E-Scrap News Magazine

Updated: 1 day 21 hours ago

BAN: Utah firm on the run, electronics left behind

Thu, 11/13/2014 - 20:42
BAN: Utah firm on the run, electronics left behind

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Nov. 14, 2014

The Basel Action Network released a report stating that the leader of an embattled Utah recycling firm has abandoned several thousand tons of electronics in need of processing.

In a update to the group's prior reporting on Stone Castle Recycling, BAN officials write that Stone Castle's owner, Anthony Stoddard, "has simply disappeared and is now being actively pursued by law enforcement authorities."

As a result, some 7,600 tons of electronics and "charred residues" have been abandoned at the company's three Utah sites, all of which experienced recent fires that were investigated as possible instances of arson.  Those investigations were inconclusive.

Utah environmental officials did not return a request for comment on the BAN report or the state of Stone Castle's operations.

Earlier in the year, E-Scrap News reported regulators were ramping up their efforts to force Stone Castle to recycle stockpiled electronics, including CRTs.  At the time, Anthony Stoddard told E-Scrap News that "all the issues have been addressed."

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Oregon company responds to storage, management concerns

Thu, 11/13/2014 - 20:40
Oregon company responds to storage, management concerns

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Nov. 14, 2014

State regulators in Oregon have raised concerns about the management and storage of e-scrap housed at EG Metals. The company, meanwhile, said it is working diligently to address those issues.

On Sept. 24, 2013, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality regulators toured EG's Hillsboro, Oregon processing site as part of a planned visit.  Inspectors noted an "unprocessed electronics waste stockpile" on the premises as well as a pile of processed electronics "fully exposed to the elements," according to a DEQ report obtained by E-Scrap News.

On a follow-up visit the next week, EG's general manager and vice president of operations, Peter Van Houten, assured regulators a tent had been ordered to cover processed electronics, but, the report notes, he "was unable to provide a time estimate" on when the unprocessed electronics would be processed.

In a statement sent to E-Scrap News, Van Houten stressed the company is working closely with environmental officials, had made operational changes already and is in the midst of considering additional adjustments.

"EG Metals is fully committed to ensuring that all of our processes and management practices are in full compliance and alignment with Oregon Environmental laws and the standards established by our certification bodies for R2, RIOS, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001," says Van Houten.  "We are currently working with DEQ on ensuring that they understand these practices and collaborating with them on any modifications to those practices.  We have implemented modifications (such as covered structures) and are investigating additional measures to address DEQ’s issue of protecting processed shredded steel, aluminum and plastic from the elements."

EG unveiled a new end-of-life processing line at the Hillsboro location in October 2013.  It continues to work in scrap metals recycling alongside the scrap electronics business.

A nearby 20,000-square-foot warehouse in Forest Grove, Oregon was also inspected during the Sept. 24 visit.  No infractions were found at the site, which functions primarily as a storage facility for the company.

In addition to its Hillsboro headquarters, EG operates a regional office in Dallas.

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Certification scorecard

Thu, 11/13/2014 - 20:37
Certification scorecard

Nov. 14, 2014

With the roster of companies attaining third-party certifications or audits continuing to grow, E-Scrap News has compiled a roundup of the firms announcing certification this past week.

MRK Group Ltd. of Elgin, Illinois is now certified to the ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and R2:2013 standards.

Turtle Wings, Inc. (dba Turtle Wings & Data Killers), located in Capitol Heights, Maryland, is now certified to the ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and R2:2013 standards.

AccuShred NW of Gresham, Oregon; Alaska Archives of Anchorage, Alaska; Allshred Services of Indianapolis; Cook's Mobile Shredding Service, Inc. of Memphis, Tennessee; International Data Depository of Miami; Ohio Mobile Shredding of Columbus, Ohio; Super Save Shredding of Calgary, Alberta; and TITAN Mobile Shredding LLC of Pipersville, Pennsylvania have either achieved or renewed their NAID Certifications for Physical Destruction of Hard Drives.

