A perfect storm: the chance convergence of three simultaneous
events, creating a measurable impact.
What happens when unrelated issues merge and create a formidable
challenge? An opportunity will materialize, and those that are open to
change, see the big picture, and can nimbly execute will survive.
The talk of recession and concerns of slowed US consumer spending has
turned from possibility to how long will it last? As major retailers and
manufacturers post their 2007 fourth quarter earnings and prepare their
annual reports, the news for most will be negative losses.
Retailers selling home electronics like TVs and computers are not seeing
the movement the industry expected last year and as a result have
warehouses full of old inventory that isn’t selling or going anywhere
the first quarter of 2008. Some national brands are not struggling to
entice customers to the store, but basic necessities are out competing
them on the consumer’s priority list and not helping them liquidate high
ticket items to make up for the lost sales.
This does not bode well for California, a state that represents 17% of
the nation’s GDP. Even with the Bush administration’s proposed economic
stimulus package and tax cuts, most working families are struggling with
the higher costs of living. The result is people are making do with what
they have, and waiting for prices to drop without the incentive to buy
In 2003, California was up against a major budget crisis. Newly
appointed Governor Schwarzenegger promised if education sacrificed $2
Billion dollars to help fix the problem, schools would be paid back with
a share of any additional state revenues and would be spared and
additional budget cuts. That promise is broken now that he is suspending
Proposition 98 (protecting school funding) in 2008, and cutting $4.8
billion in education funds in the next year-and-a-half.
In addition to that, the Bush administration’s cuts in federal funding
to grades K-12 will further weaken the state’s schools. In California,
the 2008 Bush budget would cut school improvement programs by $455.2
million; special education programs by $574.5 million; and important
vocational education programs by $915 million, all over the next five
years according to CA Representative Howard L. Berman.
During tough economic times, it would be even harder (if not unfair) to
put the burden of financing the short fall on the parents. Most families
are already over saturated with school fundraising. How many bake sales,
candy bars and rolls of cookie dough can students push on their loved
ones? The state of California needs a big picture solution to stimulate
funds to our children’s education, which is also the long term stimulus
to the nation’s economy.
The state of California recognized in 2001 that cathode ray tubes found
in computer monitors and television sets contain 20 percent lead oxide
by weight, averaging 5 to 8 pounds of lead per unit. Consequently,
repair, recycling or disposal businesses that handle CRT-containing
products must adhere to State regulations for the handling of these
Because CRTs exceed both State and federal standards for hazardous
wastes, they are banned from disposal in municipal solid waste landfills
in California. In August 2001, Cal/EPA's Department of Toxic Substances
Control (DTSC) adopted emergency regulations reducing some hazardous
waste requirements to make it easier to collect, store and recycle CRTs.
Even though these opportunities were opened to the public, it was also
estimated in 2001that there were over 6.1 Million old TVs and computer
monitors stockpiled by residents statewide. If this number has grown at
a modest rate of 5% a year, this would mean there are probably 8.17
Million old TVs and computer monitors sitting in homes, garages or
storage units by the end of 2007.
Yes, the state of California is saving its landfills from toxic e-waste.
However, there is nothing gained if consumers are merely shifting piles
of clutter from their living room to a dark forgotten corner of their
life. A call to action to relinquish this garbage needs to make people
and the environment the beneficiaries of liquidating these out-dated
products of technology.
Recycle Marketing, the process of creating a need and a compelling
opportunity for consumers to be informed and involved with the proper
recycling of obsolete product during the buying decision. It is a
foresight strategy for planned product obsolescence, but it can also be
executed with existing inventory.
The objective of any retail store is to get customers in the door.
Ecommerce has opened new channels for consumer buying decisions, but the
added value is getting customers to purchase accessories, service plans
or additional items – a market share of their wallet. The merchandising
goal is to drive sales in the store, supporting the cost of overhead
like multiple locations and employees.
Californians are already asked to pre-pay an extra $30 to $50 dollars at
the counter in recycle deposits for each new TV and computer monitor.
This new opportunity does not impose on this measure, but it executes
the distribution of portions of the cancellation funding to go to
educational software that would benefit the children and their learning
Today, there are recycle control and processing centers in the state
with plenty of space and capacity, waiting for people to bring in their
unwanted monitors. If there are 8.17 Million CRTs collecting dust… then
the residents of California could be sitting on a wonderful solution!
There are rainbows after the storm. We have a plan that would excite
consumers and generate positive excitement about your brand. Contact us
today to find out what your company can be doing to increase sales,
decrease surplus e-waste, and positively impact the education of our