Old PCs spell profit for Clearhouse

The PC disposal business is booming, according to Melbourne-based Clearhouse Technologies, which plans to open a second operation in Sydney within six months.

Clearhouse managing director, Tony Nestola, said the fledgling company was currently looking to buy a warehouse to set up in Sydney. It already had two employees based in Sydney, and a further eight in Melbourne.

The company, set up by former Volante Group founders, Nestola and Glenn Reid, is a rival to Volante’s subsidiary PC refurbishing business, Global Remarketing.

A former founder of Volante Group, Nestola and another ex-Volante founder, Glenn Reid, founded Clearhouse in July.

“We’re competing pretty much head to head,” Nestola said.

As A privately-held company Clearhouse was able to be quicker and more aggressive than its publicly-listed rival, he said. Nesrola decided to stay in the refurbishing business to take advantage of the opportunities coming out of the Y2K refresh.

“A lot of those assets haven’t been replaced yet," he said. "In late 2003 and the start of 2004 we’ll see big volumes coming through.”

Clearhouse partners with a number of PC vendors to do fleet disposals, including Dell, IBM and HP.

The company also partners with resellers including Commander and BCA.

“We’re their decommissioning arm,” Nestola said.

In addition, Clearhouse direct marketed to the top 1000 corporates and government bodies, he said.

Clearhouse onsells about half of its refurbished PCs locally, and the rest went offshore, Nestola said.

“There’s massive demand, particularly in India,” he said.

The equipment which can’t be refurbished and sold goes to another company for disassembly.

“The only thing we can’t do anything with is monitors,” Nestola said.

The phosphorous in CRT tubes made them unrecyclable.

“At the moment, the company we work with is stockpiling monitors – and working on a program to dispose of them,” he said.