E-Scrap News has added OHSAS 18001 and NAID AAA into its certification directory, as well as moved the directory online. If your firm recently completed these certifications, a CHWMEG audit or an ISO 9001, ISO 14001, R2, RIOS or e-Stewards certification, e-mail dleif@resource-recycling.com to be included in this section and in E-Scrap News' directory. The full directory is available at www.tinyurl.com/Certified-E-scrap.

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NewsBits

Thu, 11/13/2014 - 20:28
NewsBits

Nov. 14, 2014

The Canadian arm of Call2Recycle, the manufacturer-backed battery collection organization, reports that collection of primary and rechargeable batteries in Canada is on pace to hit a new high this year. Consumers in the Great White North diverted more than 2 million kilograms (4.4 million pounds) of end-of-life batteries through the first 10 months of 2014.

The latest figures from the state e-scrap program in Washington offer further evidence that CRT collection totals in the Evergreen State may be plateauing. In October, 3.9 million pounds of TVs, computers and monitors were collected through the program. That's a slight increase from September numbers but for the year, Washington is still on pace to take in less material than it did in 2013.

The city and emriate of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, has taken the first steps toward establishing an e-scrap collection infrastructure. Where was the first collection bin set up in the consumption-crazed metropolis? Inside a mall, naturally.

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BAN softens stance on exports of "high-end electronics"

Thu, 11/06/2014 - 11:35
BAN softens stance on exports of "high-end electronics"

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

Nov. 6, 2014

The Basel Action Network has announced support for a pair of initiatives that would pave the way for more exports of reusable electronics.

In a Nov. 5 press release, the traditionally export-averse group states it is now backing exports of select “high-end electronics” for the purposes of refurbishment and reuse as well as “a more liberal interpretation” of laptop and battery waste determinations under the Basel Convention.

Jim Puckett , BAN's executive director, explained to E-Scrap News the export-reuse issue emerged as a pressing topic during meetings with the Basel Convention's Working Group and BAN felt it needed to propose language that would help clarify how and when working electronics may be exported.

“It became very clear in the last three years at Basel Convention meetings that we were at an impasse in finalizing the guidance document which was designed to provide the parties guidance on when used electronic equipment would be considered a waste and when it would not,” Puckett said. “BAN and others felt that this was a case where having no guidance was worse than having a small compromise exception as long as it honored the letter and spirit of the Basel Convention and Basel Ban Amendment.”

The Basel Convention treaty was initially drafted in the late 1980s with the intent to limit the export of hazardous waste from developed nations to less-developed countries. According to the Basel convention website, there are currently 181 international parties to the treaty, though not all have ratified. The U.S. has signed the treaty but not ratified it.

By inserting an exception into the Basel Convention, the goal is to extend the life cycles of electronics that can be repaired and/or reused.

BAN's release states, "In BAN's view, fostering greater reuse rates is compatible with ensuring that developing countries are not used as dumping grounds for electronic waste."

Willie Cade, who serves as a co-chair and stakeholder on the Convention's PACE (Partnership for Action on Computing Equipment) group, lauded the move as a step in the right direction for BAN and the industry as a whole.

"I'm happy that BAN has come out in active support of reuse," Cade said. "With some careful review and study and long conversations, I think it will be very good for the industry to have an environmental group that's supporting reuse."

Robin Ingenthron, a staunch reuse advocate and founder of Fair Trade Recycling (formerly WR3A, the World Reuse, Repair and Recycling Association), also commended BAN's move, but argued that exports for the purpose of reuse have always been permitted worldwide.

"It's always good to see an organization like BAN embrace reuse and repair," Ingenthron said. "However, we note that reuse and repair was already legal for export to any country." He said the Convention explicitly permits reuse of potentially hazardous devices if they're repairable and/or reusable.

