The adage "one person's trash is another person's treasure" rings true for one Mississippi entrepreneur. Chris Lumaghini's company, Magnolia Data Solutions, makes money by recycling electronic waste while making sure sensitive information does not make it into the wrong hands.
When Lumaghini started recycling e-waste in 2008 he measured volume in the thousands of pounds
"Our first year in business we maybe processed 100,000 pounds of electronic waste," Lumaghini said. "This year we're on track to most likely top 2 million pounds of e-waste."
Now that Lumaghini has bought MDS's primary competitor, Advantage E-Cycling, he thinks the scales will continue tipping in MDS's favor.
"We have formed the largest and fastest growing electronic recycling company in the state of Mississippi," said the Boston, Mass., native.
The company headquartered in its sprawling Jackson warehouse on Fairbanks Street remains the state's sole Responsible Recycling R2 certified e-waste company. Meaning they are under the microscope.
"We get audited annually on more than 50 points of environmental, legal, worker health and safety and data security," Lumaghini said.
A majority of financial institutions and hospitals in Mississippi contract MDS to destroy sensitive information that identity thieves could seize on. They have three shredders that literally pulverize hard drives by chopping them into pieces.
"Has your name, social security number, addresses," Lumaghini said. "There's a lot on those devices that you don't want going to just anybody."
A nine person team, a mix of device demanufacturers and e-waste transport drivers, ensures proper disposal of machines. Proper disposal means saving our water and soil from being contaminated by chemicals like lead making Lumaghini's business plan a win-win for the environment and identity security.