Every year, Incredible Connection holds a Trade-In month, during which customers can bring in their old technology equipment and receive discounts on new products. In February the company collected 106 tonnes of old equipment and sold over 16 000 discount items in return.
The initiative isn’t simply about upgrading old equipment, but is more importantly a part of Incredible Connection’s commitment to alleviating harm to the environment.
‚The primary purpose of this initiative is to raise awareness about both the legal and ethical necessity for the correct disposal of e-waste,‚ says Dave Miller, Incredible Connection’s chief executive. ‚Technology has become a part of our daily lives and will be here to stay. Although Incredible Connection is a convenient collection point all year round, our Trade-In promotion incentivised customers to make the extra effort to clean up.‚
In February 2011 the Trade-In initiative saw 106 024kg of e-waste being collected from over 60 stores nationwide, and Incredible Connection sold 16 388 discounted items to the customers who brought in their old equipment. This is an increase from the 91 tonnes collected in 2010, and only 19 tonnes collected in 2009. ‚We’re confident that the initiative will grow with the awareness that we raise every year,‚ says Miller.
If the traded-in equipment can be refurbished, it is then distributed to schools and non-profit organisations. However, most of the equipment is too old or damaged to be repaired, and it is instead recycled in a labour-intensive programme by Incredible Connection’s ISO certified recycling partners, Desco Electronic Recyclers.
‚Informal processing of electronic waste can leach toxic contaminants into the environment and cause health problems for anyone who comes into contact with them, but many people don’t know this,‚ says Malcolm Whitehouse ‚This is why our partnership with Incredible Connection’s Trade-In programme is so important ‚ it not only cleanly recycles the waste, but it raises awareness about the necessity to do so as well.‚
Although the purpose of the initiative is to raise awareness about e-waste and the environment, it has the knock-on effect of creating a community of suppliers and partners to participate in future ventures. ‚We are pleased that many of our original equipment suppliers are contacting us to run joint projects,‚ says Miller. ‚Anyone who is interested can join our Facebook page to keep abreast of all the great e-waste initiatives.‚
Facebook has become the communication channel of choice for the Trade-In promotion, and during the month of February, various prizes were handed out to the winners of competitions like ‚Tell us why you like Incredible Connection‚ , weekly Trade-In or e-waste trivia questions, and a Student Art Competition.