Asset Recovery and Its Impact on Carbon Footprint

Environmentally, manufacturers, retailers and service providers who turn to return recovery programs and aftermarket services relieve the demand on our landfill space as well as cut down on toxic emissions. These programs also make a significant reduction in the need to mine our almost depleted mineral supplies.

We must become waste conscious by reducing our disposables through repairing, reusing and recycling materials. The biggest way businesses can help to reduce their carbon footprint on the environment by protecting is to consider an alternative to dumping items that are perceived to have outlived their usefulness.

Over the course of a decade, in the U.S. alone, 500 trillion pounds of resources will have been transformed into nonproductive waste, which leads to the emissions of methane and carbon dioxide into the air, and the leaching of hazardous materials into the soil and waterways. The most effective way to reduce waste is to not create it in the first place. Recycling is the answer.

According to the National Safety Council, “over 500 million PC’s have been relegated to scrap in the United States as of 2007. These old PC’s contain hazardous amounts of toxic heavy metals including lead, cadmium and mercury, and it is critical to the environment to keep these materials from landfills and incinerators.” The volume of old and obsolete electronics and computers will continue to increase each year, unless there is a conscientious program for sustainable resources established.

In order to address this issue there are areas that should be looked at, and programs set into place, that will significantly result in environmental improvements:

  1. To repair, refurbish and recycle products into resalable goods
  2. To conserve fossil fuel consumption through an organized transportation system
  3. To ensure compliance with the proper disposal of hazardous materials and non-salable products

Liabilities can be turned into assets through environmentally responsible disposal.

Broken items can be repaired and resold.

Components of value can be reallocated for reuse or recovery of their raw materials.

Remaining scrap that cannot be reused can then be disposed of appropriately, but only after all its resources have been harvested. Of particular concern are electronic items like computers, cell phones, batteries, circuit boards, cathode ray tubes and mercury wetted switches.

The entire reverse logistics process is designed to be economically expedient and environmentally friendly. Customers are able to recoup lost returns, jobs are created, and the carbon footprint on the planet is minimal.

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