E-Scrap News Magazine

Updated: 2 hours 13 min ago

CORRECTION: North Carolina bill aims to dismantle e-scrap program

Thu, 07/16/2015 - 08:05
CORRECTION: North Carolina bill aims to dismantle e-scrap program

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

July 16, 2015

A bill that's passed through North Carolina's Senate would repeal the state's electronics recycling program.

House Bill 765, which passed North Carolina's Senate by a vote of 31-17 last week and aims to cut a number of regulatory provisions beyond those dealing with e-scrap, now sits in the House Committee for the Environment. The 23-member committee is expected to meet July 21 to discuss the legislation and hear public comment.

Counties with e-scrap recycling programs already in place are fearful the bill, which calls for an end of the state's manufacturer-funded electronics recycling structure, will lead to six-figure collection costs for local governments and a possible cutting back of services.

"Rough cost estimates can be greater than $100,000 each year based on our current tonnage," Eric Gerringer, the recycling programs manager for Orange County, North Carolina, told E-Scrap News. "Whether or not we reduce services is something we would need to review."

Orange County is located in the Raleigh-Durham area and includes the municipality of Chapel Hill.

Lisa Rider, the assistant director of coastal Onslow County's solid waste department, says while she's committed to continuing to provide recycling services, annual costs could exceed $150,000 to do so.

"It's going to be up to us to figure out how we're going to cover that expense," Rider said.

North Carolina's current e-scrap program requires manufacturers of computers and televisions to pay annual program fees of up to $17,500 to help fund community-based collection and recycling programs and events for end-of-life electronics. TV manufacturers also pay the full recycling cost for tonnages of material based on national market share.

Those fees and quotas have allowed counties in the state to receive free or low-cost recycling services from a number of local and national processors.

If the bill were to become law, manufacturer fees and recycling requirements would be eliminated. Rider of Onslow County said a trailer-load of materials would cost the county $5,000 to $6,000 to handle "where before, it was free."

Molly Diggins, the director of the North Carolina chapter of the Sierra Club, said the e-scrap program, in place since July 2010, "has been a resounding success."

"It's convenient, it's free for consumers, it's available for all 100 counties in North Carolina and it has addressed an important environmental need," Diggins said. "From talking to members in the House, we know they're hearing a fair amount about this bill from local governments that are very concerned, and they're hearing from recycling companies themselves."

Diggins said the "House is perhaps not seeing why we need to make this change – that doesn't mean they won't, but they at least think the question should be asked."

Introduced in April as a one-page bill regarding restrictions for load-bearing vehicles on state highways, the nearly 60-page bill now known as the Regulatory Reform Act of 2015 has undergone a sizable makeover since its initial introduction.  The bill calls for a number of cuts to "unnecessary or outdated statutes or regulations," among them the state's electronics recycling program.

North Carolina's landfill ban on electronics would not be repealed under the legislation, which was introduced by Rep. Pat McElrath, a Republican who represents a district near North Carolina's northern coast.

McElrath did not return a request for comment.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Electronic Recyclers International (ERI) was opposed to the N.C. legislation.  It should be noted that ERI has never commented on its position.  E-Scrap News regrets the error.

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NYC apartment program covers 1 million residents

Thu, 07/16/2015 - 08:05
NYC apartment program covers 1 million residents

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

July 16, 2015

More than 1 million residents of the Big Apple are now signed up for an apartment-based e-scrap recycling program.

Such hyper-local collection service is key in a city where more than half of inhabitants don't own cars.

“That we now regularly provide responsible, effective recycling for more than a million New Yorkers’ electronic waste is a huge accomplishment," John Shegerian, chairman and CEO of Electronic Recyclers International (ERI), stated in a press release.

The e-cycleNYC program is a partnership between ERI and the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY). It is funded by electronics manufacturers. Through the program, buildings with 10 or more units can store e-scrap in a secure, enclosed area and schedule pick-ups. Buildings with 50 or more units can receive a locked bin in which to store the material, and those with 250 or more apartments can work with the program to schedule outdoor e-scrap collection events.

Officials celebrated the program's million-person mark at a press event on July 15 in New York City. The program did its first collection at North Shore Towers in Queens less than two years ago.

