Recycling is a cornerstone in our drive to become green and reduce our “carbon footprint” on the planet. We have finally reached the point where we realize that we were actually capable of destroying the environment, which was once viewed as being able to soak up any amount of trash and noxious chemicals that we dumped into it. No more.
In addition to the trash that ends up in our landfills or is dumped into the ocean there are other costs to our wasteful ways. Not recycling means that the raw materials need to come from the Earth somewhere – whether it’s trees cut down for paper, oil pumped for plastics, or ore mined for metals. When we recycle we can reduce our depletion of the Earth’s natural resources. And finally there is energy that is needed to process raw materials and turn them into final products. Recycling lets us start the production process with bulk material that has already been processed and that means less energy because the production cycle is shorter.
In addition to providing material to drive our manufacturing processes, there is another way that recycling can help and that is to recover energy from our waste. While some recycled content can be used in the place of raw material, some can be recovered for energy production to reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere which are created when fossil fuels such as coal or oil are used to make energy.
Leading businesses trust Iron Mountain with the secure destruction of confidential or sensitive information. This is often in the form of paper documents, but confidential information can also be stored as magnetic media, film, micro-fiche, and even x-ray film. In addition to securely destroying this information we partner with a number of different companies to then recycle the raw material in the most effective way possible. With some material, like paper, this means feeding it to mills to be used as pulp. With other materials this means sending it to Energy-from-Waste facilities like those owned and/or operated by Covanta Energy, an Iron Mountain partner.
While the amount of materials sent to Covanta for energy recovery is much smaller than other materials we destroy and then recycle it still plays an important part in the reuse of our natural resources and helps. Last year, Iron Mountain’s partnership with Covanta led to the recovery of over 8 million pounds of approved non-hazardous material into energy. This saved over 8,251 barrels of oil and generated enough power to supply 404 homes for a year!
The proper handling and disposal of confidential information is critical to business operations. Failure to protect information can result in fines, lawsuits, or even having operations shut down. Fortunately, there are ways to protect your business with Iron Mountains secure destruction services while at the same time helping the environment. Recycling raw material and waste to energy conversion, two great ways Iron Mountain is helping our customers to Go Green.