Born and raised in Freehold, New Jersey, Albert Boufarah is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of SAMR Inc., a company that specializes in every aspect of the recycling of electronic waste (e-waste). A lifetime ambitious self-starter, Albert started down the path of entrepreneurship early, creating a waste management company, as well as a tree removal company as a young adult.
In navigating his way through the waste disposal industry, Albert noticed something important that many others had seemingly overlooked; the electronic devices that were disposed of on a daily basis contained semi-precious & valuable metals. Upon realizing this, Albert began to take these abandoned computers and appliances apart and sell their internal components. Later, he began to sell the recovered hard drives and computer memory cores as well. This endeavor culminated around the turn of the millennium, when Albert Boufarah founded SAMR Inc. in order to fully realize the vast potential of e-waste recycling and wholly dedicate himself to that pursuit.
Much more than a simple recycling company, SAMR Inc. is a global leader in the practice of the eco-friendly disposal of e-waste. The company is in possession of a Class D license issued by the state of New Jersey that enables it to work with various towns, organizations, schools, and businesses to provide legal, government-regulated electronics recycling and data destruction services. Even going so far as to offer pick-up services across most of the eastern United States, SAMR Inc. accepts old computers, printers, televisions, monitors, smartphones, or any other device with a battery or a plug.
Because virtually all electronics contain metals and other elements that are toxic to humans and wildlife (in addition to polluting the surrounding air, water, and land) it is always unwise and usually illegal to dispose of them in traditional landfills. As such, many companies and organizations find getting rid of e-waste to be troublesome and complicated. Albert Boufarah created SAMR Inc. with the thought of simplifying that process. His company makes the disposal of e-waste a straightforward matter, and does so in a way that protects their customers’ valuable proprietary data, as well as the environment. Anyone interested in learning more about SAMR Inc. is encouraged to visit the company’s official website.
How did the idea for SAMR Inc. come to you?
When I was a young man, I created two companies that operated in the waste management industry—one dealing with traditional waste management, and the other dealing with the removal and disposal of trees, as well as other unwanted landscaping refuse. As I learned more and more about waste disposal, I couldn’t help but notice one or two overarching themes at play in the industry at the time. The first was that beginning in the last decades of the 20th century, companies, organizations, and individuals were throwing away an increasingly large amount of electronic equipment. My interest was piqued by this development, and so I dug in and did some research. I found out that not only are many of the key components of electronic devices toxic if left to erode in a normal landfill, but also that a good deal of them are made from rare metals that are really valuable. That’s when the lightbulb went off inside my head! That’s when I had the ‘eureka’ moment that founding a company that responsibly disposed of these potentially dangerous items could simultaneously benefit the environment and make a decent profit. It was at that moment that SAMR Inc. came to fruition.
What do you find to be the most satisfying part about operating SAMR Inc.?
There are plenty of ways to make money in this world, but I think finding a way to make a decent living and build something lasting while also contributing to the greater good should be the ultimate goal of every entrepreneur. I’m very happy to say that I think I, together with my team at SAMR Inc., have accomplished that. Simply by conducting the normal course of our business, we are preventing toxic metals and elements from seeping out of landfills into the surrounding soil, groundwater, and air. Past that, through recycling those components, we are reducing the amount of heavy mining necessary to produce new electronics. Unfortunately, oftentimes that kind of mining takes place in developing countries, whose governments have very little in the way of environmental and labor protection laws. As such, I think our company indirectly prevents a good deal of suffering in a number of ways.
Who are your target customers?
Our target market is literally anyone who needs to dispose of used, out-of-date, or unwanted electronic equipment. We call it ‘e-waste’ for short. Although we take on e-waste from everyday families and individuals, our facilities are best set up to deal with large volumes of product, so we tend to do a lot of business with companies, government agencies, and large organizations, such as hospitals and schools. Taking on large-scale clients is also how we do the most to benefit the environment. Keeping one computer out of a landfill is a good thing, to be sure, but preventing an entire obsolete computer network from, say, a college (which can add up to hundreds of hard drives, monitors, and modems) from being improperly disposed of helps to protect our planet even more.
What is one improvement you’ve made to your company over the years that worked really well?
The most significant improvement we’ve made at SAMR Inc. is the advent of our data security procedures. It wasn’t long after the company was up and running that we realized some of the old computers and devices we were taking in and recycling still contained the data entered into them by their original owners. And it could be anything from a company’s employee payroll information to an individual’s personal medical records! Immediately recognizing this as a tremendous privacy issue and security threat, I and a few other key players in the company developed a practical way to wipe out all this data and destroy it permanently. We actually use military-grade technology that is certified by the United States Department of Defense to do so. For added security, our data destruction procedures take place at a state-of-the-art facility equipped with alarm systems, keycard access, an extensive camera system, and patrolled by security guards. When clients give us their e-waste, they do not need to worry about their personal or proprietary information slipping into the wrong hands.
What is the thought that gets you out of bed in the morning?
Simply put, it’s my children. I love them both so much, and I resolved a long time ago to do whatever was in my power to make the world they inherit a better place. Although, if I’m being really honest, it’s about more than that. Sure, I think of my children first—any father would—but, ultimately, it’s really about everyone’s children. It’s about the future of the human race and the planet Earth. I think that building up SAMR Inc. contributes to the sustainability of human society. The more e-waste our company recycles, the better shape the planet will be in for future generations.