“The e-cycleNYC program represents the most innovative and comprehensive electronics recycling service offered in the nation,” DSNY Commissioner Kathryn Garcia stated in the press release. “The program is a true partnership with support from manufacturers as well as both labor and property owners. We’re proud to have set an example for the entire nation and look forward to the continued success of this important initiative.”

During the 2014 fiscal year, the program collected an average of 400 pounds per day of e-scrap, or roughly 73 tons over the course of a year, according to city statistics.

In New York, the vast majority of e-scrap is still collected through other means, including through city-run collection events, the city's internal collection program and take-backs from nonprofit organizations and retailers. Those other methods collected an average of 8 tons per day in 2014, or more than 2,900 tons over the course of the year.

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EU resolution encourages support for product repair

Thu, 07/16/2015 - 08:05
EU resolution encourages support for product repair

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

July 16, 2015

Members of the European Parliament have signaled their belief that repairing and refurbishing products, including electronics, will prove key to Europe's circular economy aspirations.

A committee of the European Parliament approved a resolution asking for a mandatory 70 percent recycling target for all European Union countries by 2030. The request was made to the EU's executive branch, the European Commission, which is tasked with proposing and enforcing legislation.

In addition to overall recycling rate targets, the resolution includes various statements pertinent to the e-scrap recycling sector. It urges the commission to do the following:

  • Consider lower taxes on repair services and higher taxes on non-recyclable, single-use products
  • Develop measures against planned obsolescence and to develop product standards that facilitate dismantling, refurbishment and repair
  • Take steps to ensure "parts containing hazardous substances are clearly identified in product manuals to facilitate separation of those parts prior to recycling"
  • Require information from manufacturers on what resources a product contains
  • Propose requirements that public agencies give purchasing preference to reused, repaired, refurbished or otherwise sustainable products

The resolution, called "On Resource Efficiency: Moving Towards a Sustainable Economy," comes as the European Commission reviews comments and develops its circular economy proposal late in 2015. The new strategy will include a proposed law on waste and recycling targets.

In 2014, the commission approved recommended targets but withdrew the package this year so it could work on a more ambitious strategy, according to the commission's environment department.



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Certification scorecard

Thu, 07/16/2015 - 08:04
Certification scorecard

July 16, 2015

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.

Powerhouse Recycling of Salisbury, N.C. is now certified to the e-Stewards standard.

Citadel Information Management of Westmont, Ill. has achieved NAID Certification 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 here.

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NewsBits from E-Scrap News

Thu, 07/16/2015 - 08:04
NewsBits

July 16, 2015

A recently released smartphone app helps St. Petersburg, Fla. residents connect with services to accept their e-scrap for reuse or recycling. Called St. Pete Collects, the desktop and mobile app provides users with drop-off locations and a phone number they can call to schedule a curbside pickup of e-scrap. The city is paying $14,000 per year for the app, which was developed by ReCollect Systems, Inc.

The Illinois governor has signed an e-scrap bill boosting collection and recycling targets over the next few years. Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the bill July 10, and the bill became effective that day. It previously passed unanimously out of both chambers but its signing was delayed by a standoff between the Republican governor and the Democratic Party-controlled General Assembly over the state budget.

Al Jazeera has published an interactive essay focused on the issues of e-scrap, particularly how it affects Agbogbloshie, an area in Accra, Ghana. In video, text and photos, the feature, "E-Waste Republic," explores the international movement of scrap, the local reuse market and the detrimental health effects some practices, such as burning, have on locals.

The state of Virginia has awarded a statewide contract to erase data and recycle electronics to C2 Management. The Berryville, Va. company was one of three to receive contracts to handle used electronics from state agencies.

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Industry and supplier news

Thu, 07/16/2015 - 08:03
Industry and supplier news

July 16, 2015

Global Experience Specialists (GES) has achieved level two certification under APEX/ASTM Environmentally Sustainable Event Standards, being the first general service contractor to be certified to an international sustainability standard for the meeting and event industry. GES is the general service contractor for trade show logistics at conferences produced by Resource Recycling, Inc., including the E-Scrap Conference. For more, click here.

Battery stewardship organization Call2Recycle has hired Tim Michaels as its managing director of operations. He has more than 15 years of experience and is known for expertise in logistics, process improvement and operations management. For more, click here.

