In the runup to the 2019 E-Scrap Conference and Trade Show, we are offering up a series of interviews with some of the industry leaders set to take the stage.
This week, we chat with Rod McDaniel, CEO of Springfield, Tenn.-based processor S3 Recycling Solutions. McDaniel will be participating in a conference session called Growth in Turbulent Times, featuring perspectives from a range of e-scrap executives who have pushed forward their businesses despite commodity fluctuations and other industry uncertainties.
What would you say is the single biggest challenge facing the e-scrap industry today?
Recycling electronics responsibly all while making a profit. It seems as if every month there is a new e-waste company that has gone out of business for either illegally dumping or loss of revenue/profit.
How has S3 Recycling Solutions gone about navigating these challenges?
As far as responsible recycling, although we are not R2, all our downstream vendors hold this certification (or e-Stewards). I think it’s important for recyclers not to always see our “competitors” as the competition. We have developed relationships with our downstream partners that specialize in areas we do not. An example of that is our relationship with Dynamic Lifecycle Innovations. We do not specialize in de-manufacturing; we do perform light de-manufacturing and work with DLI to recycle all of our end-of-life electronics. About 80 percent of our revenue comes from resale. So, as an organization, we are looking at ways to improve our resale process to generate more revenue.
“About 80 percent of our revenue comes from resale. So, as an organization, we are looking at ways to improve our resale process to generate more revenue.”
Your company offers a wide range of services, from traditional scrap recycling to data destruction. Are there any areas of the business that you’re trying to focus on and grow?
We are in the process of growing our data destruction and refurbishing areas. We have seen an uptick in requests for on-site hard drive destruction. Depending on the client size and location, we have offered a promotion to shred drives free on the first pickup. We are also seeing growth in our refurb area. In recent months we have moved from doing light refurbishing to full refurbishment on desktops and laptops. I see us expanding to refurb printers, LCDs and many other devices.
Are there any other expansion plans in place for S3 Recycling Solutions in the near future?
We just recently purchased a 75,000-square-foot facility, and we are anticipating new contracts that should close in the next 12 months. Depending on company growth, we could be looking at a regional facility strategically placed to move/process equipment more efficiently.
McDaniel will be speaking on the Growth in Turbulent Times panel, set for 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 24. Other speakers in the session include Ken Ehresman of Advanced Technology Recycling, Todd Zegers of Ingram Micro and Kelley Keogh of Greeneye Partners.
Head to e-scrapconference.com for more details and to register today.