Electronic Recyclers International's CEO, John Sherigan was kind enough to chat with me about his business as well as his website, 1-800-RECYCLING.COM.
Naturally Savvy Question (Andrea): What is Electronic Recyclers International? How does it work?
John Shegerian: Electronic waste (e-waste) is the fastest growing waste streamline in the world, due to the problem that has been born out of the technological revolution. 100 percent of materials including everything with a cord can be recycled. Electronic Recyclers International (ERI) is the one stop recycling solution. It is the largest electronic waste recycler in the United States. Over 170 million pounds are recycled annually. ERI has 7 U.S. locations currently and are expanding to 9 Locations by 2012. ERI has created the highest capacity and most technologically advanced e-waste shredding system in North America. ERI is the only e-Waste recycler to hire an Environmental Protection Agency official as Director of Environmental Affairs. Specializing in the environmentally safe and socially responsible dismantling of electronic waste.
Naturally Savvy Question (Andrea): How do you recycle the e-waste that is brought to your facilities?
John Shegerian: It is broken down into 3 main components: glass, metals, and plastics. All of these components go back for smelting around the world. ERI has built the largest e-waste shredder in America. 18 million pounds of e-waste alone were recycled last month. We are the new "Urban Miners" of the world.
Naturally Savvy Question (Andrea): How do you keep the facility safe for the employees?
John Shegerian: Our facility has the most air filtration systems in the world. Our mantra is continuous improvement. We hire the most knowledgeable "EHS" people (Environmental, Health and Safety) to keep our continuous improvement process always moving forward. We are not perfect, but we are focused on the process of improvement.
Naturally Savvy Question (Andrea): I heard you just launched a 'recycling app' for 1-800-recycling.com. Can you please tell me a little bit about it?
John Shegerian: Our lifeline in our home is now our cell phones. "My Recycle List" makes recycling easily accessible both informationally and geographically. You can punch in anything you want to recycle in America either via your phone or computer and find somewhere to recycle it – for instance tires, clothes, paint cans etc. It has become the number one recycling app in the Apple store and Android store. 1-800-recycling.com is the number one green app on Facebook. 1-800-recycling.com was launched 9 months ago.
Naturally Savvy Question (Andrea): When did you become so passionate about the environment and what made you decided to become an ecopreneur?
John Shegerian: It has always been in my DNA to make a difference and the environment is something that I have always been passionate about. It was about 5:30 in the morning and my wife said that I should democratize recycling like I did with the financial aid process. That is how 1-800-Recycling.com was born.
Naturally Savvy Question (Andrea): How do you maintain balance in your life?
John Shegerian: i am deeply passionate about what that I do and am blessed because so is my family. My children are involved in the business. My wife runs the business as our COO and makes sure the business is running successfully. It's a family affair and that's where we get our balance.
Naturally Savvy Question (Andrea): Do you have any brands of computer that are more green?
John Shegerian: All major computer companies concentrate on being green and they are all my clients. All the biggest brands are my clients including: Samsung, Panasonic, Toshiba etc. They are all focusing on making their products greener and out of more recycled materials.
Thanks for your time, John, and keep up the good work!