ScanSource: ‘You can’t just throw technology products in the dumpster anymore’

Just in time for Earth Day, a new partnership with E-Waste to help installers get business, avoid liability
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Thursday, April 22, 2010

GREENVILLE, S.C.—Recognizing that, for legal and environmental-responsibility reasons, security installers need to be much more diligent about the disposal of the electronic components they remove from customer sites, distributor ScanSource Security has announced a new way for its dealers to throw things out the right way. Partnering with end-of-life technology waste management company E-Waste, ScanSource will let installers dispose of products economically while also getting a certificate of destruction they can transfer to end users, providing peace of mind against potential liability.

In fact, through June, ScanSource will provide the disposal program for all DVRs for free.

“We’re trying to get out ahead of the market,” said Paul Constantine, VP of merchandising for ScanSource. “Even though it’s not something we’re getting asked for a great deal, it was a program whose time had come for a lot of reasons ... There are a lot of business and legal issues around the disposal of technology equipment that don’t think the industry is as up to speed on as they should be. There’s a liability that you need to be aware of. You can’t just throw technology products in the dumpster anymore.”

Not only are there environmental implications, with many products containing mercury and other hazardous substances that are being more tightly regulated by the EPA and individual states, but there are also the legal ramifications (Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, etc.) of making sure that data is disposed of properly.

Constantine sees the program as another service that can be offered to end users, creating a longer relationship and potential recurring revenue: “You can take those DVRs, cameras, monitors, servers, what have you, and say, ‘For x amount of dollars, I can dispose of these and provide a certificate of destruction.’ And that gives the end users peace of mind against winding up in court if the EPA tracks a product back to them, or if someone finds data in a landfill ... The end users can keep that on file and they’re protected in case E-Waste doesn’t do their job. They can say, ‘Hey, wait a minute, I’ve got the certificate. I’m indemnified.’”

After the initial free period, installers can expect fees of roughly $15 per DVR, with different fees for different products, but ScanSource expects installers to be able to pass that fee onto the end users as part of that disposal service.

“It’s not a huge deal,” Constantine said, “but it’s one more thing that the integrators and dealers can add to their portfolio of value ... getting rid of these things can be a pain in the butt.”