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What are Demanufacturers?

Demanufacturers are the unsung heroes of sustainability, skillfully dismantling products to reclaim materials for reuse. They combat waste by ensuring valuable resources are not lost to landfills, playing a crucial role in the circular economy. Their work supports environmental conservation and resource efficiency. How might demanufacturing change the way we view product lifecycles? Join the conversation on responsible consumption.
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

In most states and in many countries, there are now specific rules regarding the disposal of electronics items. Many electronics and appliances contain hazardous materials that need to be disposed of in a safe manner. Yet another reason why disposal programs may specify certain procedures for getting rid of anything from TVs to cell phones or laptops is to give demanufacturers a chance.

Even if a computer is obsolete or your cellphone doesn’t work anymore, it can contain parts that are still of value. These parts can be taken from the other less useable parts and recycled, which in some cases nets a profit over the cost of throwing out an item. You’ll note the many public charities that now collect cell phone batteries or used ink cartridges. This is because to demanufacturers, these items have value, and recycling some of their component parts can make a profit.

Demanufacturers often work with ink cartridges.
Demanufacturers often work with ink cartridges.

Demanufacturers may specialize in removing recyclable parts of certain electronics, or they may work on a wide range of electronic devices, taking them apart and removing the “good stuff” that can help build a profitable business. Companies may work as part of a county, city or state disposal agency, or they may hold private contracts with waste management companies to perform this business. You might find private companies listed under e-waste in telephone books or online.

Even in older cell phones, parts can often be recycled.
Even in older cell phones, parts can often be recycled.

Some e-waste items pose more trouble to demanufacturers than do others. For instance, disassembling a television is more labor intensive than taking a few parts out of a cellphone. Not all items are as profitable to demanufacturers. In general, personal computers, home telephones and the like aren’t going to net much profit, though there is some. This is why you can expect to pay a fee if you take this equipment to a “recycling” center.

Salvagers and refurbishers buy old cell phones and either strip them and sell the components, or fix them and sell them at low cost.
Salvagers and refurbishers buy old cell phones and either strip them and sell the components, or fix them and sell them at low cost.

On the other hand, companies with large mainframe computer systems may make a profit when they take equipment with a lot of valuable parts to a demanufacturer. Most demanufacturers will pay, rather than charge companies recycling large systems. This gives businesses a way to make a little money by recycling and demanufacturing, and ensures that items are disposed of in a safe manner.

As the world looks to more “green” methods of disposal, it might be worthwhile to consider that the things you view as “worthless” because they don’t work well anymore, may not be without value. Any part that can be recycled reduces the total number of new parts that need to be made out of materials that we might like to use less of. Companies using recycled parts may in turn be able to transfer savings to consumers. In all, demanufacturers serve an important part in creating a “greener” world.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent AboutMechanics contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent AboutMechanics contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

Learn more...

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    • Demanufacturers often work with ink cartridges.
      Demanufacturers often work with ink cartridges.
    • Even in older cell phones, parts can often be recycled.
      By: nick barounis
      Even in older cell phones, parts can often be recycled.
    • Salvagers and refurbishers buy old cell phones and either strip them and sell the components, or fix them and sell them at low cost.
      By: Xuejun li
      Salvagers and refurbishers buy old cell phones and either strip them and sell the components, or fix them and sell them at low cost.