E-waste and sustainability are two sides of the same consumer coin when it comes to green business practices. The latter is directly dependent on how we deal with the rising influx of the former. Across the globe, a staggering 50 million tons of e-waste is produced each year, with the United States leading the pack throwing away some 3 million tons. Discarded electronics comprise 70% of the heavy metals (lead, mercury, cadmium, beryllium, and lithium) found in our domestic landfills.
Poisoning the Future
Of what concern is this to the average person? These toxic materials are released upon disposal and pose a threat to human health and the environment. The Environmental Protection Agency readily admits these items must be handled with caution.
Even in developed countries where there are rules and regulations in place governing the handling of these dangerous substances, extreme caution is urged to those dealing with the disposal of these products. Unfortunately, the majority of this e-waste ends up in developing and third world nations where the level of awareness to the dangers of exposure are not as high.
Thankfully, a ready solution is available in the blossoming industry of recommerce, which is dedicated specifically to recapturing the latent value of used and obsolete consumer electronics. Opportunities abound for entrepreneurs to cash in on the acquisition, refurbishing, and resale of a variety of goods ranging from personal computers to mobile phones.
- Logistics of buyback: The first step in the process is reclaiming used items from the general public. Here we see an opportunity for an individual or organization to profit by accurately bidding on the value of an unwanted item and selling it to a facility that is able to process it.
- Refurbishing: Whether it be by the original manufacturer or a third party entity, a thorough assessment of the device must be conducted and then new upgrades to the software and hardware need to be performed to ready it for reintroduction to the marketplace.
- Resale: The last step of recommerce depends upon identifying and implementing new outlets with which to distribute these commodities for sale. Primarily, we are looking at most likely the same emerging economies where the e-waste was slated to end up originally.
It Only Makes Sense
Recommerce focuses efforts on regaining the latent value of something that would otherwise be discarded. Through it, more and more companies are doing their part to increase sustainability for mankind and nature. If you are interested in discovering what recommerce can do for you or your company, contact us for more ideas and information.