NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE, September 7, 2023 – Pyxera Global has launched a pilot program to test the viability of recovering used electronics (e-waste), then processing and redistributing them for commercial use at economies of scale. This pilot will focus on reclaiming critical components and materials from consumer laptops and tablets before they are discarded as waste.
TERRA’s Done with It mail-in recycling program has been selected to provide collection services for the pilot and will direct the donated devices to a secure FedEx facility located in Lebanon, TN. To protect donor privacy, every device will have its internal memory wiped and/or physically destroyed in accordance with the R2v3 certification standards.
“Only certified facilities comply with the rigorous standards that ensure electronics are refurbished and recycled in a sustainable manner,” said Steven Napoli, President & CEO of TERRA. “We are proud to be selected to participate in a program that will return used electronics back into the circular economy.”
If a donated device is repairable, it will be sent to Electronics Recycling Solutions (ERS), a Nashville-area social enterprise that is also R2v3-certified and dedicated to training adults with developmental disabilities in high-demand repair skills. If the device cannot be fixed, it will be broken down and its component parts harvested for recycling. In particular, the batteries will be sent to American Battery Technology Company based in Nevada, which will recover the materials necessary for a domestic battery metals supply chain, powering electric vehicles.
By diverting these materials into high-value end markets with societal value, the project is localizing critical supply chains, helping lower emissions from shipping and mining of metals, and decreasing landfill toxicity that would otherwise be caused by the dumping of these materials. To a lesser extent, it could also help reduce human rights infractions. While the project is still in its pilot phase, it has the potential to create opportunities for local entrepreneurship and community-owned businesses when scaled.
“High-value materials such as lithium and cobalt do not exist in large enough quantities in the natural environment to sustain global demand. Demand for these metals is projected to grow almost 600% by 2030 due to electrification of cars and energy storage. That’s why this program, which recovers the materials and components in laptops and tablets regardless of age, brand, or condition, is vitally important”, said Jennifer Carrigan, Associate Director at Pyxera Global.
With over 50 million metric tons of e-waste generated globally each year according to the UN’s Global E-waste Monitor 2020, the current limitations of reusing or repurposing those electronics are putting pressure on the planet like never before. According to the EPA, e-waste is the fastest growing solid waste stream and accounts for 70% of the toxins entering landfills and illegal dump sites. It is fast becoming an environmental epidemic. E-Waste contains lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, and other elements which can potentially leach toxic chemicals directly into the surrounding ground water. The negative effects of exposure to these toxins on humans include birth defects as well as damage to the coronary, respiratory, nervous, and skeletal system functions.
“As the e-circularity offensive continues to expand, we have partnered with TERRA to streamline device recovery initiatives that scale with repeatable workflows,” said Nate Poynter, CEO of Evercycle. “We believe the most intuitive user experience supported by a scalable platform is a key part of our mission to enable any organization with truly sustainable IT programs – whether it's an enterprise, school district, recycler, or their IT partners.”
Residents of the continental U.S. wishing to donate their laptops and tablets may request a FREE FedEx shipping label and donation instructions by visiting the Done with It (Powered by Evercycle) website.
The Done with It program is actively seeking device manufacturers, retailers, and other partners interested in providing a turnkey recycling program to their current and potential customers,” Napoli added.
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