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Bill Roth headshot

Staples and HP Offer Free, Responsible E-Waste Recycling

Words by Bill Roth

Staples and HP are implementing a FREE e-waste recycling program. Their program is a great answer that local businesses and communities have been seeking to address the challenge where up to 80 percent of America's annual e-waste is not recycled representing approximately 300 million electric devices being dumped into landfills.

It's Easy And Free
This program is pretty easy to use. You can bring up to six devices per day into one of Staples' 1500 retail locations. It doesn't matter if you bought the digital devices from Staples or whether they were made by HP. You carry your devices into a Staples store and drop them off at the service desk location which from my experience is right inside the front door. The service desk associate will give you a receipt listing what you have recycled. It's that easy and it's free!

The digital items included in this program cover most office digital inventory including computers, mobile phones, monitors, shredders, keyboards and mp3 players. No refrigerators, stoves or similar appliances.

E-waste Recycling Process
The actual recycling is handled by Electronic Recyclers International, Inc. (ERI). They are certified e-Stewards and meet the EPA's R2 standards.

One benefit ERI brings to this process is their close proximity to Staples' four regional logistics centers where the e-waste is centralized for reprocessing. By choosing this "on shore" vendor, Staples and HP are creating U.S. jobs. This solution also reflects Staples' and HP's sustainability implementation leadership in designing a locally-focused process that reduces the environmental footprint of the logistics for annually moving millions of pounds of e-waste.

Data Security
Security of business and personal data is always a key issue in recycling computers and smart phones. Here, too, Staples and HP are trying to make this easy. The first recommendation is always wipe your data yourself. There are a number of free software solutions available to do so. To add further protection, ERI will responsibly handle computers and smart phones including the shredding of the storage components within these devices. And for those business owners who still are not sure Staples has in-store "Easy Tech" work associates who can answer questions.

How To Make Money Using Staples/HP E-waste Program
This program by Staples and HP is a huge step forward toward a more sustainable America that will create jobs and enhance American business competitiveness by reducing a business cost to free.

It is also an example of a best practice for winning new customers by going green. Recycling has emerged as the number one path customers use in determining in their minds if a company is green. Did you know that the recycling logo is one of the most recognized and remembered brands among consumers? A National Restaurant Association survey found that 3 out of 5 diners prefer to eat at a restaurant that has a recycling program. Those diners are your customers, too. One of the best practices I coach upon through the Green Builds Business program is the installation of recycling containers in all retail areas with the company's name on the container right below the recycling logo. It is one of the most effective, and cost-effective, branding strategies you can deploy.

This Staples/HP e-waste program also can help companies trying to win contracts with larger companies and government agencies. Larger companies and government agencies are increasingly inserting sustainability bid criteria into their requests for proposals (RFPs). My economic forecast is this procurement trend could grow into a $2 trillion B2B business opportunity as early as 2017. Business owners I have coached have won contracts with national firms and government agencies by adopting green business best practices. Every RFP I have seen asks for documentation of a company's sustainable business practices. The receipts you receive for e-waste recycling through this Staples/HP e-waste program are credible documentation that can be used within a bid response to an RFP from the large companies and governments greening their supply chain. So this Staples/HP e-waste program is not only easy and free, but it can also help you win a new customer!

Bill Roth is the founder of Earth 2017. His book, The Secret Green Sauce, profiles business case studies on best practices for making money going green.

Bill Roth headshotBill Roth

Bill Roth is a cleantech business pioneer having led teams that developed the first hydrogen fueled Prius and a utility scale, non-thermal solar power plant. Using his CEO and senior officer experiences, Roth has coached hundreds of CEOs and business owners on how to develop and implement projects that win customers and cut costs while reducing environmental impacts. As a professional economist, Roth has written numerous books including his best selling The Secret Green Sauce (available on Amazon) that profiles proven sustainable best practices in pricing, marketing and operations. His most recent book, The Boomer Generation Diet (available on Amazon) profiles his humorous personal story on how he used sustainable best practices to lose 40 pounds and still enjoy Happy Hour!

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