Today I am presenting another written interview with Dellinda Funk & Greg Rabinowitz of Urbanerecycling.com.
Check out the interview:
- What got you interested in the recycling business? Share your story
I’ve always been a recycler of household items. I compost, save leftovers, donate clothes and furniture to organizations, etc. I always felt like there were great business opportunities in trash. Some people would laugh at my ‘trashy’ entrepreneurial ideas, but I knew the future of garbage had to change if we wanted to live in a clean world. Greg, my partner used to be in the scrap metal business, but he was out for a few years. When the economy tanked, he knew the scrap business, so he wanted to get back in it. We did some research and found the electronic recycling industry was in its infancy and there a great need for it. So there’s where we landed.
Our slogan is: “Mother Nature doesn’t want your old computers, but we do!”
- What are the most common electronic items people dispose of?
Right now the biggest electronic disposal item is the CRT monitors and televisions. They are a huge problem now, because there is lead and other poisons in the glass. For decades they were not a problem because the glass was recycled and used again for monitors and televisions. Now all monitors and televisions are flat screens. That leaves us with hundreds of thousands of CRTs. They can be recycled, but at a very big expense. Very few companies are setup to handle CRTs. Everything else can be recycled profitably.
- What is in involved when it comes to potentially hazardous products that need to be removed, what happens to them?
We handle no hazardous material. The computer batteries are sealed, we don’t take in CRTs, and everything else is non-toxic. They are only toxic if left in a landfill to deteriorate.
- How have you gone about promoting your company and what’s working for you?
There are two equal partners in our company. Greg Rabinowitz, Operations and Owner, and me, Dellinda Funk, V.P of Marketing and owner. When I first came on board, 6 months after we incorporated, I did a lot of business-to-business door knocking. That is definitely what got us started on the right track. I joined a local chamber of commerce; built a web page, worked on SEO, made a facebook page for the company and blogged when I made the time. We’ve done radio advertising, direct mail and small environmental expos.
- What are your future plans for 2015 and beyond?
Since we have exceeded our 5 year goal in 2 years, we are going back to the ‘drawing board’ to update our business plan. Last year at this time we had 2 FT employees and 2 part-time. This year we have 10 employees on payroll. The growth is exciting but scary. I plan on getting more help. Not necessarily employees, but consultants. I plan on working a lot closer with my CPA, bookkeeper and insurance agent. I occasionally find help from SCORE.org. So, my future plans are to sustain our growth and examine our numbers carefully.
We should have an exit plan, but I can’t see myself, or Greg, working less. We love what we do.
Check out there site at urbanerecycling.com