Student seeks to solve electronic waste problem
Taylor Garces, a senior at Sierra Nevada University, has started a business venture serving locals in Incline Village who need electronic waste services.
Garces helps recycle or repair electronic waste, and runs his business out of his garage.
“December 8, 2021, is when I posted my idea and company,” Garces said. “I received over 100 likes and 32 comments in an hour. Definitely not the reaction I was expecting. I wanted to slow the consumption level of new technology, educate people about waste, and explain (how) they can help be sustainable with e-waste.”
Electronic waste, such as discarded televisions and monitors, when disposed of are hazardous to the environment, as they contain toxic elements such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and hexavalent chromium, according to California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control.
Garces’ business, TreeTech, seeks to repurpose and redistribute electronics to maintain a sustainable balance with advanced technology.
TreeTech will take almost any electronic devices such as phones, cameras, TVs, kitchen appliances, and more.
Those who are interested in using TreeTech services may schedule an appointment for their wants and needs dealing with electronics via the TreeTech Facebook page. From there, Garces assists his clients by either fixing the product or sending it off to a facility that can either fix or make use of the electronics.
“I fix everything myself if I can do it, then I send them to a place or a person that can help them… Most items I get are still good, but people don’t want them anymore,” Garces said.
Garces began his business venture in Incline Village, but would like to begin helping those who want to dispose of electronics in South Lake, Truckee, Tahoe City, and other parts around the basin. He hopes to eventually open up a few locations in other parts of the country after he graduates.
Pricing for drop offs starts at $5, pick up and troubleshooting are $15, and repairs are $20 per hour.
“The cycle of reusing is super important. It can help save money, cut costs for businesses, make more of a sustainable market for goods and items, help our environment, and educate people of the multi-use of items.” Garces said.
Garces believes that the best way to improve recycling as a whole is to make it available for everyone to use.
Elizabeth White is a staff writer with the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at email@example.com
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