Landfills spared old computers, outdated equipment

Landfills spared old computers, outdated equipment

January 1st, 2011 by Brittany Cofer in Business Around the Region

Kevin Paul dismantles an old Mac at his business, Technology Lifecycle, off of Hixson Pike where he recycles obsolete computers and electronic equipment.

• What: Recycler of computer, audio/visual and office equipment.

• Company: Technology Lifecycle LLC

• Location: 4818 Hixson Pike, Hixson

• How it's green: In addition to reusing materials that otherwise would be thrown in the garbage, owner Kevin Paul said he's also keeping harmful toxins out of the Hamilton County landfill. Computer and printer circuit boards and other electronic equipment often have "very toxic materials," such as zinc, lead and lithium, he said. "Right now we're keeping about 100,000 pounds of material out of the landfill each year," Paul said. Less than 1 percent of the materials collected at the company's warehouse are sent to the landfill, with those items being non-recyclable packing, plastics and labels, he said.

• Why do it this way? Aside from helping the environment, Paul saw that there is a significant income potential in the electronics recycling business. He began his business in 2005 in Maryville, Tenn., and later expanded to Hixson.

• Plans for expanding: Right now Technology Lifecycle is in its first phase, and Paul hopes to employ about 15 to 20 people within the next three years and be able to reach a million pounds of recycling per month.

• Advice for others considering green initiatives: "Be consistent," Paul said. "Make sure it's a good system all the way through, with no wasted material."

• Is environmentalism an essential part of the business and why? Paul said environmentalism and humanitarianism have been the founding principles of his business. He said it was important to him that the materials he sends to be processed and refined don't end up in places that use child or slave labor. It's also important to him that he keep toxic material out of landfills, he said.

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