Thursday, September 20, 2007

It's All About the Waste

(not that -> Thornton!)
So, I am seated at a table with my boss (ahem, manager), and we start talking about strategies to help speed up the transition of an older product into the dustbin of history while simultaneously spurring the sales of the replacement. "Let's do XXXX." someone says. Sounds like a plan. Then, a switch went off in my head. Given the level of tooth grinding I have been engaged in over the past few months, there was an audible 'click'. The switch got me to thinking of producer take-back and design for reuse. OK, the product that has been out in the market for 13+ years was not originally designed to be disassembled and reused/recycled, but isn't it possible that it has some salvage value? How does a company go about determining the value of an obsolete part?
Well (comments of the unenlightened) :
  1. Given the price increase in raw materials over the past few years, what materials are salvageable from the product?
  2. How much will the salvage cost?
  3. What is the market price of the salvaged material?
  4. How mush effort ($$$) will the customer commit to sending the material back?
  5. Is the end-user concerned about the responsibility for the product's disposal?
  6. How would one quantify the value of removing obsolete products from the market?
  7. From a carbon emissions perspective: (not today!)
  8. Will employees care about - be motivated by - the idea of conservation?
  9. How much will it cost to disassemble (hire local HS kids through Craigslist)?
  10. Is there government $$$ for this (spur aggregate demand)?
That's enough. I am headed to a NetImpact Boston social, perhaps someone there will have an idea for me.

Oh, by the way, Where in the World is Corporate Responsibility?, not Carmen Sandiego.

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