As more electronics enter the waste stream each year, ERI plans to open three new ITAD and electronics recycling centers in 2024 as part of its plan to “recalibrate” its footprint in the Southwest and accommodate demand, the company announced last week.
ERI, which offers IT and electronics asset disposition, hardware destruction and recycling services, plans to announce the three locations later in the year and said they will be “strategically located” to fit ERI’s current logistics. The company says it serves all 50 states.
As part of the plan, it will close its facility in Aurora, Colorado, and move its operations into a new, larger recycling facility ERI built earlier this year just outside Phoenix, Arizona, according to a news release.
E-waste is one of the fastest growing waste streams in the country, according to the U.S. EPA, and electronics recyclers like ERI, along with some refurbishers, expect market opportunities will increase along with it. An ITAD business survey conducted by E-Scrap News in August showed numerous companies were optimistic about the ITAD market and planned to make notable infrastructure investments in coming months as service requests increased.
“We are actually seeing a steady increase in the need for ITAD and electronic waste recycling services all over the country. The Southwest is one of the regions that has demonstrated particularly strong and robust growth, and that’s why our new Arizona location is positioned well to help us accommodate that growth,” said John Shegerian, ERI’s CEO, chairman and co-founder, in an email.
Shegerian also pointed to increased demand for recycling services to handle batteries and solar panels, plus higher interest from businesses that want to achieve ESG and sustainability goals. Recent federal funding for battery recycling has also put electronics recycling efforts in the spotlight.
“With constant innovation of electronic devices, there will always be a need to responsibly recycle old and outdated electronics. That means there is still a rapidly growing opportunity for the ITAD and e-waste recycling services sectors’ growth,” he said.
Entities such as Closed Loop Partners are also making investment in the ITAD and electronics recycling space. In 2021, Closed Loop’s Leadership Fund, part of its private equity group, announced that it had entered into a strategic partnership with ERI and made “a significant strategic investment” in the company.
The leadership fund has also made investments in Apkudo, an electronics reverse logistics company, and in Sims Municipal Recycling. In 2019, Closed Loop also purchased a majority stake in Balcones Resources, a Texas-based recycler, through the leadership fund.
As more electronics enter the waste stream, “there is a critical need to advance solutions that keep electronics in circulation — and ITAD, together with solutions like circular design, collection, refurbishment, reuse and recycling, plays a key role in this work,” said Beatrice Miñana, a spokesperson for Closed Loop Partners, in an email.
Along with its current investments, Closed Loop “continues to find opportunities to support circular solutions and infrastructure across the electronics value chain” including manufacturing and recovery opportunities that “keep more of these valuable materials in circulation,” she said.
More states are also considering right-to-repair legislation, including California. Though Shegerian doesn’t think such legislation will have a major impact on the ITAD and e-scrap sectors, ERI is “certainly in support of the right-to-repair concept because it is the top of the pyramid for recycling. When items come through our doors, refurbishing is the first option to be explored,” he said in an email.