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PACE group prepares to reopen battery talks

Thu, 07/09/2015 - 09:21
PACE group prepares to reopen battery talks

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

July 9, 2015

A working group of the Basel Convention has set a preliminary timetable for advancing the discussion surrounding the potential usability of laptop batteries currently deemed non-working under the international trade agreement.

At present, the Convention requires a laptop battery to hold at least an hour of battery life for it to be considered a working and reusable component of a computer. Any battery unable to meet that minimum run-time requirement, however, is automatically deemed non-working, often along with the device it powers, and unfit for further reuse and resale.

While the U.S. has not ratified the Convention, the 183 countries that have are in theory restricted in what they can and cannot accept for reuse from U.S. recycling firms and refurbishers. Lowering the battery run-time requirements, advocates say, could enhance reuse and help free up working computers, including those in the U.S., with less-than-perfect batteries.

"It's become very clear that the one-hour limit is an impediment to reuse," Willie Cade, a subcommittee chair on the Convention working group PACE (Partnership on Computing Equipment), told E-Scrap News. "It's just not working."

PACE, which was formed in 2008 in part to recommend amendments and changes to the Convention's computing equipment guidelines, is aiming to jumpstart talks on those battery requirements. A document circulating around the industry suggests a four-step process to garner consensus on a change -- or keeping things as-is -- is expected to be employed over the next 18 months.

First, PACE members will compose a discussion paper and questionnaire covering the issues surrounding battery lifespans and current Convention rules. Once approved, PACE will send the paper and questionnaire to all Convention parties.

Once countries have responded to the questionnaire, PACE will review the findings as the third step in the process and potentially conduct further research into the issue. Once that is completed, the group will make a "recommendation based on discussions and results" as the fourth and final step in the process.

If all goes smoothly, PACE expects a decision to be made in less than two years. While Cade said it would be "premature" to discuss the chances of a change, or a recommended battery life minimum, he said laptops rely on batteries just 2 percent of the time, while the rest of the time they remain plugged in.

The Basel Action Network, which is part of PACE, said in November of 2014 it would be open to a "more liberal interpretation" of battery requirements under the trade agreement.

Battery requirements under the Convention were last reviewed and upheld by PACE in 2012.

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Intercon suit against BAN moves forward

Thu, 07/09/2015 - 09:21
Intercon suit against BAN moves forward

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

July 9, 2015

An appeals court has let a long-simmering lawsuit against the Basel Action Network go forward.

In a decision reached on June 29, the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago affirmed an earlier ruling in granting Intercon Solutions the right to have its defamation case against the watchdog group heard by a state court. BAN had been hoping to have that ruling overturned based on an anti-SLAPP law in Washington, where the group is based, but appeals judges cited a recent case there that found the statute unconstitutional and therefore "unenforceable" under Illinois law.

Anti-SLAPP laws are intended to protect parties from defamation lawsuits brought forth "not to prevail, but to impose on the speaker the costs of defense, which can be substantial," the ruling explains.

While Illinois has its own anti-SLAPP law in place, BAN's legal team chose to invoke Washington's statute in the appeals court to challenge Intercon's case, which alleges the group knowingly made false statements to the media, public and its competitors in denying the firm's certification in 2011.

According to BAN, Intercon was found to be illegally exporting hazardous waste, including CRT devices, to Hong Kong. The company has denied those allegations.

BAN's executive director Jim Puckett said in a statement the suit was "designed to harass BAN in order to make us fearful of telling the truth about unscrupulous industry behavior."

"Now that the law we based our appeal upon has been repealed, we look forward to presenting our evidence to a court of law and defending ourselves and our First Amendment rights to tell the truth," Puckett said.

Intercon did not return a request for comment.

The case will now head back to its originating state court, the Eastern Division of the Northern District of Illinois, where the trial will be heard by judge Virginia Kendall.

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Flat panel display recycling the next crisis? Find out at E-Scrap 2015

Thu, 07/09/2015 - 09:21
Flat panel display recycling the next crisis? Find out at E-Scrap 2015

July 9, 2015

With end-of-life CRT devices continuing to cause headaches nationwide, industry insiders are beginning to wonder whether we'll be facing a similar challenge when substantial volumes of flat panel display devices start to enter the e-scrap stream.

