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Moving and Expiring Your Stuff

Created: 17 Aug 2010 • Updated: 22 Jan 2013
Peter_E's picture
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I’ve never meant anybody who likes to move.  I just did it and I’m in the club.  Moving = Not Fun.  It’s not just packing.  It’s the rebound. The unpacking at your destination really kills you.  To avoid early death by moving, I’ve simply left much of it in boxes, in the garage.  I don’t need a lot of my stuff on a daily basis, much less monthly basis.  Now I’m ready to throw it out, but what about recycling? 

To my surprise recycling some things in the bay area, epicenter for many green initiatives, is not easy as you might think. I’m not talking about your 27” TV from 1990.  I’m talking about basic stuff - packing material – the stuff they use to protect precious electronics or new furniture. Turns out those large pieces of foam (aka Styrofoam or technically called expanded polystyrene foam (EPS) are not so easy to recycle.  And it’s not good for the environment. Traditional curbside recycling can’t do anything with it. You may stuff it in your trash or recycle bin, but it doesn’t get recycled. 

“Yet EPS packaging, just like any disposable packaging, will eventually become a solid waste and have to be managed. But here’s the good news: EPS is recyclable. Although the availability of polystyrene recycling programs varies by community and can be limited” from the industry trade site www.epspacking.org

“You can recycle your EPS packaging by taking it to a specified drop-off location (a program may NOT exist in your area) or by using the AFPR mail-back program.”

Limited is putting it mildly.  I live in the Bay Area, one of the epicenters of green movements, recycling, and all things organic.  None of the curbside recycling pickup groups handle it.  Next step? Send it by mail or drive it to a location like Green Citizen (where you pay to leave it) or an actual industrial site (see drop-off location link) that accepts it for free. Next time you get a big piece of foam packing material (or even the peanuts), consider recycling the right way, rather than just dropping it in your blue recycle bin. I horded the peanuts in bags, but the big massive blocks, that's another story.

So how does this relate to NetBackup and information management?  Turns out that getting rid of old information is not always easy.  We did a survey on information retention (read more here).  In short, customers are using their backup systems for long term storage of data rather than archiving and then deleting it.  Instead, it just sits on tapes in warehouses. A few highlights below:


  • Seventy percent of enterprises use their backup software to implement legal holds and 25 percent preserve the entire backup set indefinitely.
  • Seventy-five percent of backup storage consists of infinite retention or legal hold backup sets.
  • Respondents also stated that 25 percent of the data they back up is not needed for business or should not be kept in a backup.

And how does this relate to recycling? If you have a good story on how you’ve expired old data using one of our products (NetBackup, Backup Exec, or Enterprise Vault), then you could be equipped to make a $30,000 donation to a non-profit organization of your choice. That gives you an awesome chance to give back.  It only requires you to submit a video by September 17th. Learn more at http://go.symantec.com/inspire/.  You’ve got 10 days left.