Discarded electronics are one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world, and a new survey from Best Buy found that only about 40% of people in the United State recycle old computers, TVs and phones, even though Best Buy and Staples are among companies that will take it for free. Most of the e-waste ends up in landfills, but as John Shegerian, CEO of Electronic Recyclers International tells Living on Earth’s Helen Palmer, it can be recycled safely and responsibly.
John S. Shegerian is the Chairman and CEO of Electronic Recyclers International (ERI) and ERI's subsidiary organizations, 1800RECYCLING.com and UrbanMining.org. Established in 2002, ERI collects and recycles electronic waste, specializing in the sustainable dismantling of consumer electronic items.
Under Shegerian's stewardship, ERI has fast become the largest and most efficient recycler of electronic waste in the word. ERI is licensed to de-manufacture and recycle televisions, computers, and virtually all other types of electronics equipment.
ERI developed and houses the largest e-waste shredder in the world, and was the first electronic recycler to be dual certified (R2 and BAN e-Stewards) as a responsible recycler of electronics. ERI now processes more than 250 million pounds of electronic waste annually at seven locations serving every zip code in the United States.
Green is good is the nation's #1 Rated environmentally themed radio program
Shegerian is also co-host of "Green is Good" on iHeartRadio. Green is Good is the nation's #1 rated environmentally themed radio program, in which John interviews celebrities, company leaders and green nonprofits regarding environmental issues and opportunities. Guests have included Walmart, FedEx, Hewlett Packard, Verizon, Alcoa, and many more.
Shegerian's talks on sustainability, innovation and the benefits of running a green business have moved and inspired prestige audiences from China, India, and throughout Europe, to the World Bank, United Nations and the White House
Prior to his work at ERI, Shegerian had co-founded FinancialAid.com one of the most successful student loan companies in the country. While at FinancialAid.com, he also created RateYourCampus.com (a college student polling and feedback community) which then led to the creation of CampusDirt.com (which evolved into the most relevant and visited college search engine). Also, CampusClix.com was created and became one of the first college social networking properties on the web.
In October 2004, Shegerian and his partners sold FinancialAid.com and all the aforementioned affiliated properties to Education Lending Group, which was purchased in February 2005 by CIT (NYSE: CIT).
In 2004, Shegerian created, and still serves as Founder and CEO of Addicted.com, a comprehensive, interactive website dedicated to helping those struggling with the disease of addiction, that has become the leading online space for the recovering community.
For his work with ERI, Shegerian has been named the Clean Tech Entrepreneur of the Year for Northern Califronia by Ernst & Young. He received the "Innovator of the Year" award from the International Electronics Recycling Conference & Expo (ERCE) for his development of 1800RECYCLING.com and its role in democratizing the recycling process nationwide.
Shegerian was also named the 2012 recipient of the Harold Zinkin Entrepreneur of the Year Award commemorating a proven track record of leading a business through several years of success. In 2012, John and ERI were both inducted into the International Green Business Hall of Fame. ERI has also won "Recycler of the Year" and the "Industry Pioneer" award from the IERCE.
Shegerian is driven by his commitment to innovate and develop companies that benefit and inspire others and are socially responsible. He has a 25 year track record of quickly converting start-ups into large, highly successful business enterprises.
Over the years, Shegerian has also assisted many of the State's top legislators with guidance pertaining to policies geared toward the reduction of gang and youth violence.
No stranger to "recycling lives" and serving up second chances
No stranger to "recycling lives" and serving up second chances, in 1993. Shegerian had co-founded Homeboy Tortillas and Homeboy Industries, which continues to serve as a paradigm for urban renewal in America and was awarded the New York Stock Exchange "Building for the Future" Award for creating new jobs and opportunities for gang-impacted youth in post-riot Los Angeles.
Shegerian is also the recipient of the prestigious "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award," presented by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Committee to businessmen working to provide compassionate solutions for society's problems.