BAN, which administers e-Stewards certification platform, was founded in 1997 as a group dedicated to preventing illegal exports of hazardous waste to developing countries. The question of exporting reusable devices has long been a gray area within the Convention.

It remains unclear when BAN's suggested changes will be reviewed for official inclusion in the Convention.


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Patent watch

Thu, 11/06/2014 - 11:32
Patent watch

Nov. 6, 2014

A method for recovering rare earth materials from phosphors is the subject of Patent No. 8,821,817 given to REEnewal Corporation from San Jose, California.

West Yorkshire, Great Britain's Killgerm Group Limited was awarded Patent No. 8,827,194 for a fluorescent bulb compactor and mercury vapor recovery system.

A group of researchers from Drau, Austria led by Manuel Lindner were given Patent No. 8,844,115 for a method of producing a shredding device.

Steven Sloop, from Bend, Oregon, was given Patent No. 8,846,225 for a method of reintroducing lithium into recycled battery materials.

For more information on these or any patents, please consult the U.S. Patent Office database online.

Copies of patents can be ordered by number for $3 each from the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA, 22313-1450.

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CRT player Closed Loop receives notice of violation

Thu, 11/06/2014 - 11:30
CRT player Closed Loop receives notice of violation

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

Nov. 6, 2014

A CRT glass processor operating in Arizona and Ohio has received a notice of violation from state environmental officials, but company representatives say a plan will be worked out to ensure glass moves downstream.

In the official notice of violation (NOV) dated Oct. 6 and obtained by E-Scrap News, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) lists four violations found during an inspection two months earlier at the Phoenix facility of Closed Loop Refining and Recovery.

Three of the four violations note lapses in the labeling and storage of “lead contaminated debris” on the premises of Closed Loop’s site. The most significant finding, however, appears to be the last of the four violations, which indicates that inspectors believe Closed Loop is in violation of the U.S. EPA's CRT Rule.

“[Closed Loop] failed to obtain a hazardous waste storage permit, recycle or transfer to a different site for recycling, at least 75 percent by weight or volume of the amount of the processed leaded CRT glass during the calendar year,” the notice reads, adding that “ADEQ compliance officers observed processed leaded CRT glass that had been accumulating onsite for three years.”

The CRT Rule requires firms recycle 75 percent of their glass inventory by year's end, unless they're provided with a variance to be temporarily exempt from that requirement. According to EPA compliance records, ADEQ had not conducted a "compliance evaluation inspection" on the Phoenix facility since May of 2011.

In the October report, ADEQ is careful to point out that Closed Loop has “the opportunity to do any of the following before ADEQ takes formal enforcement action: (1) meet with ADEQ and discuss the facts surrounding the violation, (2) demonstrate to ADEQ that no violation has occurred, or (3) document that the violation has been corrected.”

David Cauchi, Closed Loop’s CEO, said the company was "working directly" with environmental officials in Arizona to set up a plan of action to send material downstream. While that plan has not been finalized, Cauchi said it would likely contain “measurables” requiring a certain amount of glass gets shipped each month or quarter.

“They just want to see that glass is moving downstream,” Cauchi said.

ADEQ communications director Mark Shaffer told E-Scrap News, "ADEQ issued Closed Loop an NOV on Oct. 3 and we have had discussions with them before and after the NOV."

The leaded glass, according to Cauchi, will eventually make its way to the company's Ohio facility, where a much-discussed furnace is slated to go live in 2015. “Best case scenario, we’re looking at June 2015; worst case scenario, we’re looking at October 2015,” Cauchi stated.

That furnace will aim to de-lead CRT funnel glass and recover both lead and glass as separate and marketable recycled commodities.

In a follow-up conversation with Cauchi and the company's chief operating officer, Brent Benham, E-Scrap News learned that Closed Loop is in the preliminary stages of seeking a variance in Ohio. Cauchi and Benham asserted even if that variance is granted, the Closed Loop furnace would begin processing leaded glass next year.

