E-Scrap News

Private equity firm to fuel processor’s expansion

Aerial view of EWASTE+ facility

About three quarters of the material EWASTE+ handles consists of IT equipment from businesses and other organizations. | Courtesy of EWASTE+

A recent investment in EWASTE+ will help drive the processor’s growth across the Northeastern U.S., the company president said.

The electronics recycling and reuse company recently announced a strategic equity investment from Sidereal Capital Group, a Summit, N.J.-based private equity firm focused on growth-oriented, middle-market companies in the manufacturing and industrial services sectors. The amount of the ownership purchase wasn’t disclosed.

“After 25 years, we’re really looking forward to the next phase of growth and extending the EWASTE+ legacy for decades to come,” Mike Whyte, president of EWASTE+, told E-Scrap News.

With its 103,000-square-foot headquarters and processing plant in Victor, N.Y., which is near Rochester, EWASTE+ serves the entire state of New York. The company also has a 34,000-square-foot facility in Albany and a facility in Westchester (near New York City) that’s over 20,000 square feet. Those spaces are consolidation points for material from those urban areas. About 75% of the material EWASTE+ handles is IT equipment from businesses and other organizations, and the remaining quarter consists of household electronics.

Mike Whyte

Whyte said the money will help EWASTE+ invest in its operations and expand its services further into neighboring states, such as Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey.

“I think we want to replicate what we’re doing and expand that into neighboring geographies, and expand our verticals,” Whyte said.

Whyte, who has been involved in electronics recycling for 25 years, said he first began talking with private equity companies as far back as 2017. COVID-19 delayed discussions for about a year, but the engagement restarted in 2021, when EWASTE+ decided on Sidereal Capital Group, he said. A deal was reached in December.

“I felt like they were in alignment with our view and our vision for the future,” said Whyte, who remains president and an owner of the company.

David Burleigh founded the company in 1995. Then, a new partnership was formed in 1997 that included Richard Amir, John Manser and Whyte. Burleigh left the company in 2000 and Whyte bought out Amir and Manser in 2015 to become the sole owner of EWASTE+.

Whyte said he sees potential for investment across the company’s competencies, he said. EWASTE+ has a robust collection and logistics business; a strong front-end call center for upstream accounts and calling into different verticals (financial sector, education, healthcare, business, etc.); established electronics refurbishment, e-commerce and commercial product sales; a salvage, recovery and warehousing operation; and recycling contracts with OEMs through New York State’s extended producer responsibility law, he noted.

As the company grows, Whyte said, he wants to maintain a high level of service.

“We’re very, very focused on building and maintaining our quality,” he said. “We don’t want to cut corners, and we don’t want to just necessarily grow for the sake of growth.”

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