After facility realignment and expansion plans come to fruition, ERI may realize a total electronics processing capacity increase of up to 30%, the company’s CEO estimated.
The nationwide electronics reuse and recycling company recently announced it would close its Colorado facility, its smallest plant, but open up three new, larger facilities in 2024.
In an interview, John Shegerian, ERI’s co-founder, CEO and chairman, explained what the project will mean for the company, which is already among the largest e-scrap companies in North America.
“This is just sort of an evolution based on our clients’ logistics needs,” he said. “It was existing clients who were telling us they were opening up different logistics lanes and they wanted us to continue to evolve to meet their needs.”
ERI currently has facilities in Aurora, Colo.; Badin, N.C.; Flower Mound Texas; Fresno, Calif. (its headquarters); Goodyear, Ariz.; Holliston, Mass.; Lincoln Park, N.J.; Plainfield, Ind.; and Sumner, Wash. Shegerian said ERI plans to close the Aurora plant, the company’s smallest at 80,000 square feet, by the end of this year.
Then, by the end of 2024, the company will open three large facilities in as-yet-unannounced U.S. cities, giving ERI a net increase of two plants and a total of 11. Noting that schedules are subject to change and leases haven’t been signed yet, Shegerian estimated the first new facility may open in the first quarter, the second in the second quarter, and the third in the fourth quarter of 2024.
“We have the areas we’re negotiating but we don’t have anything signed yet,” he said. He didn’t immediately have an estimate of the dollar-figure associated with the realignment plan.
Shegerian estimated the upcoming facilities will be in the range of 50,000 to 100,000 square feet each, although there’s the possibility of a very large one on the East Coast on par with the Fresno or Plainfield plants, which are ERI’s largest and together are over 700,000 square feet.
One of the new plants will have a large-scale e-scrap shredding and separation system, and the other two will sport AI-powered robots for dismantling devices, Shegerian said, noting that ERI plans to add more robots to the existing Fresno and Plainfield plants, as well.
Shegerian estimated the footprint realignment plan could boost total processing capacity by up to 30%.
In terms of actual pounds processed, ERI handled over 121 million pounds of electronics last year, according to the company’s 2022 environmental, social and governance (ESG) report.
ERI’s most recent opening was the Goodyear plant, which it opened earlier this year. In the latest release, Shegerian noted that ERI is consolidating the Aurora operations at the Goodyear facility.
Evolution of the retail business
Shegerian noted the footprint changes were required by the evolution of retailers, which make up a lot of ERI’s clients, from in-store sales to e-commerce.
“That whole industry has sort of dictated a change in the logistic footprint of America,” he said.
Difficult trucking markets mean more locations make sense, he noted. An ERI press release notes that “the company serves every ZIP code in the U.S. and the realignment is designed to further streamline logistical accessibility and operational efficiency.”
After 2024, ERI thinks it will be satisfied with its U.S. footprint, Shegerian said, but there’s also interest in opening up outside the country.
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