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NRAs 2014: Electrical and Electronic Recycler of the Year

Winner: Stone Group

Stone Computers is an IT hardware manufacturer and service provider to the UK public sector. In 2008, it made the decision to meet its legal and ethical obligations for the recovery of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) by investing £1.25m in its own recycling facility.

During the past 12 months, the facility has achieved its highest recovery rate of 915 tonnes received and processed. This represented 143% of the weight of Stone-branded equipment placed on the market for the same period.

“It is a pleasure to see such responsibility from a manufacturer, which has integrated reuse and recycling into its operation. There is also a strong social element with its work in Kenya.”

The Judges

This recovery rate was achieved through a range of initiatives aimed at increasing end user awareness. These included free seminars for the public and commercial sectors; increasing sales staff awareness through training; and ensuring that customers buying new equipment knew of disposal options for their old equipment.

Stone does not charge for its recycling service and will collect any WEEE regardless of brand or origin, making it accessible to the market. Increased marketing activity to promote its recycling was done via its website, social media, IT publications and local radio. This included partnering with a local radio station to promote electrical equipment recycling in exchange for donations to charity.

On receipt of the WEEE, Stone’s facility has two primary aims: the secure erasure or destruction of all data held on the equipment and the reuse of all working equipment.

Of the WEEE received last year, 84% was returned to reuse. This was achieved through the development of outlets for reusable equipment. Secondary use in the UK is targeted, but Stone is also the premier sponsor of the UK charity IT Schools Africa.

Last year it launched Encore, a dedicated website for refurbishment sales, including accessories and network equipment. This is focused at UK consumers, and products are supplied with up to one-year warranties. Stone also offers web portal facilities to organisations that wish their refurbished equipment to be made available to staff, students, families or other business areas first.

Any equipment which cannot be reused is processed on-site to segregate components for further reprocessing and materials recovery, which is passed on to approved facilities.

The Finalists:

  • Crest Co-operative
  • ICT Refurbishment
  • SCC


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