One of the best ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and toxic pollution is to recycle all the electronic waste we’d normally throw into landfills.
Electronics Recycling makes a huge impact.
- Recovers valuable metals like copper, gold, and aluminum
- Less mining of these materials from the earth’s soil
- Big reductions in energy necessary to create and transport these metals
- Huge cuts in greenhouse gas emissions
- Minimizes destruction of natural ecosystems near mining areas
- Lessens displacement of local communities near mining areas
- Safeguards our water supplies by preventing dangerous lead and arsenic from leaching out of landfills.
- Provides good jobs in L.A. to people who need a second chance
Your donation will help Homeboy Recycling expand their programs that provide job training and employment opportunities sorely needed for people exiting California’s broken correctional system. Your support will allow their computer de-manufacturing program to grow to full capacity once more. What Homeboy calls 'de-manufacturing' is manual disassembly of computers and it's the most efficient way to breakdown desktop computers for recycling. It's also the entry level job for their trainees. Depending on where the commodity market is, sometimes it makes financial sense to demanufacture computers into their component parts, and sometimes it doesn't. But since these are key entry level positions, Homeboy would love the support to be able to keep demanufacturing as a stable position for their workers, regardless of the market.
The science behind the climate-change fighting power of Homeboy's e-recycling program is simple.
Computers make our world go around. We rely on them for almost everything. But producing them requires truckloads of metals – copper, aluminum, steel – for basic parts and even precious metals like gold, palladium, and platinum for specialized components.
The mining usually required to collect and process these metals is incredibly destructive to the environment. Communities are often displaced from mining sites, through force or by the horrible physical effects. The amount of energy required for mining, processing, and transportation of metals is enormous.
It’s much less energy-intensive and much less socially and environmentally harmful to recycle the materials already in computers and other electronics.
Scientists have extensively documented how these process work through various scientific studies.
The field is advanced enough that an e-waste calculator has already been created in form that automates the e-recycling’s emission and pollution reduction calculations.
We used this calculator, available at http://e-stewards.org/e-stewards-global-impact-calculator/ for our partnership with Homeboy. There is an extensive documentation file to show the sources of various figures, equations and assumptions available publicly.
Here are the starting points for our situation:
Homeboy Recycling’s revenue from the sale of recovered metals has plummeted due to the weakening of commodities markets. Operating their computer de-manufacturing program would involve a financial loss for them of approximately $1 per computer. So we offered to cover the gap between the revenues they earn from commodity sales and the costs of continuing the program. Climate Cents will make the difference between the program existing and it disappearing. For that reason, we feel comfortable taking credit for the entire amount of carbon reduction achieved by recycling each month’s flow of computers.
If one employee is assigned to the program, Homeboy will process 1,250 desktop computers each month.
The following reductions result from recycling that amount of material:
GHG reduced: 45,000 lbs
Toxic metals diverted: 164 lbs Lead: 55 lbs Arsenic: 110 lbs
Metal recycled: 15,000 lbs Steel: 6,826 lbs Aluminum: 512 lbs Copper: 295 lbs Gold: 84 lbs Palladium: 0.38 lbs Platinum: 0.06 lbs
We determine your personal impact by figuring out the per dollar cost of reducing 1 lb of CO2 and then multiplying that number by the amount of money you contributed.
Homeboy’s monthly cost to Climate Cents is $1,500.
Homeboy’s expenses include salary for the front-line worker and a small amount of time for supervision/guidance, the minimal wear and tear on equipment which causes depreciation, and small overhead costs.
You reduce an additional 30 lbs of CO2(e) for every dollar you donate.
Homeboy Recycling is building a world in which our resources – both human and natural – are valued, not wasted.
Their mission is to make recycling electronics easy, secure and accessible, while creating employment opportunities for people who have successfully exited California’s correctional system. Founded by Kabira Stokes as Isidore Electronics Recycling, the enterprise is now part of the Homeboy Industries network.
The process begins by weighing and sorting all electronic devices received. All items with sensitive data are flagged for Secure Data Destruction. Working devices then go to the Reuse Department and non-working devices go to the Materials Recovery Department.
Homeboy believes that the highest form of recycling is reuse. Many of the items that they receive still have useful life left in them. When permitted by their customers, they repair and refurbish those devices to rigorous R2 standards of functionality, then put them back out into the market.
The sale of pre-owned electronics keeps electronics out of our landfills, decreases consumption of natural resources, and supplies low cost devices that can help bridge the digital divide. That’s a WIN-WIN-WIN. Reuse also creates more and higher skilled jobs than materials recovery does. That’s another WIN.
Electronics that have no useful life left in them are recycled responsibly in accordance with Homeboy’s industry-leading R2 certification. They partner with specialized and certified material recovery facilities to ensure that the valuable natural resources contained in electronics are reprocessed into new goods. This reduces the need to mine new resources.
Electronics are also unfortunately responsible for a large percentage of toxins in our landfills. To protect our soil, water, and air, Homeboy has a Zero Landfill Policy. They never landfill, incinerate, or illegally export any e-waste.
As an R2 certified company, Homeboy has undergone extensive third party auditing to ensure that its processes are safe for its workers and responsible towards the environment.
Homeboy’s Core Values — in their own words
We believe in second chances. For those who have served their time and are ready to positively contribute to society, and for the precious resources in our old electronics.
We believe in public safety. Our landfills are overflowing. Our prisons are overflowing. The toxins in our landfills get into our drinking water, into our ground soil, into our lives. 98% of people who go to prison come out of prison to our communities. If we haven’t rehabilitated them, they go back to prison – often after having committed more crimes. That is not public safety. There is no “away” when we throw something away. The public will be truly safe when we keep electronics out of landfills and people out of prison.
We believe in being truly green. We are always striving to be as environmentally correct as possible. We vigilantly seek new solutions and the most innovative ways to reclaim our resources.
We believe in the power of work. Work gives us purpose. It gives us pride, dignity, and self-respect. It gives us self-worth. Work is a tool of healing and of rehabilitation; it is our most powerful crime-fighter.
We believe in doing no harm. The systems that were designed to help people are hurting people. We have a moral obligation to examine and better them. Immediately.
We believe in the power of public-private partnerships. Businesses can and should partner with government to solve problems. Period.
We believe that today’s companies must embrace a triple bottom line. There is no room for a modern business to be anything but socially and environmentally responsible. This new generation of business knows that there is a value in social good that is comparable to monetary value, and is equipped to tackle huge, gnarly problems with efficiency and style.
Legendary nonprofit, Homeboy Industries, led by Father Boyle, recently acquired Isidore Recycling. Learn more about why in the LA Daily News
And check out Kabira Stokes’ TED talk on the unlikely story how she came to start and run a triple bottom line social enterprise
Homeboy Recycling depends on getting your old electronics and computers to work its magic.
If you have materials, you can bring them to their facilities, free of charge:
Monday through Friday: 10:00am - 1:30pm and 2:30 - 5:30pm1769 Naud St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
They’re especially interested in arranging a contributions from organizations like businesses, nonprofits, and governments who have a lot of material for disposal. Homeboy Recycling offers competitive pricing for its certified, secure, and responsible e-waste solutions.