Hardware and Electronic Media Disposal Policy


Technology equipment often contains parts that cannot simply be thrown away. Proper disposal of equipment is both environmentally responsible and often required by law. In addition, hard drives, USB drives, CD-ROMs, and other storage media contain various kinds of Pitt Community College data, some of which are considered sensitive. In order to protect our citizen’s data, all storage mediums must be properly erased before being disposed of. However, simply deleting or even formatting data is not considered sufficient. When deleting files or formatting a device, data is marked for deletion but is still accessible until being overwritten by a new file. Therefore, special tools must be used to securely erase data prior to equipment disposal.


The purpose of this policy it to define the guidelines for the disposal of technology equipment and components owned by Pitt Community College.


This policy applies to any computer/technology equipment or peripheral devices that are no longer needed within Pitt Community College, including, but not limited to the following: personal computers, servers, hard drives, laptops, smartphones, or handheld computers (i.e., iOS or Android-based devices), peripherals (i.e., keyboards, mice, speakers), printers, scanners, compact and floppy discs, portable storage devices (i.e., USB drives), backup tapes.

All Pitt Community College employees and affiliates must comply with this policy.


  1. When Technology assets have reached the end of their useful life, they should be sent to the Pitt Community College OITS Department for proper disposal.
  2. The Pitt Community College IT Department will securely erase all storage mediums in accordance with current industry best practices.
  3. All data, including all files and licensed software, shall be removed from equipment using disk sanitizing software that cleans the media, overwriting each and every disk sector of the machine with zero-filled blocks; the objective is to meet the Department of Defense or Nation Security Agency standards.
  4. All electronic drives must be degaussed or overwritten with commercially available disk cleaning hardware. Hard drives will also be removed and rendered unreadable (drilling, crushing, or other demolition methods).
  5. Computer Equipment refers to desktop, laptop, tablet, or netbook computers, printers, copiers, monitors, servers, handheld devices, telephones, cell phones, disc drives or any storage device, network switches, routers, wireless access points, batteries, backup tapes, etc. Technology equipment with non-functioning memory or storage technology will have the memory or storage device removed, and it will be physically destroyed.
  6. IT will adhere to the proper disposal of equipment set forth by the State. See North Carolina General Statutes 130A-309.130 through 130A-309.142