At this year's E-Scrap Conference in Orlando, E-Scrap News reporter Bobby Elliott will take up that concern head-on. Generation numbers will be detailed, processing technologies will be assessed and keys to handling the mercury-laden devices will be explored. Will stockpiling occur? Has it already? Do you have a chance to avoid a crisis altogether? Find out how to stay on top of those pressing questions and more at E-Scrap 2015.

E-Scrap 2015 is taking place Sept. 1-3, 2015 at Omni ChampionsGate in Orlando, Florida. Check in at e-scrapconference.com for the latest on attending, sponsoring and exhibiting.

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New Brunswick considers EPR for e-scrap

Thu, 07/09/2015 - 09:21
New Brunswick considers EPR for e-scrap

By Jared Paben, E-Scrap News

July 9, 2015

Draft regulations would require electronics manufacturers to finance the collection and recycling of e-scrap in the Canadian province of New Brunswick.

The province's Environment and Local Government department is seeking public comment on the regulations. New Brunswick, with a population of 754,000 people, would be the last of Canada's Atlantic provinces to implement extended producer responsibility for electronics.

"Consumers will be very happy to get that program up and running," said Pat McCarthy, CEO of Recycle New Brunswick, the governmental body overseeing EPR for paint, tires, oil and glycol. "We get phone calls every day from the general public on where to take their electronics. Half an hour ago I was sitting here and I got a phone call, and I got two this morning. People want to do the right thing. They want to recycle it."

The Electronic Products Recycling Association (EPRA) is also pleased to see the province move forward developing a program, said Gerard MacLellan, an executive director at the EPRA. The industry-funded group, which manages e-scrap collection and recycling programs in several Canadian provinces, plans to submit a plan in New Brunswick as well.

"We see it as a pretty positive step forward," MacLellan said.

Under the regulations, manufacturers would have to register and submit a plan to Recycle New Brunswick. The plan would have to include everything from take-back locations and outreach plans to information on how the material is handled and what the company is doing to design for reusability and recyclability. Manufacturers could pass their costs on to consumers by setting fees, and they could inform consumers about those fees, according to the regulations.

EPRA's fees vary depending on the product and province. In Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, as examples, $2.25 is added to the cost of a desktop computer, while $35 is added to the cost of a TV larger than 46 inches.

Under the regulations, collection targets would be proposed by the industry and approved by Recycle New Brunswick. In considering targets, "obviously what we're going to do is look at what the targets are for other provinces," said McCarthy, who noted targets have been difficult to meet elsewhere.

Some programs have struggled to meet weight targets set years in advance because of previously unanticipated advances in product lightweighting.

New Brunswick may present a challenge for collections because about half of its residents live in rural areas. The draft regulations call for manufacturers to detail their plans for collections in those remote and rural areas.

Currently, recycling options in the province include a limited number of nonprofit and for-profit organizations accepting scrap for reuse and recycling.

"What this e-waste program will do will give everybody in the province access to recycling," McCarthy said. "Everybody will be treated equal and have equal access."

The deadline for comments on the regulations is July 31, 2015. Collections of electronics could begin in fall 2016.

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Washington state e-scrap collection continues downward trend

Thu, 07/09/2015 - 09:21
Washington state e-scrap collection continues downward trend

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

July 9, 2015

The weight of e-scrap collected in Washington state continues to trend downward slightly, recently released data shows.

A total of 10,833 tons were collected during January-June 2015, about 98.8 percent of the weight collected during the same period last year, according to Washington Department of Ecology data.

In 2014, the E-Cycle Washington program collected nearly 2 percent less material than it did the year before. Observers watch collected e-scrap weights to gauge the impacts of product lightweighting and to get a sense of when crest of the CRT wave has passed. Processors handled more CRT glass than they did the year before, while the overall processed weights decreased.

Unlike the annual reports, the report covering the first half of 2015 doesn't include breakouts of materials types, including CRTs.

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Certification scorecard

Thu, 07/09/2015 - 09:20
Certification scorecard

July 9, 2015

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.