Approximately 22,000 tons of leaded glass are stored in Arizona, Cauchi and Benham said, while another 8,000 tons of leaded glass will be in Ohio by year's end.

According to Benham, Closed Loop has been amassing leaded glass instead of sending it downstream for recycling elsewhere because the company is trying to collect sufficient feedstock for its furnace. "We're building a furnace and we need feedstock for that," Benham said.

According to Cuachi and Benham, the Ohio furnace will be able to process about 18,000 tons of leaded glass per year, or 1,500 tons per month.

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Wide world of e-scrap

Thu, 11/06/2014 - 11:27
Wide world of e-scrap

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Nov. 6, 2014

An oft-reprinted Agence France-Presse story reported that while Guiyu, China may be seeing steady reductions in the amount of foreign electronics sent there for final disposition, domestically generated scrap seems to be quickly filling the void. The story noted China is on pace to generate more end-of-life electronics annually than the U.S. by 2017.

The Indian city of Begaluru, a noted IT hub, is seeing e-scrap generation increase by around 20 percent each year, according to a recently issued report. Mandur, a major landfill site near the city, has been taking in many of the disposed of electronic materials for years and some onlookers are worried about the environmental and health repercussions of processing activities there.

The Central Asian nation of Kazakhstan appears to be moving forward on a strategy for e-scrap management. Since April the country has worked with the UN Development Programme to establish a basic collection and processing infrastructure that thus far has focused on drop-off points at mobile phone retail outlets.

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Certification scorecard

Thu, 11/06/2014 - 11:26
Certification scorecard

Nov. 6, 2014

With the roster of companies attaining third-party certifications or audits continuing to grow, E-Scrap News has compiled a roundup of the firms announcing certification this past week.

PC Recycle LLC of Newbury Park, California is now certified to R2:2013.

Total Reclaim's Seattle facility has undergone a CHWMEG audit.

American Document Destruction of St. Louis; Confidential On-Site Paper Shredding (COPS) of Normal, Illinois; EnviroShred Inc. of Calgary, Alberta; EnviroShred Inc. of Edmonton, Alberta; Goodwill Southern California Secure Shredding of Los Angeles; M1 Document Solutions LTD of Co. Monaghan, Ireland; Rapid Information Destruction (RID) Services of Sacramento; Security Mobile Shredding Inc of Boyce, Louisiana; Southern California Shredding Inc. of Lake Forest, California; WesTex Document Inc. of Amarillo, Texas; and WesTex Document Inc. of Lubbock, Texas have either achieved or renewed their NAID Certifications for Physical Destruction of Hard Drives.

E-Scrap News has added OHSAS 18001 and NAID AAA into its certification directory, as well as moved the directory online. If your firm recently completed these certifications, a CHWMEG audit or an ISO 9001, ISO 14001, R2, RIOS or e-Stewards certification, e-mail dleif@resource-recycling.com to be included in this section and in E-Scrap News' directory. The full directory is available at www.tinyurl.com/Certified-E-scrap.

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NewsBits

Thu, 11/06/2014 - 11:22
NewsBits

Nov. 6, 2014

The repair aficionados at iFixit have sunk their tools into the just-released Google Nexus 9 tablet. Some tough adhesives along with a litany of cables and tiny boards prove to make the take-apart process fairly trying.

Gizmodo this week highlighted a 3-D printer that is made from 80 percent recycled electronics and can be yours for just $60.

Government officials and stakeholders from the recycling and electronics realms recently held an initial meeting to discuss an organized e-scrap collection plan for Puerto RIco. In September, the U.S. territory passed regulations to help the e-scrap effort develop.


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Certified firms can expect more inspections

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 12:14
Certified firms can expect more inspections

By Dan Leif, E-Scrap News

Oct. 31, 2014

Representatives from both the R2 and e-Stewards certification platforms recently said they are planning to institute systems for auditing facilities that have achieved their standards – and the inspections could come with little or no warning.

