My name is Timothy Straten. I began my career in the world of electronics recycling as a technician on the floor testing assets. This is where my introduction to electronic recycling and the world of IT asset disposition (ITAD) began. I am now the Assistant Manager at United Electronic Recycling (UER) with 7 years experience working in electronic recycling from those humble beginnings.
As with the entire country, our business has been impacted by COVID-19. However, it’s not all bad. UER’s ITAD has been helping to serve our community, reduce the environmental impact of electronics, and get through COVID-19. The ways this helps us to serve come in multiple forms, such as benefitting our communities, the environment, and to the businesses we serve.
As an electronic recycling company, our extended goal with ITAD is to fulfill all of these goals while also achieving the highest form of recycling, the reuse of asset we pickup. The environment of COVID-19 has created a unique opportunity to achieve these goals. Businesses have moved to a more remote workforce, kids are schooling from home, and communication through Zoom and other conferencing platforms has exploded to meet these demands. This has created an increased demand for all of the assets that can help business, families, and employees work around this rapidly changing environment.
UER runs regular recycle events to pickup unwanted, old, obsolete, and broken electronics from the surrounding communities. This includes a partnership with the City of Plano to run recycle events in the community 3 times a month. We also serve businesses in the DFW area and Oklahoma. These collections and pickups are securely shipped to our warehouse to be processed and have the IT Assets Dispositioned. ITAD is the goal of dispositioning IT Assets while minimizing the costs associated with that process and maximizing the gains. Desktops, laptops, webcams, monitors, TVs, and all other kinds of electronics come in for processing. This processing involves identifying what we have accumulated, what kind of condition it is in, and making sure we destroy all data to protect our customers and the community that entrusts us with their old, used, and broken electronics.
With the highest form of recycling being reuse, we are helping to achieve this during COVID-19 with our E-Commerce department and their retail area. IT assets we receive from events and business that have been tested working go to our E-Commerce department, where they make these items available on multiple E-Commerce platforms, as well as in our retail area. This has seen a major uptick in activity and business during COVID-19. Many parents, small business owners, and individuals have been coming in and buying online the assets detailed before coming from the community and businesses. This is seen in business employees coming in to purchase monitors for their setup at home, or their kids to have zoom calls on. A refurbished laptop for the parent of a kid meeting the challenges of online schooling in the time of COVID-19 or a small business owner purchasing a lot of refurbished Desktops or laptops.
I find it inspiring to see how this cycle of pickup, dispositioning, and reuse is helping meet the challenges of the world we find ourselves in for everyone.