This is a question we hear from potential customers every single day. Most of the people we meet believe (at least at first) that we should pay them to recycle. They’re used to getting a little bit of money back when they turn in their soda cans for example, and assume that recycling companies all make their money by selling the raw materials that they are able to retrieve from their goods. Unfortunately, electronics are not soda cans; here are three reasons why it costs money to dispose of your electronics in a safe, responsible way.
There aren’t as many recoverable valuables in your electronics as you think.
There is just a very small, trace amount of truly valuable materials inside your average cell phone or keyboard. Further, manufacturers are starting to use even fewer valuables, a move which is actually making it harder for responsible recycling firms to keep costs down.
From US News & World Report:
“Electronics recycling is becoming less profitable as tech companies try to save costs by using fewer rare minerals like gold and copper in their devices, while the resale value of commodities extracted by recycling like steel and oil-based plastics has declined sharply in recent years. Hugo Neu Recycling CEO Robert Houghton says his firm faces increasing costs to dispose of old devices like phones and computers in an environmentally safe way, while other businesses that promise to do so cut costs by shipping them to nations like China.
“Responsible recyclers lose business every day to companies that ship electronic scrap overseas or simply dump it in warehouses instead of processing it,” says Houghton, who is also the CEO of Sage Sustainable Electronics, a tech services firm focused on extending the useful life of technology.”
So while we can and do recover some of the costs by selling recovered materials, the amount of money that we make will never pay for everything that we do. These days, those valuables are in fact bringing in less and less revenue. If we relied solely on reselling raw materials we’d be out of business, and there would be nobody to help you get rid of all of those unwanted electronics. This brings us to our next point.
Quite a bit has to happen before we can recycle even a single device.
Devices must be sorted and then broken down into their component parts. We have to reduce them down to the glass, plastic, precious metals and other parts that will then be re-converted into raw materials and used in component products. We will often need to clean up your electronics before we can do anything with them, and of course there’s the matter of separating out the toxic waste and disposing of it properly.
Machines help a little bit, but they need to be supervised as there is some major labor involved here. After all, if recycling were easy you’d probably just let your employees do it and open up a new revenue stream for yourself. The very fact that you cannot recycle your own waste tells you there’s more to it than most people realize.
We also provide an additional service: destroying the data that is located on many of your electronic devices. While you may be aware of the importance of hard drive destruction you may not know that many other electronic devices can contain sensitive data that you may wish to protect. There is an awful lot of data on copy machines, printers, fax machines and other less considered items that needs to be carefully and thoroughly removed.
Recycling could be free, or we might even pay you for it.
If you have a large volume of materials or they’re particularly high value, we may recycle your materials for free or even pay you for them. Especially if they have potential to be refurbished or resold, since there is always a market for refurbished electronics.
Recycling costs money, but we keep it reasonable.
We’re family owned and operated, so we know the value of a dollar. We keep service costs reasonable for clients throughout the United States, by maximizing the value of any “scrap” that we recycle. We also add value by handling every aspect of the pick-up for you, which means you don’t have to handle the logistics of packing and shipping your used electronics, which saves you gas, time, and manpower.
We actually think you’ll be very pleased by what we’ll have to share with you when we talk to you about our services and what they might cost. Just contact R.A.K.I. Computer to learn more about our recycling programs today. We’ll show you how recycling your electronics the smart way can be easy and affordable – even if we’re not going to give you a nickel for every piece you give to us!