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Information Technology

Hard Drive & Electronic Storage Media Destruction

About Hard Drive & Electronic Storage Destruction

The UMass Amherst Office of Waste Management provides departments, faculty, and staff with a convenient, no cost way to destroy and dispose of computers, hard drives, backup tapes, and other electronic and magnetic storage media that contain sensitive or confidential information. This service is designed to help University departments comply with state and federal laws (e.g., FERPA, HIPAA) and University policies.

Using this service, departments, faculty, and staff:

  • Get a free and convenient way to destroy and dispose of hard drives, backup tapes, and other electronic and magnetic storage media.
  • Mitigate the risks of unauthorized disclosure of sensitive information due to improper handling of media.
  • Help the University and its staff comply with University policies, and federal and state regulations.

Who can use this service?

The service is currently available to UMass Amherst departments, faculty, and staff. Departments need only fill out the online Surplus Equipment Disposal form on the Office of Waste Management's wesbite to schedule a pick up. 

Why should I destroy my storage media?

Many departments and organizations at UMass Amherst possess a variety of sensitive information (e.g., student records, health records). This information is often saved on hard disk drives, backup tapes, and other forms of electronic and magnetic media.

To comply with University policies, and state and federal law, the University and its employees are required to properly and securely dispose of electronic and magnetic media containing sensitive information.

My department has many unused hard drives and backup tapes. Which ones should we destroy?

It is critical that departments properly dispose of all storage media that contain ‘sensitive information.’ The University considers the following types of data ‘sensitive information’:

  • Students’ academic, personal, and financial information.
  • Personally identifiable information pertaining to an individual’s physical or mental health.
  • An individual’s name in combination with a Social Security Number, driver’s license number, state identification card number, financial account number, or credit/debit card number.

Departments can also dispose of media that contain information not strictly defined as ‘sensitive information.’ This includes information of confidential nature (e.g., research data) or data that must be destroyed under the terms of a grant.

What types of storage media will the Office of Waste Management destroy?

The Office of Waste Management will destroy and dispose of computers, hard disk drives, backup tapes, floppy disks, zip drives, streaming tapes, and other types of electronic media. Note: The Office of Waste Management will not remove hard disk drives from computers. Please remove hard disks if you wish to keep the computer before scheduling pick of equipment.

How do I get started?

If you have electronic media or computers that you would like destroyed, please fill out the Surplus Equipment Disposal form on the Office of Waste Management's website.

If you have further questions, concerns, or comments, please contact the Office of Waste Management at 413/545-9615.