Ace Data Storage, Inc. of Gulfport, Miss.; Apex Shredding in Berthoud, Colo.; ATI SecureDocs of Houston; First-Shred LLC in Fridley, Minn.; Goodwill Industries of Northwest Texas of Lubbock, Texas; Green County Shredding and Recycling, Inc. of Tulsa, Okla.; Infoshred LLC of East Windsor, Conn.; Office Paper Systems, Inc. of Gaithersburg, Md.; Rock Solid Shredding of Little Rock, Ark.; Secure Records Management Systems of Sanford, Maine; ShredQuick, Inc. of Bradenton, Fla.; Shred Right (a Rohn Industries Co.) of St. Paul, Minn.; Titan Mobile Shredding LLC of Pipersville, Pa.; Tri-State Shredding of Harrisburg, Pa.; and Williams Data Management of Los Angeles 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 here.

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Wide world of e-scrap

Thu, 07/09/2015 - 09:20
Wide world of e-scrap

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

July 9, 2015

In India, sales of flat-panel TVs continue to increase while CRT sales decline, and Reuters publishes a photo essay showing e-scrap recycling conditions in a center of processing in China's Guangdong province.

E-scrap and trash discarded into a filthy waterway. Workers sitting amid a mountain of e-scrap. These are a couple of the images published by Reuters showing conditions in Guiyu, a center of informal e-scrap processing in China's Guangdong province. Once a place where the world sent its discarded electronics, today more of the scrap comes from within China itself. At it's peak, the city handled an astounding 16,500 tons of e-scrap daily, according to the photo essay.

Authorities in Accra, Ghana have continued demolishing parts of the Agbogbloshie district, an area in the central city known for its own e-scrap processing sector. After putting a hold on demolitions for at least a week amid pressure from displaced residents and protestors, social worker and activist Alhassan Ibn Abdalla writes on Twitter that authorities have restarted demolitions in the district. Thousands have been left homeless as a result of the demolitions.

India's shift away from CRTs and toward flat-screen TVs is well underway, with nearly three times as many flat-panel TVs purchased last year as CRTs, according to the Business Standard. About 10 million LCD/LED TVs were purchased in 2014, compared to 3.5 million CRTs, according to the Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers' Association. The industry group expects consumers to buy nearly five times as many LCD/LED TVs as CRT ones in 2015.

Government leaders in Bangladesh are taking steps toward managing the country's e-waste problem, according to The Financial Express. The country of nearly 157 million people lack solid data on e-scrap generation. It has hired a Japanese company to assess e-scrap generation in the capital, Dhaka city, and to determine ways to collect and recycle it. Later, the government will give land to the company to collect and recycle scrap.

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NewsBits from E-Scrap News

Thu, 07/09/2015 - 09:20
NewsBits

July 9, 2015

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality expects to award a total of $200,000 in grants to support electronics management in 2015. The department is now accepting applications for its 2015 round of electronics waste grants through September 1. The program is funded through sales of surplus used electronics from state agencies.

The attorneys representing Materials Processing Corporation in its legal battle over the company's former processing facility in Philadelphia have withdrawn their services, E-Scrap News has learned. According to official court records, attorneys Suzanne Ilene Schiller and Diana A. Silva of Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox (MGKF) claim "there is currently an outstanding balance of fees and costs owed in excess of $60,000, despite numerous demands by MGKF Counsel for the payment of such outstanding amounts." The company has said it is in "financial distress," attorneys say.

In The Hill, an industry expert says he's seen firsthand the electronics counterfeiting operations in China's Guangdong province. Tom Sharpe, vice president of SMT Corp., argues in favor of federal requirements that nonworking electronics be recycled domestically, so they aren't shipped overseas, "blacktopped" and sold back as counterfeit parts to go in U.S. military equipment.

The World Reuse Repair and Recycling Association has received a trademark reservation for Fair Trade Recycling, the association's founder announced. Robin Ingenthron said members will now be allowed to use the trademark on certification of membership.

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries has added two new specifications to its Scrap Specifications Circular 2015. Three specifications were also changed, and one was deleted. The changes relate to specifications for steel, lead, copper and other materials.

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India considers deposit system to boost e-scrap recycling

Thu, 07/02/2015 - 10:12
India considers deposit system to boost e-scrap recycling

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

July 2, 2015

Proposed regulations in India call for placing a refundable deposit on consumer electronics and requiring retailers to take back the goods at the end of useful life.

