The afterlife of a Shure microphone
(Dave Molter | Posted 2010-05-26)
We all know it's going to happen sooner or
later, but somehow we're still shocked when it does: a Shure microphone
has been subjected to so many years of abuse that it can't be repaired
and must be discarded. Befitting a product whose specialty is taking a
beating, the journey to that great road case in the sky ends . . . well,
with another beating.
When a Shure product can no longer be repaired, it becomes scrap. In
addition, the FCC's closing of the 700 MHz frequency band has resulted
in thousands of wireless microphone systems being replaced prematurely.
Many of these have been returned to Shure as part of its 700 MHz rebate
program, adding to the amount of scrap.
Instead of simply sending all of this to a local landfill, Shure sends
all scrap products and components to Sims Recycling Solutions, an
EPA-approved electronics recycler. Everything is shredded into pieces
smaller than one inch, and then separated into different types of
material (metals, glass, plastic, etc.). Each of these material streams
is then recycled. Nothing goes to a landfill, and all processing takes
place in the U.S.
"In 2009, Shure recycled 52 tons of material that would have been sent
to landfills," says Pat Knoll, Director, Global Facilities. "That has a
significant environmental impact." Knoll says that's equivalent to
* 888 trees, or
* 214,206 kilowatts of electricity, or
* 19,844 gallons of oil, or
* 365,540 gallons of water
At Shure, Earth Day has evolved into a week-long showcase of practical
ways to reduce our impact on the environment. "During Earth Week, we
underscore our commitment to the environment by providing opportunities
for Associates to get involved," says Sandy LaMantia, Shure President
and CEO. "By recycling, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and
conserving energy, we can help build a healthier environment for
everyone." This year, Shure's Earth Week festivities included special
recycling events to collect old athletic shoes and latex paint, an
information session on local public transportation options, and a
presentation by the Company's landscaping contractor about natural
landscaping techniques that can be used at home.
Environmental awareness doesn't stop after Earth Week, however. In
2007, Shure created an in-house "Green Team", whose mission is to
identify environmentally friendly solutions and sustainability
initiatives that could be implemented throughout the Company's
operations. The Green Team expanded Shure's office recycling program to
include batteries, printer cartridges, and storage media in addition to
paper, glass, and plastic bottles, and reduced paper consumption by
distributing the Company's Shure Shots newsletter electronically and
programming printers and copiers to automatically default to
From a press release.