“This is a company full of changemakers,” says Kabira Stokes, Homeboy Electronics Recycling’s founder and CEO. “They're changing what we do with our electronics — and it's because we gave them a chance to change their lives.”
That mission has made Homeboy a critical link in the sustainable future that HP is building. HP recognized years ago that the traditional, linear “take, make, dispose” model of manufacturing isn’t sustainable on a planet where the population is booming and resources are dwindling.
“Sustainability, together with technology, can be a very powerful force for both growth and innovation,” says Patrick Gibbs, manager of North America hardware recycling for HP.
From cartridges to computers
HP’s pioneering closed-loop recycling program is a key component of this effort. To date, HP has used more than 784 million HP cartridges, 4 billion recycled plastic bottles and more than 86 million plastic hangers to manufacture new Original HP ink and toner cartridges. Today, over 80 percent of HP ink cartridges and 100 percent of HP LaserJet toner cartridges contain recycled plastics.1 In 2017, HP expanded its closed-loop production to printers, with computers next in line for the switch to closed-loop recycling.
The products are collected in multiple ways available at hp.com/recycle — for example, from consumers by HP’s recycling partners, such as Best Buy, which has drop-off recycling stations for all brands of hardware in its stores.
This is where Homeboy (a subcontractor to Sims Recycling, HP's core recycling partner) and other recycling collaborators come in. HP sends shipments of the end-of-service printers to Homeboy’s warehouses, where its employees manually disassemble the products, pulling out the plastics that can be recycled and reused.