method of handling
electronics is to
have the material
for raw material
The most secure
3. Storage. The now raw materials
garnered from the demanufacturing process are stored in an organized warehouse area for easy retrieval just as
though they were virgin raw materials.
Baling and consolidating materials in
lots according to the specifications low-ers the overall cost of doing business
and ensures that raw materials can re-enter the manufacturing process.
4. Delivery. The raw materials are
delivered to smelters and refiners and
then reused. For example, iron, which
accounts for about 60 percent of the
metal recovered from electronics, can
be made into rebar for building projects.
Aluminum recovered can be used to
make the aluminum lawn chairs found
at many a backyard barbecue. Recovered plastics might be used in parking
bumpers and plastic building materials.
Lead is used in the manufacture of new
printed circuit boards.
The most affordable and ecoconscious resolution is one that caters to your business model
and avoids double handling. The demanufacturing operation shown begins with a whole
product that has not required preliminary dismantling.
might even want to check out the recycler’s Better Business Bureau listing/
You may benefit from working with
a recycler that provides a turnkey recycling system for material collection.
Find a recycler that consolidates equipment on its end rather than on yours.
This makes recycling feasible for your
What does it cost to recycle electronic waste properly? In many cases,
the cost is comparable to dumping it
in a landfill. However, the value of data
security, control of environmental liabilities, and preservation of the environment is priceless.
How to Choose a Recycler
Manufacturers that want to be greener
and to discard their electronics properly should contact a legitimate recycler
that can provide consultation.
The first step in choosing a recycler
is to find one with processes and purposes that are in sync with your business’s goals. The most affordable and
ecoconscious resolution is one that
caters to your business model and
avoids double handling (see Figure 4).
This is imperative because, at its core,
recycling is about preservation of all
resources. Easier processes for your
company mean more recycling is actually done.
You should also make sure that the
recycler you choose employs approved
smelters and refiners.
Certifications to look for in a recycler
include R2/RIOS™, as recommended by
the EPA, and National Association for
Information Destruction AAA for data
security. It is also recommended that
you choose a recycler that operates on
a management system that complements your own, such as ISO 9001,
ISO 14001, and OHSAS 18001. You
Brian Brundage is CEO of Intercon Solutions,
1001 Washington Ave., Chicago Heights,
IL 60411, 888-502-3441, brian@intercon