Electronics recycling facility first in UK to gain accreditation

Invest Northern Ireland has helped a Newtownabbey based firm to become the first in the UK to receive special accreditation as an authorised facility for the recycling and disposal of electronic computer hardware.

Asset Management Ireland Ltd (AMI) specialises in removing data from redundant computers, before recycling or remarketing the hardware. It operates mainly in the government and business marketplace, where data cleansing is paramount prior to disposal. The accreditation was awarded in recognition of AMI’s high standards in secure and environmentally friendly operating procedures.

The company received Invest NI’s help with marketing, new management employment and the purchase of specialist software, which has enabled it to become the first Approved Authorised Treatment Facility (AATF) in a UK wide accreditation scheme. The business has also recently achieved the ISO14001 Environmental Quality standard to help it comply with the new Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive regulations. These regulations aim to minimise the impact of electrical and electronic goods on the environment, by increasing re-use and recycling, therefore reducing the amount of electronic equipment going to landfill.

The new status will help to secure AMI’s position as a market leader by helping it to gain a competitive advantage in export markets.

Philip McMichael, AMI’s Operations Director, says: “In addition to securing the accreditation, Invest NI’s help with our software upgrade has improved the company’s operations in several areas. These include the automated provision of quotations for clients, equipment collection, tracking the progress of data removal and integration with the accounting facility. All of these enhancements have led to a reduction in waste, scheduling time and human error, as well as improving internal and external communications, leading to a more efficient and competitive operation and increased turnover in the long-term.

“Our new status as an Approved Authorised Treatment Facility will help us to secure more contracts under new WEEE regulations, which came into force on 1st July,” added Mr McMichael.

“Invest NI’s assistance will also allow us to develop new export opportunities for secure data disposal and the remarketing of refurbished I.T. systems, because re-use of suitable equipment is one of the primary objectives of the new regulations.”

Brian Dologhan, Invest NI’s Director of Engineering and Business Services, said: “We have worked closely with AMI to help it to take steps towards gaining this important endorsement, which will make it more competitive in both the domestic and global marketplace. The overall profitability of the company looks set to benefit hugely from this development, as it targets international markets with its specialist services.

“The initial support from Invest NI was important at the start-up phase for the company, and subsequent support has helped to solidify its position in export markets.”

AMI’s staff levels have more than doubled to 21 over the past 18 months.