landfilled. All of this could mean confidential information about your company and its customers, processes or plans leaks out to the public.
In the end, all these factors could lead to environmental or communal harm, costly litigation, and the loss of your reputation and customer base, none of which is good for your brand.
From a bottom-line perspective, secure destruction sharply reduces or eliminates business risks by keeping recalled, obsolete, discontinued, defective and returned products out of unsanctioned markets and other back channels.
Furthermore, it safeguards the environment and communities by keeping toxic materials out of the water supply and ecosystem and by keeping ineffective or dangerous products out of the hands of people who might consume them without knowing (or caring about) the risks.
More indirectly, using secure destruction methods to dispose of waste can drive your sustainability goals and demonstrate your commitment to the safety of the communities you do business in by reducing your carbon footprint and generating renewable energy for local use. Among other benefits, it’s been repeatedly demonstrated that such commitment creates a direct business value because of today’s demand for strong environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) programs.
Regardless of the type of waste your business produces and the kind of risk it may present, secure destruction solves the problem by using proven methods that ensure elimination and confidentiality—and offers documentation that the materials can’t be recovered.
For industries with clear regulatory requirements, proper secure destruction is a must-have to prove compliance to communities and regulators, including the FDA, DEA, and federal, state, provincial and other regulatory agencies. For other industries, secure destruction provides peace of mind and proof that unwanted goods, leftover process waste and sensitive materials are gone forever.
As an added advantage, many waste handling experts offer several collection options and full transparency. This allows you to track, witness and certify the recycling or destruction of any waste that’s processed via secure destruction, ensuring that both your business and the environment remain protected.
Find a partner you can trust to securely and completely destroy your dangerous, sensitive or confidential waste materials—a provider that either has the full range of services you need or a network of third-party vendors that will make sure your sensitive waste is securely handled and eliminated.
For more on how secure destruction helps your brand, be sure to download our checklist.