But it's unclear how much on-the-ground impact the rules would have in a country of 1.25 billion people where the vast majority of scrap electronic recycling occurs in the informal sector.

The Indian Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change is seeking comment on the 2015 e-waste management rules. Comments are being accepted through Aug. 10.

The changes aim to update 2011 e-scrap handling and management rules. Extended producer responsibility requirements for e-scrap were first introduced in 2008 regulations.

The 2015 updates would require electronics producers to implement a refundable deposit system for electronics. They would also require all electronics retailers to take back old devices.

Some estimates have noted up to 90 percent of the domestically generated e-scrap in areas of India ends up in the informal market for recycling and disposal. Awareness of the formal recycling system lacks, and many individuals and companies send their e-scrap to informal processing options.

One group says it's deeply disappointed with the 2015 proposed rules.

"It clearly shows that Ministry has failed to take a note of existing informality in e-waste management and came up with a set of rules which, even before enforcement, will fall apart," leaders of the group Hasirudala wrote on their blog.

Hasirudala, which means "Green Force," is a member-based organization of waste pickers that seeks to improve working conditions and ensure continued access to recyclable materials for the informal sector in Bangalore, dubbed "The Silicon Valley of India."

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U.N. e-scrap report under scrutiny

Thu, 07/02/2015 - 10:12
U.N. e-scrap report under scrutiny

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

July 2, 2015

A team of academics has taken issue with a number of key statements on e-scrap exports and generation recently made by the United Nations Environment Programme.

In a post on a scholarly waste and pollution blog called Discard Studies, researchers Josh Lepawsky, Joshua Goldstein and Yvan Schulz make the case that a report released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) this spring contains "serious shortcomings."

The three researchers unpacked the citations and logic that led to a number of UNEP assertions on problems within the global system for handling end-of-life electronics, including the percentage of material illegally disposed each year. They write the report is flawed by "'corner-cutting techniques' that detach statements from their original sources and, in so doing, make those statements look more solid and trustworthy than they actually are."

At present, all three authors teach at the university level and study e-scrap management. Lepawsky is on the faculty of the Department of Geography at Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada. Goldstein teaches at the University of Southern California, and Schulz teaches at the University of Neuchâtel in Neuchâtel, Switzerland.

UNEP is a body within the United Nations system that works on environmental issues. The report from UNEP was released May 12 and garnered attention-grabbing headlines in a number of major media outlets.

The Discard Studies response takes issue with seven points by UNEP, most notably the claim that up to 90 percent of the world's e-scrap ends up being illegally disposed of abroad. That statistic appeared in the very first sentence of the press release announcing the report, which was titled "Waste Crimes – Waste Risks" and looks at a variety of global waste streams.

The Discard Studies post notes the 90 percent e-scrap export statistic was based in part on numbers from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. That U.N. agency released a report in 2013 that stated between 60 and 90 percent of globally generated material was improperly handled.

"The UNEP press release forgoes the range in favor of the upper limit of 90 percent and it is this figure that is picked up in subsequent media reports ... thus bolstering the dominant e-waste storyline about illegal trade and dumping," the post charges.

The post also calls into question the U.N. report's assertion that global e-scrap generation has reached 41.8 million metric tons, or about 46 million short tons, per year. And the academics challenge the U.N's characterization of current electronics processing realities in Ghana and China.

Ruediger Kuehr, a researcher with United Nations University (UNU) who has worked on other e-scrap flow studies, noted the UNEP research was intended not to bring new numbers into the export conversation but to analyze waste crime. He also said the study’s figures on material generation were sound. "The 41.8 millions of e-waste generated in 2014 is based on a statistical methodology developed by UNU," he said, "and endorsed by the members of the Partnership Measuring ICT for Development." That partnership is a U.N.-associated project that monitors data on information and communications technology (ICT).

Kuehr, who did not contribute to the UNEP report, said the study was one of several different projects from U.N. groups currently investigating the e-scrap issue.

