The most important P in the triple bottom line of People, Planet, Performance is People. This may sound funny coming from an “ecycling” startup that, in 4 short months, has kept nearly 25,000 pounds of e-waste out of landfills and considers Mother Earth to be our #1 client. But to us, it’s all about the people. Creating jobs, supporting great nonprofits like TROSA and NC Arts in Action, educating middle school and high school kids as well as clients and the general public about sustainability; the people are our driving mission. Protecting the environment through the recycling and refurbishing of old electronics just happens to be the means by which we work to accomplish our goals. We think of e-waste as the fuel that makes our people machine go.
Any business, triple bottom line or not, must do right by its customers if it is to survive. For some, shareholders come first – think Wall Street – for others, employees come first – Zappos is a great example – but for the well balanced people perspective, the general public, local school kids, community non profits, competitors, like minded businesses, and the global population can be just as important as the traditional three constituencies. Do right by everyone and keep educating all who come into our sphere is our unofficial motto.
Some of the partnerships we’ve made to ‘walk this talk’ are TROSA, The City of Durham Fire Department, The Durham Public Schools, Bull City Forward, The Institute for Sustainable Development, Center of Innovation for Nanobiotechnology, NCCU, The Habitat ReStore, The Scrap Exchange, The PTA Thrift Shop, geep, The Computer Cellar, ThunderShirt and Peddling Bulls. We are taking old electronics from walk-in residents for free (except CRTs/TVs) even though, in many cases, it is not profitable. We teach everyone who comes to our shop about the ecycling process and the humanitarian issues surrounding e-waste exporting. We are developing a work/study program for vocational track high school students and intern/mentoring program for NCCU MBA students. We are underwriting lunch and learn field trips for middle schoolers, and more. All fueled by e-waste!
And, our goal is to accomplish this using a sustainable business model. If we can make it work and educate a couple, then a dozen then hundreds of kids about helping others while giving back to their community and protecting the planet through a viable business then we’ve really accomplished something! We invite Triangle businesses, large and small, to support our mission with their e-waste. Call Triangle Ecyling: 919.414.3041.