E-junkyard, bridging formal-informal sector toward integrated e-waste management

Competition Finalist

This entry has been selected as a finalist in the
The League of Intrapreneurs: Building Better Business from the Inside Out competition.

E-junkyard, bridging the formal and informal sector to create a more effective and proper e-waste management infrastructure, toward integrated e-waste management.

About You

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About You

First Name

Chandra

Tell us about yourself/your team.

I am trying to contribute to environment and society by taking part of collecting and treating waste properly. This contribution is by working in an e-waste recycling company. We are not only handling used and discarded electronics, but we seek how to optimize the usage of electronic devices before its end-of-life.

What makes you an intrapreneur? What are the skills, capabilities, and personality traits that make you an intrapreneur?

I still live my idealism, I’m eager to try something new and learn along the way from various sources around me. I’m not afraid to cross my comfort zone, and cannot help thinking about how to develop my idea beyond the call of duty.

About Your Organization

Company Country

Indonesia, JK

Primary country where this project is creating social impact

Indonesia, JK

Additional countries or regions

Industry

Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services

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Innovation

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Select the stage that best applies to your solution

Idea (you're poised to launch)

The Need: What social or environmental problem are you trying to solve?

The growing problem of electronic waste along with the growth of gadget and appliance market. E-waste posed environmental hazard due to physical-chemical properties of its components. E.g. leachate containing metal pollutes the soil and ground water, some batteries are explosive.
Despite the growth of e-waste production, an integrated system for proper management of e-waste is not yet on place. In the formal sector, service providers existed, but its outreach is limited to corporate clients. The informal sector has grown its own system down to household level, but its operation is not meeting health and environmental safety standard, thus is creating negative impact.

The Solution: What is your solution? Be specific!

Bridging the formal and informal sector to create a more effective and proper e-waste management infrastructure. The formal sector has the proper standard and facility for e-waste processing, but lacking the system to expand its outreach down to the household level, i.e. the largest market share of end-consumer. Rather than starting from zero and competing with each other, the formal sector can use the system already existed in the informal sector and upgrade it to meet the proper management standard.

The Solution: Why is this solution innovative for your company and industry?

This solution will add double value to our company in a go. Business wise: increase of production scale along with the increase of e-waste volume collected. Corporate social responsibility: increase of safety and overall welfare of the informal sector. Environmental responsibility: minimization of environmental impact due to inappropriate processing by informal sector recycling operation.

The Model: Walk us through a specific example of how your solution makes a difference; include your primary activities.

E-junkyard, i.e. E-waste collection center will be the core to bridge formal and informal sector. Our company will provide education (e.g. how to do segregation, simple dismantling, health and environmental hazard of the waste) and proper facilities and equipment (e.g. shelter, gloves, boots). Informal e-waste collector will provide the man power (waste picker) and simple transport (e.g. pedicab) to operate the e-junkyard.
The commonly viewed as valuable from e-waste is PCB board, mainly due to its gold and copper content. In the informal sector, extraction of these metals involved unsafe use of mercury solution, in which the vapour was inhaled by the recycler, and the waste water is discarded freely to the environment.
As our company is specializing in PCB board recycling, we have established a recycling facility meeting health and environmental safety standard. We will buy this component to be recycled in our facility, thus reducing the environmental impact from recycling operation in informal sector. E-junkyard collector can sell the rest of the components to our network of authorised and certified recycling facility.

The Marketplace: Who are your peers and competitors? Identify others also working to address the needs you are and what differentiates you from them. What challenges could these players pose to your success or growth?

There are a small number of players currently in the formal sector. Companies licensed for hazardous waste management are sometimes involved in e-waste. Informal sector collector and recycler have existed for long, but using methods that bring health and environmental hazard.
What differentiate us is that we try to offer a “comprehensive solution” – from data confidentiality assurance (destruction of data in the e-waste component) to a certified responsible cradle to grave processing. This includes a tight safety control within our operation, and a thorough audit on partners’ operation in our network of authorised and certified recycling facility.

Impact

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Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world.

When TES-AMM was established in Indonesia, the business intention was to serve company/organization to properly treat their e-waste. However this business did not touch the biggest e-waste contributor which is households. Households’ e-waste are being collected and treated informally by e-junkyard. The main issue with e-junkyard is that they have little care for environmental aspect and worker’s safety/health issues.
Then on one day, a reporter ask me whether TES-AMM will force e-junkyard to stop operating. On that moment I thought, we can have a win-win solution by co-operating with e-junkyard without causing them to lose business. They can still collect e-waste from households and we will provide way to treat the e-waste properly.

What has been the impact of your solution to date?

As a guiding image: in the last 1 year, we have collected more than 1000 printers in colaboration with its manufacturer in a take back scheme. We are projecting to collect 2-3 times more if we are not focusing on only 1 brand but allow community to discard any brand of electronics.

What is your projected impact over the next 1 to 3 years?

Establish 1 e-junkyard pilot, in collaboration with existing e-waste collector/ recycler. The e-junkyard is aimed to serve an area of approx. one city, and will become a base for replication in other areas in Indonesia.
Operation in the junkyard includes collection, segregation, simple dismantling, and transportation to authorised recycler.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

The existing “mafia” in informal sector waste management (including e-waste). Our plan is trying to collaborate with existing informal business unit and offering this alternative business unit as a package of community development proposition for the personnel involved.

Sustainability

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What is the benefit or value you're creating for your business?

This solution will add double value to our company in a go. Business wise: increase of production scale along with the increase of e-waste volume collected. Corporate social responsibility: increase of safety and overall welfare of the informal sector. Environmental responsibility: minimization of environmental impact due to inappropriate processing by informal sector recycling operation.

How are you leveraging internal resources (funds, time, knowledge, etc.) to support this initiative?

This project will be part of marketing and CSR program. So it will be part of the overall company budgeting and prioritized work.

Expand on your answer, explaining the long-term funding and support plan.

As this initiative is basically a business model, funding should be generated from result of proper e-waste processing. The initial investment and community development part might be funded as part of company’s CSR, but as the operation started it should generate funding through responsible recyclables trading. Another funding possibility is voluntary carbon market, although the mechanism still need further exploration.

Tell us about your partnerships across your company and externally that are key to your project's success.

We are closely working with the environment authority and now in the middle to make better aquaintance with e-junkyard.

What internal support have you gotten for your project? What kind of push-back have you received?

The management supports the idea but will need a more detailed plan and schedule to fully approve it.

91 weeks ago E-junkyard, bridging formal-informal sector toward integrated e-waste management has been chosen as a finalist in The League of Intrapreneurs: Building Better Business from the Inside Out.
96 weeks ago Chandra Paramita said: Hi Stephane, I've been mentioning this idea several times to get the management attention first. I also contacted some e-junkyard to ... about this Competition Entry. - read more >
96 weeks ago Stephane de Messieres said: Chandra, thanks for sharing this entry! Great idea to harness e-junkyard to enable TES-AMM to reach the informal waste-picker market ... about this Competition Entry. - read more >
96 weeks ago Chandra Paramita updated this Competition Entry.
97 weeks ago Chandra Paramita updated this Competition Entry.
98 weeks ago Chandra Paramita submitted this idea.