At a Glance
Vintage Tech Recyclers CEO Karrie Gibson is proud of the many certifications her company has earned and communicates Vintage Tech’s certification status to current and prospective customers.
Gibson founded Vintage Tech in 2005 with a focus on asset recovery and what the company’s website calls “responsible recycling.” Vintage Tech collects and processes a wide variety of obsolete electronics, including computers, monitors, scanners, cell phones, office equipment and consumer electronics.
To stay true to that “responsible recycling” label, Vintage Tech has applied for and received R2/RIOS (Responsible Recycling Practices/Recycling Industry Operating Standard), ISO 14001 and e-Stewards certifications.
Gibson says the advantages brought about by the three certifications have been numerous and have been among the reasons why the company has grown markedly in its seven-year existence.
As of late 2012, Vintage Tech operates not only from its headquarters plant in Romeoville, Ill., but also from plants in Plainfield, Ill., and Riverside, Mo. Gibson recently discussed the company’s strategy relative to certification.
Q: How has certification helped Vintage Tech?
A: When you start looking into getting certified, you may think you’re already doing well on health and safety, but then you find out there is so much more to learn. E-Stewards, for instance, has a lot of strong points on this front, such as monitoring ergonomics and air quality testing. Separately, in marketing terms, I’d say we’ve created about 60 jobs just based on certification. Many OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) are now only working with certified recyclers.
Q: Do you find most of your customers understand certification?
A: I’d say with some of our customers on the business-to-business side we’re in the process of educating them. But government clients and OEMs, who make up about 70 percent of our business, would not do business with us if we were not certified. In addition to health and safety, handling data securely is important to companies like Sony and Toshiba. You can’t risk handling it improperly.
Q: How has Vintage Tech been doing in striving toward its zero landfill policy?
A: Anything that can be recycled, we recycle. If it can be recycled, we do not put it into the landfill, and when material leaves our facilities it’s mill ready.