Stacked laptops for resale.

The pilot project will test if a consumer mail-in program can help increase reuse and recycling rates. | Plus69/Shutterstock

Pyxera Global, FedEx and TERRA are collaborating to find out whether mail-in collections for consumers can work at scale to generate a meaningful quantity of used devices. 

A pilot program run by FedEx and circular economy advocate Pyxera Global recently selected The Electronics Reuse and Recycling Alliance’s (TERRA) established “Done with IT” mail-in recycling program to provide collection services. Pyxera and FedEx have worked on several reverse logistics projects together. 

Under the pilot, residents of the continental U.S. can receive a free FedEx shipping label via the Done with IT website to send in their used devices. The test will run until mid-December or until 2,000 devices have been recovered, with FedEx subsidizing the cost for the duration. 

The collected devices will go to a FedEx facility in Lebanon, Tenn. before being sent to nearby Electronics Recycling Solutions (ERS) for repair or recycling. ERS is an R2v3-certified facility that trains and employs adults with developmental disabilities. Devices that can be repaired will be sent back out for commercial use, while those that are too damaged will be dismantled and recycled. Batteries specifically will then go to American Battery Technology Company in Nevada for recycling. 

Jennifer Carrigan, associate director of Pyxera Global, said in a press release that the project is driven by projected high demand for recycled precious metals needed for electronics. 

“This program, which recovers the materials and components in laptops and tablets regardless of age, brand, or condition, is vitally important,” Carrigan said.

“We just figured out [Pyxera] had chocolate, we had peanut butter. Let’s make a nice little Reese’s cup here.” -Steven Napoli, CEO of TERRA 

How TERRA fits in

Formed in 2019, TERRA is a network of R2v3- and/or e-Stewards-certified ITAD providers that seeks to direct more devices to certified facilities. Steven Napoli, president and CEO of the organization, told E-Scrap News in an interview that TERRA “was a natural fit for being the collection partner on this program.”

“We just figured out [Pyxera] had chocolate, we had peanut butter. Let’s make a nice little Reese’s cup here,” he said. 

TERRA’s members operate 25 facilities across the U.S. and Canada collecting material, creating an ideal network for a mail-in service. 

This pilot program could create further efficiencies and even lower shipping rates, Napoli said. All of TERRA’s recycling members are R2v3 or e-Stewards certified, he added, to “give people that peace of mind that it will be handled the right way, not just from the environmental standpoint, but the data standpoint.” 

Software provider Evercycle, a member of TERRA, provides the back-end dashboard for the mail-in program. 

“They’re the platform creating the on-demand shipping labels, tracking those labels, providing a dashboard on the back end of what’s been delivered and what hasn’t,” Napoli said. “It’s a great partnership with us, so instead of just offering a shipping label and instructions, it’s a complete back end.” 

Nate Poynter, CEO of Evercycle, said streamlined device recovery with repeatable workflows is vital to making the project work at scale. 

“We believe the most intuitive user experience supported by a scalable platform is a key part of our mission to enable any organization with truly sustainable IT programs – whether it’s an enterprise, school district, recycler or their IT partners,” Poynter added in the press release.

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