Retail, Sustainability, and Technology

Electronics reseller plugs into next store

October 17, 2014
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Electronics reseller plugs into next store
Scott VanderKooy, president of the e-waste recycler and reseller Comprenew, stands among piles of machines. Courtesy Comprenew

An e-waste recycler and reseller has expanded its local footprint.

Northeast store

Comprenew opened a store this month in Grand Rapids, at 5157 Northland Dr. NE. The store is the nonprofit’s fourth store in the city.

The space is about 3,000 square feet and was renovated by DAR Development in Grand Rapids. It took about two months to outfit.

The northeast Grand Rapids store sells refurbished electronic items and electronic repairs and offers an electronic drop-off location for recycling, said Kristen Cichon, Comprenew’s marketing director.

The store sells a range of electronics: desktop computers, laptops, projectors, DVD players, camera lenses, flat screen TVs and more for relatively low prices.

A projector may normally cost about $800-$900, but a projector at the store can be purchased for about $100, Cichon said.

The store has about five employees.

Buy-back program

Comprenew “pays corporations for their old electronics,” Cichon said.

The nonprofit’s asset buy-back program pays a portion of the retail value of complete and working laptop and desktop systems.

Cichon said the systems are typically three-years old or newer, and the reimbursement is calculated from the typical price the units would sell for in Comprenew’s stores.

Cichon added that 100-hundred percent of the money generated from the stores “goes directly back into the community” through Comprenew’s educational and workforce development programs.

Comprenew

Comprenew, founded 1986, started as a for-profit organization that refurbished IBM Mainframe computer equipment.

The company became a nonprofit in 2005.

All of the electronics collected by Comprenew are either reused or recycled.

Comprenew recycled about 4.3 million pounds worth of electronic waste from 2011-2012 and annually recycles millions of pounds of electronic waste. 

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