The success of an e-waste business depends on availability of adequate quantities of e-waste to process. The e-waste entrepreneur / investor could tap e-waste from the following three major sources:
The Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive places the responsibility of e-waste on the manufacturer, and most brands now either offer buy-back of old products at a fixed price, or offer facility for customers to drop their waste free. Many major retail stores also offer such drop off service for their customers.
The e-waste entrepreneur could approach such manufacturers and stores and offer to recycle the collected e-waste.
Offices and commercial establishments discarding computer accessories and peripherals constitute a major source of e-waste. The e-waste entrepreneur could reach out to recycle such e-waste. A good data-security tool to wipe out files and personal information such as passwords from discarded gadgets such as hard drives is both an essential tool of the trade and a method to persuade business houses to entrust e-waste.
Individual end-use consumers have the potential to contribute e-waste recycling in a big way.
Most customers are however either unaware of the perils of e-waste and throw out old televisions and computers with common household garbage, or do not know what to do with unused electrical and electronic gadgets. The e-waste entrepreneur could reach out end users directly through clubs and raise awareness. Since such sources are unlikely to pay for the recycling effort, the entrepreneur could aim to collect high value e-waste that fetches maximum revenue when recycled.