Speaking on Oct. 23 at the closing session of E-Scrap 2014 in Orlando, Florida, Jim Puckett, executive director of the Basel Action Network (BAN), and Clare Lindsay, SERI board member, both indicated more steps need to be taken to ensure plants uphold certification requirements after they pass the initial audit stage. Presently, certified companies are not typically subject to unscheduled audits.

R2, which is administered by SERI, and BAN-guided e-Stewards are the e-scrap industry's two most prominent environmental standards.

Puckett of e-Stewards said his organization's check-ins would not be announced and they would be undertaken by third-party auditing companies.

"It's an extra layer of policing, and it puts a little more fear of God into the program," he said onstage at the session. "It won't be a long audit – it will be hours, not days."

Lindsay of SERI said her organization's plans for "spot audits" are still in development, and she said, unlike in the e-Stewards process, R2 facilities facing additional inspections would have advance notice, though not much. The audits, she indicated, would be conducted by members of the SERI staff, not auditing firms.

"We're going to try to cover territory and get a sense of where trouble spots are," she said. "We want to figure out who the players are that don't want to play by our rules."

The decision by both certification bodies to beef up their oversight strategies follows the ugly unraveling of two major processing firms that had facilities certified to both the e-Stewards and R2 standards.

Earlier this year E-Scrap News broke the news that Ohio-based 2trg had shut down and left significant CRT tonnages in its wake. The firm's Cincinnati facility had previously been certified to R2 and e-Stewards.

In addition, this summer, Creative Recycling Systems, a processor with several dual-certified locations filed for bankruptcy, a move that also raised questions about the handling of CRT glass.

Puckett said those two developments had an impact on his organization. "That was a real slap in the face to all our certifications," he said.

In another move aimed at strengthening the e-Stewards system, BAN also last week announced the launch of e-Stewards Marketplace, an online auction-based exchange in which all buyers must be e-Stewards certified. The tool has no seller's fee and a 2 percent buyer's fee, Puckett said during the conference session.

"Illegal trafficking will not take place on this platform," he added. "It's not another Alibaba."

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Early-bird registration for ICRS 2014 ends soon

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 12:11
Early-bird registration for ICRS 2014 ends soon

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Oct. 31, 2014

Discounted early registration for the 11th annual International Computer Refurbisher Summit ends today.

Taking place Nov. 11-12 at the Westin Denver Downtown, the Summit will bring together leaders from the global computer refurbishment and recycling space — iFixit's Kyle Wiens, Sean Nicholson and Harold Mitts from Microsoft and ERI's Mike Watson, to name a few —  to address the most pressing issues facing the industry today.

Microsoft Imaging Training Classes headline pre-conference events on Nov. 10, a day that will also feature a Right to Repair group meet-up and a walk through R2/RIOS certification, while International Computer Refurbisher Summit (ICRS) presentations will cover the full gamut of topics, challenges and opportunities facing the refurb space.

Learn more here.

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EPA convenes CRT meeting in Orlando

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 12:07
EPA convenes CRT meeting in Orlando

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

Oct. 31, 2014

With CRT glass management remaining a major industry concern, the U.S. EPA recently held an open meeting to hash out some of the challenges faced by the industry and narrow down a list of potential actions.

After an invitation-only, multi-stakeholder (including CRT processors) meeting in Washington, D.C. last month resulted in a detailed “CRT Landscape” document as well as a list of pressing issues faced by the industry, representatives from the U.S. EPA held a follow-up meeting on Oct. 23, the last day of E-Scrap 2014 in Orlando, Florida.

A wide range of sector representatives were present at the afternoon session, including Eric Harris from the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Walter Alcorn from the Consumer Electronics Association and Jason Linnell of the National Center for Electronics Recycling as well as state regulators, original equipment manufacturers and numerous processors.

