The afterlife of a Shure microphone

(Dave Molter | Posted 2010-05-26)

The afterlife of a Shure microphone

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 saving:

* 888 trees, or
* 214,206 kilowatts of electricity, or
* 19,844 gallons of oil, or
* 365,540 gallons of water

Earth Week
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.

Green Team
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 double-sided mode.

From a press release.

Write a user review