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  • Jobs in scrapping/e-waste

    Hey all! A slightly different discussion, but im looking for some feedback on jobs/positions in scrapping and E-waste.

    I have recently been trying to recruit 'another me' for one of our locations in Brisbane and have been really struggling. To give some context, I work for an E-waste recycler that works with companies(metal scrap yards, It asset disposal companies etc) and individual scrappers. I am located in Perth currently, and its come a time where I need a 'me' for our Brisbane location as after a recent employee left we just dont have the knowledge (and Im pretty sick of the travel to and from)

    If you saw a job in e-waste what would be your thoughts? Would you be not interested, down to it being a hobby and not wanting to mix business with pleasure? or would it be a dream job?

    I've recruited using a number of avenues and just haven't found somebody who has the 'get up and go' type I am looking for. By no means expecting anybody to come in and know the ins and outs of ewaste, but atleast someone who is excited and keen to learn the way of Ewaste buying and selling.

    I have had some great candidates with awesome sales/trading/business experience but nobody who seems interested in E-waste the way I am.

    Open to your thoughts and interested to see what your thoughts on a role would be.

    Also worth noting the main duties:
    - Receiving Ewaste drop offs - grading, sorting and sharing knowledge with suppliers on whats worth what
    - Collecting Ewaste from scrappers and business'
    - Sourcing new avenues to buy scrap
    - Coming up with new ideas - ie reuse ideas for plastics etc
    - Collecting other commercial waste on the side - Pallets, Bulkas etc

  • #2
    Sure it would be a dream job for someone that's really into e-waste on a hobby level but I think you would need a gun with sales/business experience to move into this next phase of e-waste in Australia.
    I think there's a few larger players working hard to secure the bulk of the market including working to change laws on how e-waste is recycled, in particular trying to ensure no e-waste leaves the country as commodities but having to actual recover metals here.

    Next year the Victorian gov't are going to ban all e-waste in landfill, that alone will create many opportunities to secure the product, Not sure if the rest of Australia is banning e-waste in landfill but if they are, you would want a gun that can go after that market. in my opinion, the business models of existing e-waste commodity companies need to be upgraded, what is today is going to be very different in the next couple years and the one's that will survive are the one's that are actively making changes today.

    On Monday I was contacted by yet another e-waste company expanding into Victoria, but it's just another of the same we have plenty of, there's only so much e-waste in a country of 25M people, it's almost saturation point for commodity buyers and when certain companies secure the e-waste processing contracts in Australia it will most likely force commodity prices down since it will be illegal to export and costs to process here will be higher due to power & wage costs, that I think will wipe out many commodity buyers.

    As usual, I'm probably already off the subject of the thread but I don't understand why everyone is chasing the big jobs but are neglecting the main market share, residential e-waste.
    4 or 5 years ago I was talking about Blubox and how I thought it would revolutionise residential e-waste, since we have gone to flat screen tv's, notebooks, cell phones, monitors etc, Bluebox was the solution to processing large volumes into ready to refine form.

    Well I didn't win the lotto so I missed out on bringing the first one here but Blubox is here, 2 years ago PGM put one in at dandenong, there's a couple others now too.
    But still, the main problem is getting residential e-waste to the Blubox, So we got council drop off points and one company securing that market, but still, it's only a small amount compared to what's going in landfill.

    So I think there's a huge opportunity in drop off centres, when it becomes law that no e-waste to go in landfill, gov't will provide opportunities for recyclers to facilitate the collection of residential e-waste by way of gov't grants, just like they did with PGM, paying 1/3 of the cost to get Blubox.

    Small plots of land in suburban areas setup to act as transfer stations, Local advertising, providing a pick up service to local schools etc, it's a huge market just waiting for someone to snap up.
    The beaty of having small transfer stations is it can be run with minimal staff, people bring the e-waste to you, unload it into designated bins which keeps items sorted into categories, Computers in one, TV's in another, Cell phones, Electrical wiring, Batteries etc etc, even a large bin for scrap steel which a local scrap yard would provide and pick up & pay for.

    Then you have the one main site where it all goes to for final packing to sell as the commodity to the appropriate refiner/buyer.

    But one thing that could be done at each transfer station is semi dismantling of some items like PC's, on downtime the yard person could quickly remove the main components of a PC to reduce the size and throw the PC case into scrap steel, so the Motherboards, PSU's, Drives & Wiring would ogo into their own bins and sent out like that.

    Oh I don't know, maybe it's just my dream and it isn't such a good idea but it sure would secure a lot of e-waste, be profitable and with the help of gov't grants, not to expensive to set up.
    If I was involved with an e-waste company, unless we were pushing to be the main player, I would be going for the other side of e-waste and taking residential recycling to the next level, we simply don't have enough local e-waste drop off locations, there will be more gov't one's but there's only one company that will get the lot, why not save the gov't from opening more and instead let them pay you to set up your own.

    Be the household name for e-waste in the future, have a reverse e-waste drop off zone in every suburban zone, the go too place for all your e-waste, there's a gold mine of e-waste in every home thanks to out high disposable income and the need for the latest gadget, not many businesses open the door and people do the work, give you money and ask for nothing in return aside from just providing the bins.

    But good luck in hiring someone, e-waste is quite simple to learn, I teach scrappers all the time how to grade boards etc, they pick it up quick enough, You might want to look for someone like an IT Tech',
    There's lot's of fresh IT students trying to get into the IT sector buy little jobs compared to how many are looking.

    Buying eWaste link here


    • RWLauren
      RWLauren commented
      Editing a comment
      Love your response and you raise some good points actually! The landscape of the E-waste industry is definitely going to change in the coming years, but my major worry is that all the big companies will tie up all the waste in big contracts and the smaller guys are pushed out. We are already seeing many scrappers dissatisfied woth the service they are getting when selling E-waste because some companies dont see the value/ cant be bothered putting in the time to help scrappers, educate them and provide guidance. I'd like to think myself and you are atleast different to them in one sense.

      I guess, I'm just looking for someone as dedicated as I to continue building relationships with scrappers and small business' and build a business based on that and not the major contracts. We actually used to process scheme waste through a national contract and found that unless you have people giving it 110% a day (which is hard unless they are dismantling to sell for their own gain) its not the easiest thing to turn a profit on with a full set up. Small projects at transfer stations is definitely a great thing, I currently work with around 5 Projects and enterprises that operate out of local transfer stations - they split what they receive into 2 categories, 1 for possible reuse/refurbish (still wholesale selling overseas) and 2. for dismantling. It works really well, and with local council support they are really turning over quite a few tonnes. Its also become quite interesting to see non-for-profits and social enterprises getting into the Ewaste space in terms of social procurement, I know quite a few that are pushing for local council and national gov contracts for e-waste recycling.

      Back off my tangent though, I guess im just extremely surprised to not have found someone whos a keen scrapper and would love to work in this area of business and get paid to do so.

  • #3
    The islami s next to my yard are trying to set up something like that........first the BCC issues them with a "Show cause" notice,next they have to get town planners into the act,after 12 months of expensive engineering ,environmental,traffic etc,it seems to me the BCC is about to refuse the application......the BCC have asked for a whole lot of new reports,surveys etc.from "more established " experts in the fields........much more dollars......theyve already spent nearly$2 mil on the land and planning,this doesnt include all the works,fees etc to be paid to the BCC if the application gets up.....for instance council wants a half kilometer of 600mm storm drainage......So much for any aid for recyclers..........and there have been zero objections.........I demanded drainage be restored,but theyd have to do that anyway.