OC Register – How do you get rid of an old computer?
How do you get rid of an old computer?
By JAN NORMAN / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Published: Jan. 27, 2012 Updated: Aug. 21, 2013 1:17 p.m.
TEXT BY JAN NORMAN, PHOTO COURTESY GREEN BOX ELECTRONIC RECYCLERS
More than 80% of old computers, MP3 players, tablets and other electronic waste is tossed into landfills rather than recycled, reused or rendered harmless.
Would a convenient disposal method reduce that number? A couple of Orange County entrepreneurs are betting the answer is yes.
Matt Miller of Huntington Beach has created The Green Box, a 6-by-5-foot box that can be placed around a city, where businesses and residents can dump their old electronics any time, any day.
Miller and colleague Jaime Gonzalez of Seal Beach have launched Green Box Electronic Recyclers Inc. in Santa Ana to collect and properly dispose of old electronics.
“Nine out of 10 people surveyed said they would recycle if it were made easier,” Gonzalez said. “In past times, people would have to pay a company to recycle their old or nonworking electronics or would have to wait for time-consuming electronic collection events in their area.”
The pair have started other ventures together, including an online game and a gold and silver buying service.
Green Box launched three months ago and has a 7,000-square-foot “de-manufacturing” plant at 2001 S. Grand Ave. in Santa Ana and five employees. Other Green Box locations where old electronics can be dropped off include:
• Electric Chair, 410 Main St. Huntington Beach
• 76 Gas Station, 1502 E. Edinger Ave. Santa Ana
• Shopping center, 19050 Brookhurst St. Huntington Beach
“Green Boxes are well maintained and emptied regularly at no expense to the city or property owners,” Gonzales said.
The company will also pick up e-waste free from companies that have at least eight computers or monitors. More people will be hiring in the coming months as they place more boxes around Orange County and bring in more e-waste, Gonzalez said.
Green Box Electronic Recyclers has a arrangement with the Salvation Army to drop electronics donations it can’t sell, Gonzalez said.
Green Box Electronic Recyclers makes its money by removing and reselling plastic, aluminum, steel and other commodities from the electronics. One of its buyers makes flower pots out of plastic scrap.
The company removed all data from cell phones and computers, but it doesn’t handle toxic waste, so it pays other companies to take the mercury, lead, nickel cadmium, lithium and other metals.
“Our data destruction process is in full compliance with …various laws and regulations,” he added.
If the concept proves successful in Orange County, Green Box Electronic Recyclers will expand to other states, Gonzalez said. The company is already working on selling franchises nationwide.
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