The hour-long meeting was led in large part by the EPA’s CRT expert, Amanda Kohler, who was careful to stress from the get-go that the EPA would not be able to solve the CRT glass management issue alone.

“Some of these actions EPA will be involved in and some we will not be involved in,” Kohler told the packed room. “We need to coordinate a systems-wide approach.”

With that in mind, Kohler went through each issue identified during the Washington meeting in September, with attendees most vocal on the issues of stockpiling, enforcement and allowing an extended CRT stockpiling variance.

Simon Greer, whose company Nulife Glass is preparing to serve as a final outlet for leaded glass once it can install a furnace at its New York facility, suggested not enough was being down to prevent firms from simply amassing glass without the intent to recycle it.

“Enforcement looks like a toothless tiger,” Greer stated. “Make noise about it, please. It will discourage others [from stockpiling].”

Others chimed in on the stockpile and enforcement issue as well.

Maine’s Carole Cifrino, one of many state agency representatives on hand, reminded the room that “just because you don’t see something immediately doesn’t mean the states are doing nothing." Connecticut's Mark Latham added, "We haven't had a stockpiling issue, per se, in Connecticut."

Kohler, meanwhile, clarified that “states have the primary enforcement authority … but we can step in and be an authority as well." That was a noteworthy comment because in recent months, criticism has at times mounted against the federal EPA for lack of sufficient enforcement of its CRT rule.

The CRT rule, which requires firms to recycle at least 75 percent of glass stock every 12 months, also allows for a one-year variance, typically granted by states on a case-by-case basis.

During the September meeting, some attendees voiced support for increasing that variance for as many as two years and potentially even offering an industry-wide variance.

One notable opponent to the idea at the E-Scrap 2014 session, however, was ISRI's Harris, who argued such steps simply dodge the issue.

“We’re quite concerned about it," Harris said. "Of course, we all know what the state of the market is, but this notion of just giving everyone a variance … does nothing but just kick the can down the road."

Very few firms have thus far have opted to apply for even the one-year variance. According to comments from a Colorado state environmental specialist at the meeting, a dual-certified firm in that state has been granted a variance. The Colorado official, Derek Boer, did not provide the name of the company.

At meeting's end, the EPA asked audience members to vote on the five most important topics worth acting on. They selected topics:

-Consistently and effectively enforce the CRT rule and other regulations.

-Identify available recycling/recovery options and capacity and associated costs.

-Improve tracking of CRTs to ensure proper recycling (or disposal) of glass and to reduce use of "air pounds" to claim manufacturer credits.

-Work with R2 and e-Stewards to ensure compliance with the CRT rule, including speculative accumulation, as a means of maintaining certification.

-Provide guidance for those engaging in contracts with electronic recyclers to ensure proper downstream processing of CRT glass.

As for next steps, Kohler said, “We will take this information and provide some notes. We’re very interested in working with the people that are interested in working in these areas. … What’s important is the development of a strategy that includes all of the recycling community’s thoughts."

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Smartphones, tablets show Q3 growth

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 12:02
Smartphones, tablets show Q3 growth

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Oct. 31, 2014

Smartphone and tablet shipments worldwide continued to grow in the third quarter, new trade analysis shows.

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), 327.6 million smartphones shipped during the third quarter of 2014. That figure is 25.2 percent higher than 2013 third-quarter shipments and 8.7 percent above 2014 second-quarter shipments.

"Despite rumors of a slowing market, smartphone shipments continue to see record-setting volumes," said Ryan Reith, program director with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

Instrumental to the growth for the quarter were record-breaking shipments from the three smartphone makers behind leader Samsung and runner-up Apple. Xiaomi (up 211.3 percent), Lenovo (up 38.0 percent) and LG (up 39.8 percent) all had resounding third quarters compared with last year.

Similarly strong overall third-quarter numbers were released for global tablet shipments.

