Offering an e-recycling facility is a great way for a self storage facility to join the green movement. It not only is one step in the right direction for the environment but it is an easy way to generate publicity for your business. Properly disposing of e-waste – computers, TVs, keyboards, cellphones, and more – is a daunting task for many people. But self storage facilities are natural receptacles for such items and many have stepped up to offer assistance.
The latest to do so is Access Self Storage of Franklin Lakes, NJ, who began partnering with AERC, a private Pennsylvania –based recycling company, to make it easier for consumers to dispose of old electronics in a secure and environmentally-friendly manner.
“AERC appealed to us simply because Access was looking for ways to strengthen our own ‘green initiative. We are especially impressed with their ‘zero-landfill’ policy and their attention to protecting personally identifiable data,” said Tony Apgar, senior manager, Access Storage.
The average American household owns at least 24 pieces of electronic equipment, according to the Consumer Electronic Association. When old laptops, speakers and DVD players get tossed in the trash, they end up in landfills where the toxins and carcinogens built into the equipment — namely mercury and lead — leech into the soil and threaten to contaminate the environment. The potential health hazard of dumping this e-waste – desktop computers, TV sets, printers, toasters and more – is critical and it is also illegal. The Electronic Waste Recycling Act, which took effect January 1, 2009, banned the disposal of certain electronic devices and component parts as solid waste.
Since Access Storage began collecting on April 9, AERC has picked up about 15 pallets worth of recyclable electronics. The storage facility accepts items daily and occasionally has an event to promote awareness of the program. The program is open to everyone, not just Franklin Lakes residents. There is no fee to drop off recyclables.
Not only does AERC, one of 43 companies with e-recycling locations in New Jersey, recycle electronics without dumping any potentially chemically dangerous parts of it in landfills, it destroys all hard drive data per Department of Defense procedures. This means there’s little concern a person’s personal data will be compromised. Still, Apgar recommends that anyone who plans to drop off a computer at the site remove the hard drive first, just as a precaution.
“eRecycling makes sense to us and AERC makes it very easy to do. I have almost 30 years of experience with computers and technology so seeing all of these items being properly reused, repurposed or recycled is personally uplifting,” Apgar said.
Setting up a recycling center at your self storage facility gives people a reason to visit your facility, and getting them in the door and interested in your services is a big step in the right direction. Residents who live in condominiums and apartments seldom have access to recycling systems. Setting up a recycling center is of little financial impact to your business and aside from helping the environment it is a great marketing campaign.
“Greener Pastures: Considering Environmental Self-Storage.” Inside Self-Storage. June 17, 2011.
Broverman, Jennifer. “E-Recycling: What You Need to Know: Local Business Makes It Easy to Safely Discard Your Electronic Waste.” GreenPatch.com. June 21, 2011.