#87 – The Risks of Storage Media Reuse versus Recycling

#87 – The Risks of Storage Media Reuse versus Recycling

Chris EvansGuest Speakers, Storage Hardware, Storage Unpacked Podcast

In this episode, Chris and Martin talk to Simon Zola from Avtel Data Destruction.  This is a follow-up episode to #85 (Storage for Home and Homelabs) where Martin and Chris questioned the ease of recovering data from pre-owned storage media.  As we find out, the process was pretty easy.  Martin was able to recover significant amounts of personal data with little effort and using standard tools.

Media destruction is one route to safely dispose of drives and guarantees that data is destroyed.  But what are the consequences?  Simply disabling a drive and throwing it into landfill isn’t good for anyone.  An alternative is to recycle the media.  Simon Zola from Avtel Data Destruction takes us through their hardware milling process, capable of turning a hard drive to dust in 7 seconds!  We discuss the environmental and safety aspects of such a process and learn that the downstream waste produced by the process has ongoing value.  Nothing goes to landfill.

You can find more about Avtel on their website – here.  There’s also a video on YouTube that provides an idea of how the process works.

Elapsed Time: 00:27:28


  • 00:00:00 – Intros
  • 00:01:30 – What did Martin find with used SSDs?
  • 00:04:53 – Why should we be destroying drives?
  • 00:06:44 – Will encrypted drives have more value?
  • 00:07:25 – 25 million mobile phones kept in cupboards
  • 00:08:30 – How does Avtel destroy media?
  • 00:10:00 – Japan Olympics medals will come from recycled mobiles
  • 00:12:20 – A chain of custody is as important as destruction
  • 00:19:00 – What approach should businesses take with media?
  • 00:21:00 – Are desktop drives an exposure for businesses?
  • 00:22:00 – Are there any options for home users?
  • 00:25:00 – Should vendors be taking more responsibility (or are they)?
  • 00:26:40 – Wrap Up

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