During the quarter, a total of 53.8 million tablets shipped, IDC says – up 11.5 percent compared with the same period in 2013 and 11.2 percent higher than last quarter’s showing. Apple continues to lead the tablet pack, with 22.8 percent of market share during the quarter, followed by Samsung (18.3 percent market share).

Despite slower tablet growth than last year, the new numbers suggest a strong U.S. demand for tablets, paired with back-to-school consumption, led to the high numbers.

The fourth quarter of 2014, however, may have the most to say about the state of smartphone and tablet markets. Major releases from Apple, with two new iPhone models and the iPad Air 2, and Samsung, with an update for its Note product, are likely to further push consumer upgrades around the world.


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Patent watch

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 12:00
Patent watch

Oct. 31, 2014

Patent Application No. 20140291210 was given to RSR Technologies, Inc. from Dallas, Texas, for a method of recycling batteries and other electrochemical cells.

Using acoustic tags for the tracking of electronic scrap is the subject of Patent Application No. 20140291387, awarded to Wilmington, Delaware's Empire Technology Development LLC.

A system and method for handling and processing scrap electronics is the subject of Patent Application No. 20140278244, awarded to ATC Logistics & Electronics, Inc., based in Fort Worth, Texas.

Amesbury, Massachusetts' Greene Lyon Group, Inc. was given Patent Application No. 20140217157 for a method of removing chips from printed wiring boards using liquid heat media.

Patent Application No. 20140239098 was awarded to Tokyo-based Hitachi Metals Ltd. for a method of recycling rare earth-containing materials.

Seoul-based Korea Institute of Science and Technology was given Patent Application No. 20140264185 for a method of recycling lithium ion batteries.

For more information on these or any patents, please consult the U.S. Patent Office database online.

Copies of patents can be ordered by number for $3 each from the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA, 22313-1450.


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Certification scorecard

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 11:57
Certification scorecard

Oct. 31, 2014

With the roster of companies attaining third-party certifications or audits continuing to grow, E-Scrap News has compiled a roundup of the firms announcing certification this past week.

Accurate IT Services of Columbus, Ohio is now certified to the ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and R2:2013 standards.

Allshred Services of Maumee, Ohio and Goodwill Data SHIELD of Milwaukee have either achieved or renewed their NAID Certifications for Physical Destruction of Hard Drives.

E-Scrap News has added OHSAS 18001 and NAID AAA into its certification directory, as well as moved the directory online. If your firm recently completed these certifications, a CHWMEG audit or an ISO 9001, ISO 14001, R2, RIOS or e-Stewards certification, e-mail dleif@resource-recycling.com to be included in this section and in E-Scrap News' directory. The full directory is available at www.tinyurl.com/Certified-E-scrap.

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Computer refurbisher survey needs your responses

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 11:53
Computer refurbisher survey needs your responses

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Oct. 31, 2014

A survey seeking to garner a comprehensive look at the current landscape of the computer refurbisher industry needs your responses.

The anonymous survey – which can be accessed here – should take no more than 15 minutes to complete.

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NewsBits

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 11:46
NewsBits

Oct. 31, 2014

An e-scrap recycling center has opened in one of the world's most notorious resting place for end-of-life electronics, Agbogbloshie, Ghana. A pilot effort launched through the Blacksmith Institute features four automated sorting lines to recover metals and plastics from electronics without needing to burn or disassemble them by hand, as has been the relied upon approach for years at Agbogbloshie's infamous e-scrap dumps.

Firms in Oklahoma are continuing to see more and more used electronics in need of end-of-life management. An article in the Oklahoma City-based Journal Record takes a look at two firms active in collecting material under the state's relatively new e-scrap recycling law, highlighting both the opportunities and challenges presented by the influx of reuse and recycling-ready gadgets. Read it here.

South Korea, faced with a rapidly increasing tide of its own e-scrap, has begun to mobilize and enhance its efforts to keep electronics out of landfills. With just about a fifth of electronics getting properly recycled nationwide, municipalities and major cities, such as Seoul, are beginning to offer collection and recycling services to help divert the devices.

