Been Green: It’s the little things that count

A little more than a year ago, we started a new project to compliment our established metal recovery program in the salvage/recycling department.

We send all of our electronics to a responsible electronics recyclers, but before they go out the door our goal is to cut off every cord from every device. Since the product is at the end-of-use cycle, it doesn’t need the cord. It is quick and easy to do with wire snips. The cord has something valuable inside the rubber insulation and that is copper. Our metal recovery recycler melts the rubber leaving the copper. In addition, any type of electrical cord and wire and electronic cables are included. We sell the cords, wires and cables to reclaim the value of the copper.

In 2010 we have sold over 45,000 lbs. of cords, wires and cables which provided Goodwill $21,000.00 in additional funding for our mission and created a part time job in our salvage/recycling department.

A huge plus is the efficiency and low cost of the project. It takes very little space and the transportation costs are low due to the dense weight of a gaylord box (large cardboard box) filled with cords, wires, and cables.

For several years we have had a metal recovery recycling program collecting metals. We have metal collection bins at our Holt Building in Nashville, the Berry Road facility in Nashville where the salvage team is located, and recently added a collection bin at a Goodwill warehouse in Nashville. In 2010 we sold 468,000 pounds of metal for more than $33,000 in revenue.

Goodwill kept more than one half million pounds of steel or mixed metals, copper and aluminum of end of life products, from going into the landfill. Instead it is shredded and repurposed into new products.

Although an old USB cable or a non-working extension cord may seem small, it is a very valuable commodity.

In addition to donating to Goodwill, what other tips and practices do you use to recycle and divert items from landfills?


1 Comment
  • Lynn Dalsing
    Posted at 12:13h, 15 February Reply

    Reusable bags! At my local Goodwill, this not only saves me $.05, it also keeps plastic out of landfills and out of animals’ stomachs.

    I highly recommend switching over to reusable bags and finding out what stores in your area offer incentives to do so.

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