Disposing of IT equipment – a guide for staff Disposing of IT equipment – a guide for staff

If you have UEA IT hardware (PCs, laptops, mobile devices, etc.) that you no longer need, you must dispose of it securely, in line with UEA policy.

IT equipment will often store data, such as emails, documents, or information about users of the device. To comply with data protection law we must secure the data we hold at all stages of its lifecycle. If we don’t securely dispose of IT equipment, we risk exposing people’s personal data. This may lead to large fines and possible legal action for the University.

As a member of staff, if you fail to secure personal data appropriately you will be in breach of UEA policy, including the Conditions of Computer Use, which all staff must abide by. A breach of these Conditions may lead to disciplinary proceedings.

This page explains the practical steps you need to take to securely dispose of, or transfer, IT equipment. 

1. Can it store data? 1. Can it store data?

Before you dispose of, or transfer use of, any IT equipment you need to find out if it is capable of storing data. Sometimes, this will be obvious - for example, a keyboard or mouse cannot normally store data, while a hard drive or mobile phone certainly can. If you’re not sure, speak to the IT Service Desk for advice.

If Yes, go to the How To section for next steps. If No, the device can be disposed of in the waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) recycling bins on campus.

2. How to: 2. How to:

Dispose of UEA IT equipment

You must contact the IT Service Desk if you want to dispose of any of the following types of device:

PC, laptop, tablet, mobile phone or other portable device, USB sticks, devices which have microSD cards (cameras, video, dash cams etc.)

If you need to dispose of a printer or MFD, the University supplier offers a data wiping service. Contact the supplier or data protection team for further information. 

Dispose of non-UEA IT equipment
Provided the device you want to dispose of has not been used to store or access any kind of UEA data (even email), then you are not required to contact the IT Service Desk. However, if you don’t securely dispose of the device you may be putting yourself and others at risk, as someone may be able to access the data stored on it.

The University's waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) recycling bins must not be used for the disposal of personal, data-holding IT equipment.

Transfer your UEA IT equipment to another member of staff 
If you’d like another UEA colleague to be able to use your device then you must ensure that they cannot access any data you may have stored on it. 

Contact the IT Service Desk, who will help you arrange for the device to be securely rebuilt.

3. What happens next? 3. What happens next?

ITCS have a Secure IT Equipment Recycling Service, and engage another organisation (DTP) to dispose of your old device for you in line with UEA disposal procedures.

The device will be securely held in ITCS for 2 weeks. After this, it will be securely transported to DTP Group’s storage unit for another 2 weeks. During this 4 week period you can request the device is returned to you. We will need the serial number of the device to locate it.

Do... Do...

Contact the IT Service Desk for advice.

Tell us immediately if you think that IT equipment has been disposed of in an insecure way.

Do Not... Do Not...

...Dispose of UEA IT equipment that is capable of storing data in the waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) bins, even if you think you’ve securely wiped the device. If any such device is found in the recycling bins, we will investigate to trace the owner. 

...Take home redundant IT equipment for personal use. Any equipment that you use for home or off-campus working must be returned to UEA for disposal once it becomes redundant or is replaced.