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California disk drive firm reports recycling metrics


Seagate reused 1.19 million disk drives in 2023 and is starting to examine how much recycled material it uses. | Sundry Photography/Shutterstock

Disk drive manufacturer Seagate extended the life of 1.19 million drives in 2023 and is working to increase its use of recycled materials, the company recently reported. 

In its 2023 Environmental, Social and Governance report, Seagate noted that it “recognizes that we must responsibly address the environmental impacts created by our operations.” 

“Our values of integrity and innovation drive our environmental priorities of lowering greenhouse gas emissions in our operations, designing our products to use less of the earth’s finite resources and expanding product take-back programs for drive reuse and materials recycling,” the report added. 

The California-based company reported $7.4 billion in revenue and shipped 441 exabytes of HDD storage capacity in 2023. Seagate aims to recycle scrap materials whenever possible, the report stated, “but if that is not an option, we look at chemical treatment, followed by physical treatment and finally incineration.” 

In 2023, 80% of its hazardous waste was diverted from disposal and 14% was incinerated without energy recovery, the report stated. 

Seagate did not have adequate data to calculate the total percentage of its products recycled in 2023, the report added, but its take-back program produced about 800 metric tons of end-of-life products, 56% of which was recycled. 

That included about 43.2 metric tons of aluminum and 1.31 metric tons of magnets. 

“Seagate acknowledges that post-consumer material is inherent in today’s raw material supply, but does not stipulate post-consumer content when procuring components or parts,” the report stated, noting that in 2023 it did start a pilot project to verify the recycled content of the aluminum in its motor base assembly. 

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