Good Point Recycling
Good Point Recycling PO 1010, 227 Pond Lane, Middlebury, VT 05753
January 20, 2009
2008 was an eventful year. We are always aware that you are the reason we continue to enjoy success. We have a lot to introduce to you as we begin 2009.
First, we were proud to open our new 50,000 square foot facility. After years of renting space in different locations (and transporting stuff back and forth between buildings), or adding services (like textiles or baling) just to drop them for lack of space, we realized we are here to stay. Buying the building allows us to proceed with several new endeavors (described below), to process more in house, and to set smarter shipping and marketing targets. We also hope to develop more career employees when the temperature falls below freezing. There are more photos of our facility and operations, and video, available online (videos also coming soon).
The new facility will allow us to roll out our next big announcement - brand sorting for reimbursement. We have agreements either directly or with the processors of the following brands: Panasonic, Sharp, Sony, and Samsung. There are still a lot of details to work out. For one big example, some OEM representatives want documentation that their product was accepted for free before they will reimburse it, but do not want to cover the cost of transportation. If they pay us for processing only and not collection, it means we need to work out what you can collect. To keep our foot in the door, we are allowing individuals to drive to GPR in Middlebury - but that's not a very effective or green solution. What we have offered as a compromise is to charge 18 cents per pound (TV rate), weigh the brand sorted items, and then subtract out (credit) your municipality for whatever the OEM credits us. We will send a separate letter describing our proposal, which is intended to reimburse back 100% of whatever subsidy we get from the OEMs for TVs.
Third, we were recognized as the nation's expert on exports. Membership grew in the World Reuse, Repair and Recycling Association (WR3A), a "Fair Trade" organization we founded. EPA hired WR3A as a consultant to identify legitimate CRT exports, and BusinessWeek, National Geographic, and CBS 60 Minutes relied on us for advice and perspective. The Consumer Electronics Association gave WR3A a grant to film many of the select buyers who represent the "fair trade" export market, as well as collections. We hosted and visited techies from Africa, Asia, Middle East and South America, and filmed what they can do. It's hard work to visit and qualify these markets, but we have to do it... In January, CEA presented a 3-minute trailer CES Show in Las Vegas, between two keynote addresses (CEO Craig Barrett of Intel and John Chambers, CEO of Cisco). "If computer exports are outlawed, only outlaws will export used computers". The full video of the CES keynote address includes our video (about 1/3 through)
Fourth, we participated on a national panel invited by EPA to define "Responsible Recycler" (R2) standards, meeting with other respected recyclers, government officials, and advocates from around the country. EPA posted the R2 standards in November, 2008.
Fifth, we developed our staff . Rachael was promoted to a nice front office, and Colin Davis returned from a year sabbatical (running his own business, Builder's Studio) to be VP of Operations.
In 2008 we hired a professional OEM auditor to visit our largest market in Malaysia in October. Every unit we send for reuse is accounted for through proprietary tracking software (developed by Good Point, 2006), and reconciliation reports done by the Buyer note fallout rates (about 6%, which are then recycled, with glass going to Samsung) Good Point has also helped the Buyer efforts to obtain ISO 14001 status this month.
There is more to report than we can squeeze into a letter, but our last bit of news is a bit of a warning. In a year largely defined by a world financial crisis, Good Point has seen rates from ERI (the Pledge company which bought Electronicycle) increased by over 50%. We briefly tried other CRT glass processors, but they increased their rates even higher than ERI within a few weeks. We will do what we can in-house, but the raw material markets for the demanufactured scrap have plummeted to pre World War II levels. We have strived to offer consistency, and don't chase prices at the expense of accountability, but you may want to plan on fee increases for your consumers until the OEM programs mature.
Vermont has offered convenient access to TV recycling for years now, thanks to clients like you. 84% of Vermonters can now recycle a TV in at least one spot, open six days per week, in their county or district. Everyone here at Good Point thanks you sincerely for your support. We wish everyone the best in the year to come. Attached is a short end-market audit which shows where material we collected from you went to last year.
Robin Ingenthron, president
American Retroworks Inc., dba Good Point Recycling