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The Recycling Story Behind the Store

Perhaps you’ve discovered the Revive IT retail store through a friend’s referral, or an online search. The rows of like-new products that adorn the shelves catch your eye first. The prices — which is what your friend couldn’t stop talking about — are then the second thing you notice. You may not care how or where we got the product, but we thought it’s a pretty important part of our business and we’d like to let you know.

Revive IT refurbished desktop computers

Without realizing it, you didn’t just step into a store, you stepped into a lifecycle, with the inventory on the shelves often accompanied by inventory on a cart headed for our processing facility. It’s the result of when people have just pushed aside that box of old remotes, landline phones, mp3 players and other assorted and dusty electronics for the last time.

They begin by getting frustrated with places that won’t accept them. The next step, we hope, is that they find us next, because even when they can take their used equipment to any electronics recycler, they really don’t know what’s being done with all of that assorted e-waste.

We want to explain that there is a difference, and it’s an important one.

Anyone can claim to recycle electronics and other e-waste, but that isn’t an assurance that it won’t be done to the detriment of the environment. Revive IT is a Responsible Recycler (R2). It isn’t just a description, it’s a designation, backed by certifications that ensure any data contained on electronic devices will be securely destroyed or wiped. It also specifically defines “responsible” as an industry standard that means no part of that old Sony Walkman will ever end up in a landfill, either here in the U.S. or worse, dumped in developing countries.

The EPA also has cited a report that the average household uses 28 electronic products, and with our need to update more frequently with more gadgets it’s no surprise that Americans generated 3.36 million tons of obsolete electronic products in 2014. So, your decision to recycle responsibly becomes even more impactful.

Responsible recycling keeps electronics out of landfills, but what does that mean exactly?

  • Recycling 1 million laptops = electricity used by 3,657 homes in one year

  • One metric ton of circuit boards can contain 40-800 times the amount of gold, and 30-40 times the amount of copper mined from one metric of ore in the U.S.

  • On a more localized scale, we know that 1,000 laptops that are reused or recycled

  • Keeps 4,139 lbs of greenhouse gas emissions out of the atmosphere, and

  • Yields 71 lbs. of copper, 135 lbs. of aluminum and 230 lbs of steel

  • This means we’re also adding these commodities back into the market, saving additional mining.

So, while you’re thinking that dropping off discarded electronics is a load off your mind, it’s also a load off the planet.

The rest of the story…What happens to your electronics when you leave them behind?

All electronics make their way through an initial processing phase. Items are sorted by their function and condition, then will either be forwarded on to a refurbisher, or kept for their commodities value. Refurbishers will further grade each component, and even separate parts from it to resell. Items deemed of poor quality as a whole will then be parted out to separate metals, glass, plastics and other materials to sell to buyers that will recycle them for similar use.

For example, plastics used in computers are broken down to create new computer parts. There can be as many as 20 different types of plastics used in computer equipment, and downstream vendors separate those plastics to identify those with flame retardants to be reused in computer components requiring such fire safety standards.

Other items will be cleaned and inspected, with the data removed from the hard drives by wiping them with software, or in some cases physical destruction of the hard drive or other data-containing device. There is a robust market for refurbished computer equipment, and for families looking to add more tech to their home, the cost savings on refurbished is often 50 percent or more. Revive IT also works with dozens of schools to provide such equipment to students who might otherwise be left behind in technology education.

And, this is where you (literally) came in...looking over the options of computers, laptops and other electronics that at one point were items someone no longer wanted. The meticulous process that brought these enterprise-quality electronics to our showroom floor ensure quality that could even exceed what you might have been eyeing at a big box store. The bonus is the good feeling you get by supporting a business that in turn supports the environment and communities like yours that live in it.

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