 

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Export data, EPA conversation mark last day of E-Scrap 2014

Wed, 10/22/2014 - 14:52
Export data, EPA conversation mark last day of E-Scrap 2014

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Oct. 23, 2014

The final day at E-Scrap 2014 will feature a handful of must-see presentations and an open meeting hosted by the federal EPA that aims to help move forward the CRT recycling discussion.

Kicking off the day, two researchers who have extensively studied global e-scrap flows, Jaco Huisman, from the United Nations University, and T. Reed Miller, from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will explain their recent findings and explore the topic of data collection in the e-scrap export sphere.

After the material flow session, the "Critical Materials Recovery" panel will bring together leaders from the rare earth recovery space. These executives will provide a window into the opportunities and challenges faced by the nascent industry, answering questions from the crowd on the future of rare earth recovery.

Leaders from the industry's two certification bodies, SERI (formerly R2) and e-Stewards, will present at the final session of E-Scrap 2014, offering updates on the certifications and even unveiling some changes too.

The day's presentations and trade show networking opportunities will be complemented by a meeting being held by representatives from the U.S. EPA. Those federal regulators have recently engaged in a dialogue with many industry stakeholders to better understand the scope and challenges defining the CRT collection and recycling landscape.

The EPA meeting, open to all conference attendees, will look to push forward that conversation. Officials will be unveiling an in-depth document they've put together that charts the North American CRT situation and lays out possible steps the agency and industry can take moving forward.

The EPA meeting begins at 1:00 p.m.

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Kuusakoski turns eye to CRT storage concept

Wed, 10/22/2014 - 14:49
Kuusakoski turns eye to CRT storage concept

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

Oct. 23, 2014

A firm looking to establish itself as a final disposition option for CRT glass has announced it is exploring a glass-storage strategy that it hopes will garner support from certification bodies and state programs.

In a white paper unveiled at the E-Scrap 2014 conference, Kuusakoski U.S. says it is looking into adding a CRT glass storage site on the grounds of a solid waste landfill near Peoria, Illinois. The landfill, which is run and operated by Peoria Disposal Company, has been the site of Kuusakoski's CRT-to-alternative daily cover (ADC) operation for the past year.

Anssi Takala, the company's vice president, told E-Scrap News implementation of the storage plan is contingent on support from leaders of the e-Stewards certification, who currently do not consider the ADC method to be recycling.

While Kuusakoski will continue to spread treated, "stabilized" CRT funnel glass on top of the Peoria-operated Indian Creek Landfill, Takala told E-Scrap News the firm is operating at about 25 percent capacity. Kuusakoski had hoped to annually process about 50,000 tons of CRT glass as ADC – a number that would make the project the largest consumer of U.S. glass next to India's Videocon – but is on pace to process just over 12,000 tons this year.

The storage idea, which has been discussed as a CRT option by other industry players in recent years, would store glass in a closed-off cell, and the material would remain there until more recycling options come on-line. The company says the operation would be able to hold at least 100,000 tons of glass and have the option of expanding.

Takala said storing glass at "the mineable cell" would not lower Kuusakoski's costs, and added that Kuusakoski would remove glass from the cell and send it downstream "to whoever has the technology to recover the lead."  It is somewhat unclear who will pay to send glass downstream in that event.

All existing and emerging CRT options rely on business models in which they charge to take glass on.

Kuusakoski's ADC approach, which aims to freeze the lead within the glass, has had trouble gaining support from state programs and certification bodies. With the exception of Illinois and Vermont, state electronics recycling programs are not counting the ADC option toward OEM recycling obligations, and certification bodies R2 and e-Stewards have echoed that judgment, a point that is brought up in the recent white paper.

The federal EPA last month also issued a clarification on its stance on the ADC method, referring to it as disposal, but not recycling.

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