About Back Thru The Future



Back Thru The Future Computer Recycling, Inc. (BTTF), located in Northern NJ, was founded by Melanie J. Haga in 1990 in Morristown, NJ as an environmentally oriented computer recycling business.  

In 2002

The State of NJ classified the disposal of electronics as a form of hazardous waste under the Federal EPA’s Universal Waste Rule. The Federal EPA Universal Waste regulations require that anyone processing, recycling or disposing of Universal Waste be a registered Universal Waste “destination” facility.  We were one of the first computer recycling companies in the US to become a Federal EPA registered and NJ State DEP licensed Universal Waste consumer electronics destination facility.  In NJ this license is called a Class D Universal Waste Consumer Electronics processing permit. All 50 States have now adopted the Federal EPA Universal Waste handling regulations and as such Back Thru The Future® has the authority to issue legally valid environmental compliance certificates in all 50 states. 


In 2011

The State of NJ passed an E-Waste law banning the disposal of electronics from landfills and requiring that they be recycled by an authorized electronic recycling company.  Currently 24 other states have passed similar bills requiring the recycling of electronics and that the recycling be done by qualified responsible recyclers.  We are 1 of 12 currently authorized electronically recycling facilities in NJ and our status as a Federal EPA registered Universal Waste destination facility qualifies us as a recognized responsible recycler in 24 other states.   


In late 2017

Back Thru The Future became certified for the ISO 14001:2015 environmental standard. Qualification is an intense management and administrative effort that requires a significant organizational commitment to a rigorous process and the auditable maintenance of that process.  Our ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 9001:2015 certifications provide Back Thru The Future with the professional management framework that allows us to stay current with environmental regulations and industry standards. 


Because Back Thru The Future ® provides environmentally compliant computer recycling services we do not resell used computer equipment believing that the resale of a client’s computer equipment represents a potential ongoing environmental liability for the client. 

Hard drive shredding history 

Prior to 2005, we used software overwrite tools to sanitize incoming hard drives prior to reselling them – like most computer recyclers. In 2005, however, the HIPAA data privacy provisions took effect in the health services industry. 

Several of our large hospital clients notified us that they would require indemnification from data breach risks associated with our sanitization of hard drives found in their old computers. We recognized that software overwrite tools were not 100% reliable and as hard drive capacities grow the process would take longer and longer to perform. Destroying the hard drive is the only 100% safe solution to the indemnification requirement. 


Back Thru The Future ® became the first company in the US to offer the shredding of hard drives as a stand-alone data security service.  

We also became the first electronic recycling company in the US to be certified as a NAID AAA secure hard drive shredding facility.  


The NJ DEP ruled that hard drives as electronic devices could only be shred by NJ DEP Class D permitted facility and that onsite shredding at a customer location was not permitted within the State of NJ. With this restriction in place, we invested in a fleet of vans and portable degaussers that allowed us to provide onsite hard drive sanitization and secure transport back to our plant based shredding operation. 


We championed the support of the NJ DEP to allow an amendment to the Class D permit that would allow onsite shredding of hard drives in NJ.  


The State of NJ passed a law allowing non NJ DEP licensed shredders to provide onsite hard drive shredding for “data security” purposes. These non-licensed shredders must be NAID AAA certified and must deliver the shredded hard drive material to a Class D licensed facility for recycling and disposal purposes.  

Because of our strong environmental regulatory status as a hard drive shredder Back Thru The Future established a dominant market position in NJ with over a 70% market share of banks and hospitals. The strict and highly prescriptive data privacy regulations in these two industries have allowed us to evolve a set of specific data asset handling practices that are extremely well documented and meet and exceed the specific industry audit requirements for data destruction. 

Unique hard drive shredding capabilities

Our initial hard drive shredding equipment was a high capacity four shaft metal shredding machine with input and output conveyors. We recognized that as our volumes grew the shredded hard drive material would represented a potentially valuable source of recoverable value. As with all recyclable material, the purity of the recycled material adds substantial recovery value. Hard drives are made up of four different recyclable materials, aluminum, stainless steel, ferrous metal and circuit boards. The ability to separate these materials into streams of 95% purity would more than double the recoverable value of the shredded material. Over time we have developed a highly efficient and proprietary materials separation process that provides us with a significant additional source of revenue and a major pricing competitive advantage over shredders with no electronic recycling capabilities.

With this advantage we have been able to afford the large initial investment for three highly customized onsite hard drive shredding vehicles. These high capacity vehicles provide us with the ability to tackle the largest onsite shred projects in a very time efficient manner as well as provide flexibility for time sensitive projects. These high capacity trucks along with our in house shredding capabilities provide us with the highest hard drive shredding capacity in the industry.

Our experience in the legal industry with many large law firms and litigation services firms as clients provided us with the specialized insight to the importance of regularly scheduled data destruction events. Any type of data destruction, including hard drive shredding, can be impacted by litigation and electronic data discovery requirements. From a legal records management viewpoint accumulating business records that can legally be destroyed is a very bad and potentially very expensive practice. Obsolete hard drives represent copies of business records and from a legal records management stand point should be destroyed as soon as possible. In a litigation electronic data discovery scenario, courts require you to implement a “litigation hold” on all relevant data destruction activity. We have a number of large clients with thousands of hard drives in storage because of the litigation hold requirements. Failure to implement a litigation hold can result in court sanctions and even jail. However the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) governing electronic data discovery requirements specifically identify a “safe harbor” data destruction procedure that protects you from court sanctions. If your data destruction activity is part of an automated records retention system you are granted a “safe harbor” exemption. Annual prescheduled hard drive data destruction services qualify for this exemption. With this significant legal advantage of prescheduled destruction activity versus as needed activity, Back Thru The Future® introduced our annual Safe Harbor Express® (SHE) secure data destruction agreement. This is a unique turnkey service providing all regulatory required handling procedures and documentation as well as offering a discounted price for the annual agreement versus project based pricing. We currently have over 100 clients utilizing this service.

Back Thru The Future® provides a unique blend of electronic recycling credentials and hard drive shredding experience and capabilities unmatched by any other company in the secure data destruction industry. We believe that secure data destruction services represent an important business partnership and we are a partner that you can trust.


A partner you can trust 

We have invested in three highly customized onsite hard drive shredding vehicles that provide us with the ability to tackle the largest onsite shred projects in a very time efficient manner as well as provide flexibility for time sensitive projects. These high capacity trucks, along with our in house shredding capabilities, provide us with the highest hard drive shredding capacity in the industry. 

Back Thru The Future® provides a unique blend of electronic recycling credentials and hard drive shredding experience and capabilities unmatched by any other company in the secure data destruction industry. We believe that secure data destruction services represent an important business partnership and we are a partner that you can trust. 

We currently support over 1000 clients primarily located in the Northeast United States. 

Our diversity and inclusion mission 

We are committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace, seeking partners and vendors with like-minded values, and objectives.

Back Thru The Future is certified as both a “Woman Owned Business” and SBA qualified Small Business.  We are always striving to provide access and fair and equitable opportunity for minority-owned, woman-owned, LGBT owned, veteran or service-disabled veteran owned, disability-owned, and SBA-defined small and disadvantaged businesses, and to strengthen our relationship in our community to better develop, attract, support and champion diversity and inclusion. 

100% of our client quality control surveys rate both our pre-project and
post-project communications as “Excellent”

92% of our new client quality control surveys have been returned marked “exceeded expectations”.

Our Mission is Protecting our Clients from Environmental and Data Security Liabilities
with Secure, Auditable and Compliant Recycling and Data Destruction Services.