The new Asset Recovery and Recycling Management service being offered by UPS Supply Chain Solutions (www.ups.com) was developed in response to two separate elements, says Phil Corwin, director of marketing.
One was that UPS as an enterprise and organization had been involved in recapturing its excess equipment — particularly PCs and some other high-tech components — and finding environmentally friendly ways to recycle that equipment. “We have a group called Environmental Affairs,” Corwin says, “that worked with recycling vendors around the country, evaluated a number of them and came up with a program where we could properly dispose of and recycle our own equipment.”
The other driver to formalizing the service was that recovery and recycling was something UPS Supply Chain Solutions was already doing for customers, primarily at their request. “Part of our offerings include service parts logistics where we support a company's installed base of equipment by providing components for repair,” explains Corwin. Often in that situation customers would ask if UPS had a solution to be able to recycle or dispose of their equipment in an environmentally friendly manner, or at least in a way that met with current Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations.
Since UPS Supply Chain Solutions uses its facilities across the country in servicing the high-tech industry through the return cycle or some other aspect of the reverse logistics process, if a customer decides it has obsolete or excess equipment to dispose of, it merely issues an order to that effect. UPS Supply Chain Solutions may handle a pick up as well, from a company's own distribution center.
“One of the distinctions in the way we approach the process,” notes Corwin, “is that we follow the explicit rules of our customer. Often our customers have very strong opinions about what they want done with that equipment. Some of them don't want it coming back into a secondary market, for example. If they want it resold, we can do it through one of their partners or one of our partners. If they want it recycled, we make it very clear to our vendors that this particular lot of equipment is not available for resale. We can provide proof of recycling either via a witness who signs for it, video, or even through digital photography.”
UPS consolidates the equipment, building full truckloads to minimize the expense of transportation, and then assures it goes through a reputable recycler.