“It’s always better to reuse, repair and refurbish until an item reaches its end-of-useful life,” says Brenda Banks of Cross Electronic Recycling. “Refurbishing and repairing electronics allows us to reduce the amount of mining of valuable natural resources. And these items that would end up in the landfill can be hazardous; there are environmental concerns from the leakage of lead and over 70 other components into our water supply, vegetation, and atmosphere.”
Anyone can drop off unwanted electronics at the Cross facility on Mondays from noon to 5 p.m. or Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. “We take anything with a cord, battery, or motor,” Banks says.
She really does mean anything, Banks emphasizes. The long list includes computer equipment, power tools, exercise equipment, large appliances like refrigerators, outdoor equipment like lawnmowers, small appliances such as toasters, and more.
After items arrive at the center, those that meet criteria indicating they have remaining usefulness are repaired or refurbished. The organization, which is a Registered Microsoft Refurbisher, refurbishes and provides secure data destruction for computers and laptops. Other electronics such as stereos and appliances are repaired. The restored items go to an on-site store, Redeemed Computers & Electronics, to be sold to the public.
Items that cannot be salvaged, or that are determined to be at the end of their useful life, are fully dismantled with hand tools.
“The parts are separated into like items or into various scrap commodities such as copper, aluminum, and steel. The parts are sold to manufacturers and the scrap is sold to downstream vendors who continue the process and then sell to manufacturers,” Banks explains.
The organization also offers services to businesses needing to dispose a broad range of items beyond computers and IT paraphernalia such as medical and manufacturing equipment. Businesses and other groups can also coordinate collection events with Cross.
“People are always pleasantly surprised about all the stuff we accept and that we take most of it free. We have to charge environmental fees sometimes; mostly this is for televisions due to the cost of processing the cathode ray tubes and items in flat-screen televisions,” Banks says.
Most people become aware of Cross when they are looking for environmentally conscious disposal for used electronics or secure data destruction, but Cross Electronic Recycling is actually one of the entities under the umbrella of Cross Training Center, a nonprofit that provides job training through Cross Automotive and Cross Social Hall in addition to Cross Electronic Recycling and Redeemed Computers & Electronics. The objective is to provide participants with life-changing tools to help them overcome the challenges of entering the workforce and ultimately become financially successful.
“The Cross Training Center’s mission is to empower and equip men and women who are unemployed and under-educated through character development, vocational training, and job experience,” Banks says. “The students are involved in the entire process.”
5030 N. 72nd St.
Omaha, NE 68134
This sponsored content was printed in the April/May 2019 edition of B2B. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.