GreenTek Solutions is starting up a second processing center near its headquarters in Stafford, Texas. | Courtesy of GreenTek Solutions

GreenTek Solutions has grown significantly over the past few years and is in the process of starting up its second processing center near its headquarters in Stafford, Texas. The company’s CEO recently gave more details on the expansion in an interview.

Anuar Garcia, CEO of the growing ITAD firm, said the company’s move to work with larger corporate clients, mixed with several industry-wide trends, has given the company a boost despite tough market conditions.

The company in 2021 received a boost when it was selected to participate in a program hosted by Apple that provided training, expert support, networking and other business-building opportunities.

Since that time, Garcia estimates his company has doubled its employee headcount and substantially grown its processing capacity. In 2023 alone, the company increased its processing capacity by over 250%, handling 2.9 million pounds of electronics at its headquarters processing plant, a 21,000-square-foot facility. 

Of that material, 2.2 million pounds, or 120,000 devices, were processed for reuse or refurbishment, with the remainder going for material recovery. The company operates a small shredder for commodity recovery at its plant.

Garcia anticipates the new facility, a 20,000-square-foot plant, will process about 10% more than the headquarters.

He sees a few signs for positive trends in the ITAD market, despite the challenges of the past few years in terms of secondhand component pricing. Like all companies, his firm saw an increase in secondhand market pricing during the early part of the pandemic, as companies struggled to get high volumes of certain devices. But after those early months, demand started to decline, and prices went along with it.

Last year was particularly challenging, Garcia noted, as prices “started decreasing very, very fast.”

But he sees opportunities in a few areas. For one, an increase in cryptocurrency mining has led to a resurgence in demand for DDR 4 technology, which has been increasingly phased out of new electronics as manufacturers shifted to DDR 5. As crypto miners build their own crypto mining setups, they are driving demand for the older components. And GreenTek has seen that rising demand translate to prices inching up for those used components.

Additionally, Garcia said GreenTek was fortunate to start doing business in sectors where demand is resilient. For GreenTek, that has come in the form of working with major companies that have to keep doing business no matter what the market conditions are. 

It also has driven the company to push into the hyperscale data center decommissioning sector, Garcia said. That’s because, when times are tough and companies are looking to cut costs, they may have employees keep devices for longer periods before doing a refresh. Office equipment, such as printers, can be kept longer before decommissioning. That can be done with fairly minimal disruption to business.

Data centers are a different story.

“When you’re talking about the backbone of your business, the servers that are running your payroll, your accounting, your applications, you cannot put that on hold, that takes priority,” Garcia said.

Another component of working with major corporate clients is the ability to provide reporting on environmental, social and governance metrics. Garcia noted it’s a frequent question from large customers, so GreenTek has developed an ESG calculator it uses to estimate environmental impact of ITAD services. It provides estimates of greenhouse gas emissions reductions, mining impacts prevented through precious metals recycling, energy use reduction and more.

The company also calculates the environmental impact of its own activities. Using the calculator, GreenTek estimates the 2.9 million pounds it processed last year contributed to 4.1 million pounds of greenhouse gas reduction and 37.1 million kilowatt-hours of electricity use prevented.

The company also estimated that recycling that amount of electronics reduced mining demand for 805,000 pounds of steel, 130,000 pounds of copper, 60,000 pounds of aluminum, 75 pounds of gold, 30 pounds of palladium and 6 pounds of platinum.

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