TAMPA,Fla. – Chances are, you or someone in your family, got a shiny new gadget for Christmas–maybe a laptop or tablet.
But now, what do you do with your old devices? It turns out there’s a local company ready to turn your trash into treasure for kids around the world.
A warehouse full of old computers, fax machines, and printers might look like a dump to you. But Tony Selvaggio seems something much different.
“We realized that we could not only solve a problem, but we could create value at the same time,” said Selvaggio.
That problem is the growing amount of electronic or e-waste.
“Something that’s three, four, or five years old and it’s not state of the art any more, we need to replace it. That makes perfect sense for our society. However, that doesn’t mean that device is obsolete or doesn’t have any value,” Selvaggio said.
The solution, Selvaggio started his company eSmart Recycling based near Brandon. His team takes tired, worn out technology, and does some pretty cool things.
“It’s very straight forward. We take material in. We shred hard drives and then we find ways to get some money out of that old equipment,” Selvaggio said.
The shredding process destroys all data from the device and they’ll even give you a certificate to prove it. Some items can’t be refurbished, and get recycled. Others get salvaged for parts. And a lot of items are re-sold to countries around the world where something like we see as outdated is new to them.
“We use a big part of the proceeds to set up technology incubators for children in our community who don’t have access to technology,” said Selvaggio.
So far, eSmart has set up 15 technology labs for kids in need. Some of those are in poor countries around the globe. A few of them are right here in Florida.
“It’s unbelievable. We are in the best country in the world. Right here in our back yard, we can see so many organizations and so many schools that are struggling when it comes to technology,” Selvaggio said.
So with a slew of new gadgets getting set up in homes after the holidays, Selvaggio is hoping you will consider giving your old stuff to eSmart..
Here’s a list of items the company will accept.
Monitors* (extra chages may apply)
Telephones & Cell Phones
UPS Units and Batteries
Switches and Routers
SCRAP METAL: As a service to clients and included in services, the company has license and the ability to handle most scrap metal items, such as:
Lead Acid Batteries
In a nutshell, if it has a plug, a battery or an ON/OFF switch, the company can recycle it and accept it.
You can check with the company’s main office by calling (813) 501-7768 if you have any questions regarding the process or the material accepted. Drop off locations are as follows:
ABE drop offs
Tampa Bay Wave . 500 E Kennedy Blvd, 3rd floor. Tampa, FL 33602
The Iron Yard. 260 1st Ave S #300, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
The Roller Drop Offs
The Entrepreneur Collaborative Center. 2101 E Palm Ave, Tampa, FL 33605
Tampa bay Wave . 500 E Kennedy Blvd, 3rd floor. Tampa, FL 33602