Tech Dump (now Repowered) is a certified electronics recycling and refurbishing social enterprise. As one of the largest collectors of e-waste in the state of Minnesota, we have processed more than 25 million pounds of electronic waste—all while adhering to the highest standards of data security, employee safety, and environmental standards. We use our business model to provide job opportunities for adults facing barriers to employment, such as previous incarceration, addiction, or homelessness. We believe that everything and every person has value.
Tech Dump (originally called Jobs Foundation) was started to meet the needs of unemployed adults in the Twin Cities who experience barriers to employment. At our inception, we accepted donated items residents no longer wanted or needed, ultimately realizing there was a need for electronic recycling services within our region. As our world continues to rely on electronics more and the rate of adoption of new devices increases, the need for our services continues to grow.
Tech Dump is an industry leader in electronics recycling. As one of the largest collectors of e-waste in the state of Minnesota, we have processed more than 25 million pounds of electronic waste—all while adhering to the highest standards of data security. We undergo an annual R2 certification—one of the few recyclers in Minnesota to receive it—which requires a rigorous third-party audit of all our processes and procedures.
Tech Dump is honored to be well-respected in our field, which continues to strengthen our partnerships with customers, referral partners, and employers. In 2015, we secured our R2 (Responsible Recycling) certification, where a third-party auditor verified that our environmental, data security and employee safety processes meet the highest industry standards.
In addition to our proven track record of providing seamless electronics recycling services for businesses and organizations of all sizes, we are also a social enterprise that provides jobs and training for people who have faced challenges such as addiction, incarceration, and homelessness. We believe that everything and every person has value.
Tech Dump’s job training program is 18 months and includes paid employment, customized development plans based on their career goals, and ongoing coaching and support. Trainees acquire internal and external certifications, complete regular reviews with feedback on their hard and soft skills, and job search assistance. The skills trainees acquire are in demand in today’s workforce and with their successful employment at Tech Dump, employers can be confident in trainees’ abilities to do their job well and stay employed.
We are thrilled to have received many civic and business awards and are proud of our engagement in the fight for the “Right to Repair” in local and national legislative efforts. Among other accolades, Tech Dump received a Leadership in Business award from the Midway Chamber of Commerce in 2014, and 2016 Minnesota High Tech Association’s Tekne Award for workforce development, and in 2019 was the only American organization to be given the international “Be the Change” award from Ethical Hour. This underscores our experience in balancing our social mission with the complex, fast-moving electronics recycling business.
Additionally, we helped found the Impact Recyclers, a national group of social enterprises, certified electronics recyclers, with the shared mission of employing people who have faced great challenges.
We recently moved into a new building, doubling our size and setting us up for continued growth. In 2020, we will open a branch of our retail arm, Tech Discounts. At this location, which will provide further jobs and will increase access to low-cost tech items to the local community, thereby opening new opportunities for consumers and breaking down barriers once again.
Our whole team was excited to welcome Mayor Melvin Carter as he attended our “Wire-Cutting” Grand Opening ceremony, and declared March 27, 2019, “Tech Dump Day” in the city of Saint Paul.
CEO Amanda LaGrange, a 2018 Bush Fellow, was recently chosen to participate in the REDF Accelerator program, a specialized program that provides training and connection for social enterprise entrepreneurs. This will support our growth plan to again double in size by 2024 to address the community’s need for electronic recycling and skilled workforce from previously overlooked pools of talent.