Recycling old electronic equipment can be a hassle. And the toxic materials in those devices can be incredibly harmful to the environment.
That’s why mother-daughter team Rachel Treasure and Eva Metcalfe started their business, E-CycleWise. The business takes people’s unwanted or damaged electronic devices and disposes of them in a way that won’t harm the environment. Metcalfe told The Reflector:
“It’s incredible how many people just throw these things away. Electronic devices are filled with toxic materials. When you throw them away, the mercury and the lead … it leaches into the groundwater. And these things take up a lot of space at the landfill.”
When an individual or company has electronics to dispose of, they can call E-CycleWise and have the devices conveniently picked up. The company takes almost anything that runs on electricity. Then the items are brought back to a large workshop in La Center, Washington, where they are demolished as much as possible.
The company then takes the rest of the electronic components to an end-of-life, R2-certified recycler, which safely breaks the components into reusable bits of metal and plastic. E-CycleWise even offers on-site destruction of hard-drives and other components that might hold sensitive data.
For people and companies that don’t want to pay to recycle their old computers, cell phones and VCRs, this could certainly be an attractive option. E-CycleWise doesn’t charge people for its services. Instead, the company makes money from the end-of-life recycling companies which can sell the recycled materials.
So E-CycleWise basically provides a pick-up service that makes it easier for people to recycle their electronics. Though it might not have the highest profit margins, it allows the mother-daughter team to help the environment, an issue they’re very passionate about. Treasure said:
“We’ve been able to turn this into a full-time business for both of us. It’s not going to make us rich, but we love it.”