Client Spotlight: Goodwill Industries of SE Wisconsin & Metro Chicago’s E-Cycle Operation

FRPhoto_170413N_C1_47As the pace of technology continues to increase, so does the volume of items like computers, tablets and phones that need to be recycled or refurbished. Goodwill E-Cycle is an electronics recycling and refurbishment operation that recovers valuable materials and reuses resources instead of putting them in a landfill.

Through the donation of electronic waste, Goodwill E-cycle is able to employ and train people with disabilities and disadvantages in the refurbishment and resale of computers and other electronics. The mission impact of the work that is done in Goodwill E-cycle is an added benefit to recycling materials with Goodwill.

Goodwill has been recycling and repurposing since its beginnings over 100 years ago. Goodwill was green long before it was popular, and sustainability is an important part of all Goodwill operations. This initiative aligns with Goodwill’s commitment to be green by keeping millions of pounds of electronic waste out of landfills. Bringing the electronics processing in-house is a natural fit for our organization and our mission of being socially and environmentally responsible.

“Goodwill has experience with the destruction and recycling of secure documents through Goodwill DataShield, so working with electronic waste a natural fit,” says Mike Matus, Vice President of Sales and Strategic Solutions. “Because e-waste is such a new concept, most companies don’t have disposal plans in place or are paying excessive fees to private sector providers. Our business partners can rely on us as a secure resource for their electronic waste, and our R2 Certification gives them piece of mind that our upstream and downstream vendors are as careful as we are with their materials,” says Matus.

Goodwill E-cycle is keeping millions of pounds of electronic waste out of landfills each year. These materials contain many valuable, recoverable materials such as aluminum, copper, gold, silver, plastics, and ferrous metals. E-waste also contains toxic and hazardous materials including mercury, lead, cadmium, beryllium, chromium, and chemical flame retardants, which have the potential to leach into our soil and water. In order to conserve natural resources and the energy needed to produce new electronic equipment from virgin resources, electronic equipment can be refurbished, reused, and recycled instead of being landfilled. The United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates that:
• Recycling one million laptops saves the energy equivalent to the electricity used by more than 3,500 US homes in a year.
• For every million cell phones we recycle, 35 thousand pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold and 33 pounds of palladium can be recovered.
Click here for a list of common items E-Cycle accepts for recycling and refurbishment.

If you would like to learn more about how Goodwill E-cycle can help your business, please contact Chris Pier, Director or E-cycle Operations at (414) 847-4196, or