E-waste recycling is good for the climate.
Let’s make it even better.
One of the best ways to reduce greenhouse gases and toxic pollution is to recycle electronic waste. Homeboy Recycling is an organization that not only recycles E-waste, it also changes lives by giving jobs to former convicts and gang-members. Right now, much of Homeboy’s e-waste recycling program is done manually, but some of the machinery they use is powered by diesel generators that still have a sizable carbon footprint. Climate Cents’ November Challenge is aimed to raise money for Homeboy Recycling to purchase lithium ion battery generators and solar panels that will power their machinery with renewable energy, thus getting this incredible organization closer to a net-zero goal.
How does this Challenge work?
The “Challenge” is to make a game out of who can raise the most for Homeboy, where the top raisers receive prizes. Join a team or go it alone - the money you raise will go to fight climate change and help an incredible organization that deserves as much love as we can give.
Whether you donate $5 or $500, your contribution will make an impact, and you have the chance to win great prizes! There are two ways you can participate:
(1) You can send out the link to this page to all your friends, asking them to donate $5, $10, or whatever they can muster - and tell them to make sure they indicate they are donating on behalf of you on the donation page.
(2) You can create a Facebook fundraiser and send to your friends on social media. If you know how – go to our Facebook donation page https://www.facebook.com/donate/504327346697724 and use the information there to start your own. If you don’t know how, email us here, and we’ll send you an easy guide on everything you need to get going.
If you want to form a Team at your office, your school, or even if just you and a group of friends want to raise together – all the same instructions apply. Just make sure that everyone who donates indicates that they are doing so on behalf of your team. It’s that easy.
How does E-waste Recycling fight climate change?
The manufacturing of all our electronic gadgets requires extensive mining of valuable metals like copper, gold, and aluminum. Mining these materials takes enormous energy, rips apart whole mountain regions, and harms local communities that live near mining areas. When we recycle electronics, we reduce the need to mine for these metals thereby avoiding their subsequent effects. Ultimately, this means huge cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.
Why does Homeboy need green energy?
Even though much of their work is done by manual labor, Homeboy Recycling still has to power a lot of machinery, especially in their data destruction service. Switching to green energy will save Homeboy money, and the planet a lot of carbon emissions. The money raised will go to purchase lithium ion battery generators and help pay for the installation of solar panels that will be generously donated by our friends at Grid Alternatives. Unlike conventional diesel generators, these systems have battery packs instead of an engine so they produce consistent power with fewer harmful emissions, which is better for their workers and for our environment.
For this month’s action to fight climate change, help us make these green jobs even greener. Because everyone and everything can be given a new life.
Unlike conventional diesel generators, lithium ion battery generators produce consistent power off of the electric grid with fewer harmful emissions, (for which many of Homeboy’s workers will be very grateful). What’s more, electricity storage can be used to help integrate more renewable energy into the electricity grid. The added capacity provided by electricity storage can delay or avoid the need to build additional power plants or transmission and distribution infrastructure.
Right now, the diesel generator used by Homeboy burns about a gallon an hour, and an average data destruction project is on average 3.5 hours. Homeboy estimates they use the generator about 3 times a week, which means that the lithium ion battery generator will save approximately 10 gallons of fuel a week, or 520 gallons per year, or 5,200 gallons, estimating for the 10 year lifespan of the battery generator. (We, of course, expect the equipment to last longer, but 10 yrs. seems like an appropriate time frame to measure the carbon savings of this project.)
According to the EPA, one gallon of diesel fuel emits about 10.21kg of CO2, or 22.5 lbs. So, 5,200 gallons X 22.5 lbs = 117,000 lbs of CO2 saved over 10 years.
Next, we calculate the carbon savings from the installation of solar energy. Homeboy Recycling consumes roughly 12,960 kwh of energy per year, which emits 21,264 lbs. of CO2. – which is 212,640 lbs. over 10 yrs.
Together, 117,000 + 212,640 = 329,640 lbs. of CO2 eliminated over 10 yr. lifespan. We rounded up for a total figure of 330,000 lbs. of CO2 saved. The climate thanks you.
Homeboy Recycling is building a world in which our resources – both human and natural – are valued, not wasted.
Their mission is to make recycling electronics easy, secure and accessible, while creating employment opportunities for people who have successfully exited California’s correctional system. Founded by Kabira Stokes as Isidore Electronics Recycling, the enterprise is now part of the Homeboy Industries network.
The process begins by weighing and sorting all electronic devices received. All items with sensitive data are flagged for Secure Data Destruction. Working devices then go to the Reuse Department and non-working devices go to the Materials Recovery Department.
Homeboy believes that the highest form of recycling is reuse. Many of the items that they receive still have useful life left in them. When permitted by their customers, they repair and refurbish those devices to rigorous R2 standards of functionality, then put them back out into the market.
The sale of pre-owned electronics keeps electronics out of our landfills, decreases consumption of natural resources, and supplies low cost devices that can help bridge the digital divide. That’s a WIN-WIN-WIN. Reuse also creates more and higher skilled jobs than materials recovery does. That’s another WIN.
Electronics that have no useful life left in them are recycled responsibly in accordance with Homeboy’s industry-leading R2 certification. They partner with specialized and certified material recovery facilities to ensure that the valuable natural resources contained in electronics are reprocessed into new goods. This reduces the need to mine new resources.
Electronics are also unfortunately responsible for a large percentage of toxins in our landfills. To protect our soil, water, and air, Homeboy has a Zero Landfill Policy. They never landfill, incinerate, or illegally export any e-waste.
As an R2 certified company, Homeboy has undergone extensive third party auditing to ensure that its processes are safe for its workers and responsible towards the environment.
Homeboy’s Core Values — in their own words
We believe in second chances. For those who have served their time and are ready to positively contribute to society, and for the precious resources in our old electronics.
We believe in public safety. Our landfills are overflowing. Our prisons are overflowing. The toxins in our landfills get into our drinking water, into our ground soil, into our lives. 98% of people who go to prison come out of prison to our communities. If we haven’t rehabilitated them, they go back to prison – often after having committed more crimes. That is not public safety. There is no “away” when we throw something away. The public will be truly safe when we keep electronics out of landfills and people out of prison.
We believe in being truly green. We are always striving to be as environmentally correct as possible. We vigilantly seek new solutions and the most innovative ways to reclaim our resources.
We believe in the power of work. Work gives us purpose. It gives us pride, dignity, and self-respect. It gives us self-worth. Work is a tool of healing and of rehabilitation; it is our most powerful crime-fighter.
We believe in doing no harm. The systems that were designed to help people are hurting people. We have a moral obligation to examine and better them. Immediately.
We believe in the power of public-private partnerships. Businesses can and should partner with government to solve problems. Period.
We believe that today’s companies must embrace a triple bottom line. There is no room for a modern business to be anything but socially and environmentally responsible. This new generation of business knows that there is a value in social good that is comparable to monetary value, and is equipped to tackle huge, gnarly problems with efficiency and style.
Legendary nonprofit, Homeboy Industries, led by Father Boyle, acquired Isidore Recycling. Learn more about why in the LA Daily News
And check out Kabira Stokes’ TED talk on the unlikely story how she came to start and run a triple bottom line social enterprise
Homeboy Recycling depends on getting your old electronics and computers to work its magic.
If you have materials, you can bring them to their facilities, free of charge:
Monday through Friday: 10:00am - 5:30pm1370 E. 18th St, Los Angeles, CA 90021
They’re especially interested in contributions from organizations like businesses, nonprofits, and governments who have a lot of material for disposal. Homeboy Recycling offers competitive pricing for its certified, secure, and responsible e-waste solutions.