Recycling corporate e waste shouldn’t be a hassle. By eliminating confusion and disorder, you score environmental, brand, and operational wins

Evaluating the performance of your electronics recycling partner — or partners — is one of those tasks that tends to get pushed back by day-to-day work demands. It may require a major hiccup for a company to take note that the electronic recycler is not meeting standards. Alternatively, you may be facing a scenario in which the issues keep mounting until the situation gradually deteriorates from “make-do” to unsustainable.

But, the fact is, your business has a lot to gain from doing it right. Recycling corporate e waste should not be a time-consuming hassle. For the past few weeks, we’ve chronicled our work with a leading OEM, which turned to us for help when it became clear it needed the expert eye of our team to reign in and organize its global network of electronics recyclers. 

Based on the results, it’s clear just how much organizational details matter to a smooth operation. Pickup day alone can easily become a big source of frustration without a process that leaves no room for confusion and missteps. 

For the OEM, the multi-pronged solution had a transformative impact. Translated into more general terms, you can see the gains your organization could potentially reap by taking a renewed look at how you recycle corporate e waste. 

To highlight a few key examples:

Improved operational efficiencies 

Many companies rely on more than one electronic recycler. If you have a scope that spans states and countries, it’s practically an inevitable reality. When your network grows, you add an e recycler. And another. And another. The OEM, in question, eventually worked with not only one per site, but several. Multiplied by hundreds of sites, all of various sizes and serving various purposes, it’s hardly surprising recycling corporate e waste became a nightmare to manage. 

If you also struggle with electronics recycling management or suspect your process leaves room for improvement, reducing the number of recyclers can make a significant difference. When we first evaluated the OEM’s network, we built the solution around solving this challenge. A range of issues turned out to be rooted in the sheer number of recycling companies involved. 

What you gain

By reducing the number of electronics recyclers from one or more per site to a single recycler and its trusted partners, we helped the OEM eliminate confusion, improve reporting, secure brand protection, and gain a range of operational efficiencies. For other companies facing similar issues, those are important lessons to consider. 

The use of a single recycler and its trusted partners creates an environment in which there is no longer any question of who’s doing what. Dedicated site representatives with direct insight into processes and procedures stand ready to answer questions, allowing the OEM management to steer clear of granular issues and time-consuming back and forths.

Reduced waste, enhanced compliance

You hardly need a reminder that reporting can be aggravating even in the best of times. If each e-recycler also submits reports which force your Environmental Health & Safety department to go on a digging expedition to find the right metrics, reporting goes from bad to worse. In other words, you need to address the problem. 

What you gain

What can you gain by establishing clear reporting procedures? To turn to the OEM again, we counted the benefits across several areas. For example:

  • Consolidations and site closures: Improved reporting has helped the OEM quickly determine remaining asset value. We then used the information to either re-deploy the assets to other sites or to allow us to enter them into our remarketing and profit-sharing program. Increased refunds mean the OEM can offset some of the costs associated with site closures.
  • Environmental impact: The OEM has gained a better understanding of its environmental impact and uses the metrics to communicate its social and environmental compliance to the public and shareholders. 
  • Waste: With the right metrics easily accessible, the OEM can now identify areas of the manufacturing process that can be used to reduce waste. 
  • Legal compliance: Every department — finance, sustainability, security, etc. — has access to the exact data required. The result? The solution eliminated the risk of lawsuits and fines from inadequate reporting. 

Better brand protection

When a business grows quickly, evaluating electronics recyclers may not top the priority list. Short on time and with e-waste accumulating, urgency may guide the selection more than anything else. However, working with recyclers without the appropriate industry credentials can come at a high price. The lack of asset tracking, security controls, and essential certifications, such as R2, can subject your brand to risk. For the OEM, the alarm sounded when documented off-market/recycled items reappeared in its warranty program. 

What you gain

But there’s, of course, a way out. By consolidating corporate electronic waste recycling into a single source, you can significantly reduce the risk of security breaches and black-and-grey market sales. With streamlined documentation across all sites, you create an easily audited process that can answer any questions and limit the scope of any investigations. 

Customized solutions

Missed pickups. The wrong equipment to get the job done. Misinformed drivers. Redundant or complex pickup forms. Lack of packaging materials. The list of pickup day issues can be long and likely rings familiar to many companies. Often, the problem can be traced back to a one-size-fits-all approach that does not take the unique requirements of individual sites into consideration. The solution is, consequently, customization. 

What you gain

It may seem inconsequential but the right kind of pickup request form can make the difference between success and failure. The revisions transformed the day-to-day operations of the OEM with the establishment of customized pickup forms and forms for next-day supplies. Smaller sites with little storage room are now able to quickly prepare and ship retired assets, removing backups and disorder. 

So, to conclude…

Taking a renewed look at recycling corporate e waste — and what areas can be optimized — is a worthwhile undertaking. As our case study on the OEM shows, the gains can be counted in more ways than one. Ask us about our corporate electronic recycling services today.

Read the Case Study

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