MEMPHIS, Tenn --"I had a friend I shared a vision with on how business and a social enterprise could pair up well together," said Tyler Whitney of ER2, Electronic Responsible Recyclers.
Chris Ko and Rick Krug, owners of ER2, have their base facility out of Pheonix, AZ. They recently began looking for another location further east to expand.
With access to many distribution points and great customer landscape they were able to settle on Memphis for their second base location.
They then decided to choose a location in Downtown to fulfill their company’s desire for sociality.
"Wanting to be in a community that needs some revitalization we bought an old abandoned warehouse and put a bunch of money, time, and effort into it," explained Whitney. He spoke about their vision of responsibility to their partners, their team members, their environment, and their community in the 38126 zip code.
"This area is really under served, not a lot of employment opportunities. So we give a lot of employment opportunities [to those] that aren't going to find it elsewhere," shared Whitney. He continued, "it could be from criminal records, poor education, [or] a lot of different reasons, but we take the best from the area to teach them and coach them and be patient with them to help build all aspects of their life."
With its recent reconstruction finished and their company in full swing, Whitney hopes to continue the growth in the company as well as the community. Since they opened for business in May they have grown from 1 employee to 20 with no signs of stopping.
ER2's main purpose is to partner with businesses that have old IT equipment that is on its way out or needs to be destroyed. Companies can arrange a pickup or drop off of the equipment and ER2 will recycle it in a responsible way. This could be refurbishing and reselling it or scraping it.
If they need to scrap a product they deconstruct it and sell off the commodities after pulling any data contained in the device.
With all that done they can properly destroy the data and repurpose the equipment.
At the end of it all, companies will receive an itemized inventory of the equipment to wipe from their books.
"It's exciting to see a lot of businesses, including ours, invest in the city, with time and money to see that this city is changed," said Whitney.