New research has indicated that concerns over the leaking of confidential data by British businesses are leading the vast majority to dispose of their IT equipment in an irresponsible manner.

Recycling company Business Waste surveyed 500 customers and prospects to find that a staggering 95 per cent of machines are going straight to landfill rather than to dedicated electronic waste recycling centres.

The survey claimed that by adopting such a careless approach to electronic waste recycling, many businesses are displaying their lack of knowledge of UK and Europe-wide regulations for the disposal of electronic equipment.

Mark Hall, commercial director of Business Waste, says that his own company is seeing “more and more” electronic waste being inappropriately discarded.

He attributes this to concerns amongst British businesses over data security, with many deciding to destroy their computers to prevent the leaking of sensitive data.

“Nervous bosses are worried that their data could fall into the wrong hands if it is sent for recycling. Scares over identity theft and corporate crime mean that they’d rather completely destroy computer goods themselves than hand [them] to a third party to be disposed of correctly.”

Mark Hall, commercial director, Business Waste

Hall says that companies are wasting money, energy and resources by disposing of their electronic waste incorrectly. Instead, he recommends they wipe all data from their equipment before sending it for recycling.

As he highlights, it takes around a quarter of a ton of fossil fuel, 48 pounds of chemicals as well as a ton and a half of water to make one computer, meaning companies would be doing their bit for the environment by recycling their machines.