Every year, an estimated 400 million units of obsolete electronics are scrapped. By 2010, this figure will rise to three billion units. While advances in technology continue to improve and enrich our lives, product lifecycles are getting shorter and shorter. And that means an increasing stockpile of end-of-life equipment that needs to be managed. When discarded, much of this equipment ends up in landfills in the US, or is exported to third world countries.
Whether ignorant or just plain lazy, plenty of consumers and businesses don't make the effort to recycle electronics. Which is why Green Citizen's drop-off center and pick-up service are great concepts – they make it convenient for people to recycle unused electronic equipment. In their own words: "we want to make recycling electronics so easy that you’ll make it a part of your everyday routine." Which is very necessary, considering that a computer or tv monitor contains an average of 6 pounds of lead, which seeps into the ecosystem if the montior is dumped and crushed in a landfill.
The company's drop-off center is an attractive, well branded, retail-style store, usefully located behind Fry's Electronics in Palo Alto, California, and the pick-up service arranges for collection of items from business and homes around the city. Further sweetening the deal, residential customers' pick-up receipts feature discounts from environmentally committed businesses in the area. It only works with accountable demanufacturing and processing partners, to ensure that every piece of equipment is properly disposed of. Unfortunately, this isn't standard practice in the recycling business.
The company's appeal lies in making a green service available without sacrificing convenience, style or competitive prices. Repeat after us: make it easy and fun for your customers to be green!