16/07/2009 - 00:00

Business opportunity too good to waste

16/07/2009 - 00:00


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WITNESSING the plethora of electronic products being sent to his local tip inspired the founder of a Western Australian IT recycling firm to try and make a difference.

Business opportunity too good to waste

WITNESSING the plethora of electronic products being sent to his local tip inspired the founder of a Western Australian IT recycling firm to try and make a difference.

During his career as an IT consultant, Secure Computer Recycling and Disposal managing director Davide Defendi saw significant quantities of computer equipment thrown into landfill, rather than being recycled.

Recognising a business opportunity, Mr Defendi established SCRD, a company that provides a full scope of electronic recycling facilities, including equipment collection, data deletion, asset recovery, equipment buyouts and full reporting on each stage of the recycling process.

"The idea of the business was purely and simply an observation that things were not being recycled and these old computers were just being dumped," Mr Defendi told WA Business News.

"The initial thought was these machines are being thrown away, they're not the latest and greatest, but there's still got to be some value in them because a lot of them are working.

"But we also thought about the ones that aren't working, why don't we do something about those instead of just throwing them into landfill?"

The Kardinya-based firm is now aiming to expand its services, with the advent of a national e-waste recycling framework expected to be released by the federal government in November this year.

"The idea will be to keep growing it within WA, with WA work and keep doing as much of the recycling in WA as possible," Mr Defendi said.

"The ideal goal would be to have the full e-waste processing facilities in WA, although of course there are economic factors to consider."

SCRD account manager Vince Holt said the company's fee structure would ensure it was well positioned for future growth and expansion.

"We've come up with a charging structure which is extremely competitive with the big players, but is sustainable given that we can achieve a certain volume per month," Mr Holt said.

"So as long as we're charging the right fee and accounting for everything, there's very little risk here because we don't rely on commodity prices to pay our overheads.

"If commodities fluctuate and we get high value machines through here then obviously that's better for us and that's where you get your growth capacity."

The next challenge for SCRD is to overcome the resistance of firms that may not be fully aware of the potential economic and environmental benefits of electronic recycling, Mr Defendi said.

"At times when you've got e-waste fees, it really depends on who you talk to," he said.

"There are some companies that appreciate the services, but there are some companies that say 'oh, we've got to pay ... I think I'd rather just throw it away then'.

"Since there is no legislation in place at the moment that forbids companies from throwing these things in landfill, some companies do. Some companies just don't care; they call a skip bin, fill the skip bin and get it carted off.

"We always cringe when we hear that, but at the end of the day unfortunately it is still a business; we have to make sure that we're collecting revenue."


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