"The report, the resulting misinterpretation of some findings and the following responses highlight the urgent need to further research many aspects of the e-waste challenge in an international harmonized, science-based and ... objective approach," he said. "In this sense, the UNEP report is already contributing to further insights into the criminal aspects of international e-waste shipments, which definitely require further work. But this work must be based on much better data, really looking into the exports and imports in many harbors around the globe."

 

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E-Scrap 2015: A big-picture look

Thu, 07/02/2015 - 10:11
E-Scrap 2015: A big-picture look

July 2, 2015

We all know the major trends that are quickly re-shaping the e-scrap industry. Think processor consolidation, CRT glass struggles and the changing nature of the electronics recycling stream.

Understanding exactly how those developments intertwine and shape market opportunities can be a bit of mind boggle. Fortunately, E-Scrap 2015 will be bringing the top minds in the sector together to explore the issues and offer attendees an illuminating big-picture look at electronics recycling.

Make your plans now to head to the industry's leading conference this September. The education sessions, networking events, bustling trade show and collection of ancillary meetings will give you a textured understanding of how the industry is developing – and where your business fits in.

E-Scrap 2015 is taking place Sept. 1-3, 2015 – the week before Labor Day – at Omni ChampionsGate in Orlando, Florida. Last year's conference brought together more than 1,300 attendees from 35 countries, and similar numbers are expected for the upcoming iteration. Check in at e-scrapconference.com for all the latest information on exhibiting, sponsoring and attending.

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Illinois e-scrap bill sent to governor

Thu, 07/02/2015 - 10:10
Illinois e-scrap bill sent to governor

By Jared Paben, E-Scrap News

July 2, 2015

An Illinois bill increasing the amount of material e-scrap manufacturers must collect and recycle has been sent to the governor.

The legislation would require manufacturers to pay for the collection and recycling of 23,300 tons of e-scrap in 2015 and 24,800 tons in each of 2016 and 2017, up from 21,102 tons in 2014.

The bill has been delayed by a reported standoff between first-term Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democratic Party-controlled General Assembly over the state budget.

The e-scrap bill passed unanimously out of both the Senate and House of Representatives as of May 19. The House sent it to Rauner on June 17, just before the 30-day legal deadline for sending him the bill.

Rauner now has 60 days to act on it. If he does nothing, it becomes law. If he vetoes it, a three-fifths vote from each chamber would be needed to overcome the veto.

The bill was the product of negotiations between various stakeholders, and it's seen as a temporary fix to the e-scrap program. Stakeholders expect to return to the table to discuss future legislation changing the program.

Jerry Peck, associate director of government affairs for the Illinois Manufacturers' Association (IMA), previously told E-Scrap News he put together a letter from the IMA sent to the governor asking him sign the bill immediately.

"If that's the law and we all agree to it, let's change that as soon as possible," he said.

Doing so will allow the manufacturers more time to do their necessary accounting work and prepare for the bill's requirements, he said.

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Wide world of e-scrap

Thu, 07/02/2015 - 10:09
Wide world of e-scrap

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

July 2, 2015

China offers subsidies to move forward electronics recycling, the demolition of Agbogbloshie is analyzed in Wired and an Indian state announces an e-scrap facility.

China has paid tens of millions of dollars in subsidies to e-scrap recycling firms, part of an effort to formalize e-scrap recycling in the country. More than 100 e-scrap recycling firms have received subsidies from a government fund established in 2012. Those companies handle about 70 million electronic items each year.

The self-taught e-scrap refurbishers and recyclers of Accra's Agbogbloshie district needed support and training, says electronics repair and reuse advocate Kyle Wiens. Instead, they got demolished. Wiens, founder of iFixit.org, writes about the recent demolition of the high-profile scrap yard by the Ghana government.

A state in India is planning to create a facility to dismantle electronics and separate the materials for recycling by authorized plants, according to The Hindu Business Line. The state of Goa, on the west coast and south of Mumbai, will establish the facility.

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Certification scorecard

Thu, 07/02/2015 - 10:08
Certification scorecard

July 2, 2015

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.

Absolute Data Destruction of Toronto; Shred Trust of Deerfield Beach, Fla.; ShredYourDocs.com of Apple Valley, Calif.; Wasteco Dixie Recycling Centre of Mississauga, Ontario and Weaver-SecurShred of Akron, Ohio 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 here.

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