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Aleris sells aluminum recycling assets

Resource Recycling Magazine - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 22:12
Aleris sells aluminum recycling assets

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Oct. 30, 2014

Aleris, the global aluminum company, has sold its recycling and specification aluminum alloy business to publicly traded Signature Group Holdings for $525 million.

The Aleris division operates 24 plants in North America and Europe. This includes aluminum recycling facilities in 10 states, with a presence as far west as Idaho and as far east as West Virginia. In addition to buying scrap aluminum, Aleris is a toll processor that serves a number of scrap aluminum suppliers. This includes the processing of used aluminum beverage cans.

With the sale, Aleris will now concentrate on its larger global rolled aluminum products business, which supplies metal to the construction, automotive and aerospace industries.

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No movement for HDPE bottle recycling rate

Resource Recycling Magazine - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 22:08
No movement for HDPE bottle recycling rate

By Dan Leif, Resource Recycling

Oct. 30, 2014

A study released by the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR) and the American Chemistry Council (ACC) shows the 2013 recycling rate for HDPE bottles was 31.6 percent, identical to the 2012 rate.

The figure was identified in the "National Post-Consumer Plastics Bottle Recycling Report," which is produced annually by the two industry groups.

Earlier this month the national PET bottle recycling rate was announced, and that figure grew by 0.4 percentage points in 2013 to reach 31.2 percent. According to the ACC and APR, PET and HDPE bottles account for roughly 96 percent of the U.S. plastic bottle recycling rate. With HDPE flat and PET up a hair, it is not surprising that the groups found the overall plastic bottle recycling rate grew by 0.4 percentage points in 2013, to 30.9 percent.

Looking at the PET and HDPE figures together, a number of trends can be ascertained.

First, exports of plastic bottles have been down sharply compared with previous years. Exports of HDPE dropped last year 19 percent compared with 2012, to 163 million pounds. On the PET front, exports were at their lowest level in 10 years.

The overall volume of plastic bottles collected as well as the overall volume available both rose in 2013. The nation is using and collecting more of these containers than ever before. Collection of plastic bottles grew by 120 million pounds in 2013, up 4.3 percent, to 2.906 billion pounds.

However, while overall resin consumption is rising, per capita resin use has yet to return to its peak, which came in 2007. Because of continuing effects of the economic recession and trends toward lightweighting among product manufacturers, per capita resin figures have grown slowly in recent years. Per capita resin use grew by 2.3 percent last year, "a welcome increase after five years of little or no growth," according to the report.

On the reclaimer front, HDPE capacity utilization rose to 72 percent in 2013, up from 68 percent the year prior. The PET report issued last week indicated reclaimers' plant utilization rate for all PET feedstock was also approximately 72 percent, an increase of 9 percentage points from 2012.

Finally, the average of reported yield values of HDPE bales to clean HDPE pellets in 2013 was 81.4 percent, up slightly from 81.3 percent in 2012. The PET report stated national yield rates for that material ranged from 75 percent for deposit bottles to 69 percent for curbside material and 77 percent for California CRV.

According to the HDPE report, "The yield situation is different for recycling HDPE and PET bottles. For PET bottles, the labels are not recovered as PET while for HDPE bottles labels may be recovered as HDPE. Contamination in bales of HDPE bottles and PET bottles presented an ongoing challenge to reclaimers."

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Coca-Cola Recycling closing shop

Resource Recycling Magazine - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 21:56
Coca-Cola Recycling closing shop

By Jerry Powell and Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Oct. 30, 2014

The beverage container recycling arm of The Coca-Cola Company – Coca-Cola Recycling – is "winding down," the company today confirmed.

When asked for comment, Sheree Robinson, communications manager for Coca-Cola North America, said "yes, we are winding down Coca-Cola Recycling, LLC" and offered the following statement:

“The Coca-Cola Company’s current goal is to lead the industry in packaging sustainability including PlantBottle, reducing our packaging footprint and increasing recovery, and using recyclable materials. In the U.S., we will continue to work more directly with our value chain to increase the use of recycled materials. As the industry is evolving, we no longer need to directly engage in the buying and selling of recyclable materials. We are excited about the opportunities this will create and remain committed to broad-based sustainability initiatives in North America.

Coca-Cola remains committed to using recyclable materials in our packaging and advancing recycling. We are restructuring how we procure recyclable materials and will focus on developing our sources of supply. Coca-Cola will continue to work with our suppliers, customers and the industry to increase recycled content in our packaging.”

 

Coca-Cola Recycling was active nationwide in the recovery and marketing of aluminum and PET beverage containers. On the aluminum side, the firm purchased used beverage cans (UBCs) for conversion into can sheet. Some of the firm’s UBC buyers were formerly employed by Anheuser-Busch in a similar arrangement designed to help control can sheet prices. Several UBC suppliers to Coca-Cola Recycling expect this side of the operation to continue for a short period due to existing supply and melting agreements.

Some observers say that the UBC market will become very interesting in the coming months. "What will Alcoa and Novelis do now, given the demise of their joint buying system [Evermore Recycling]?" said a West Coast supplier to Coca-Cola Recycling. "Will they become more active?”

Industry players say Coca-Cola Recycling was a central player in the UBC market and did not overpay for cans. “But they were always competitive,” one mid-size seller said.

Other aspects of Coca-Cola Recycling do not garner such positive reviews. The firm made what turned out to be an ill-advised investment in a PET reclamation plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Not only was the plant’s technology untested, the firm had an ambitious goal by wanting to produce food-grade recycled resin solely from curbside-collected PET bottles. A competitor in the Southeast said recently at a meeting of the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers that "Coke’s refusal to use some deposit-grade containers doomed the plant."

In addition to seeking curbside-collected containers, Coca-Cola Recycling also targeted out-of-home cans and bottles. Until the recent decision to end the program, the company's Reimagine Beverage Containers recycling centers employed reverse-vending machines to provide vouchers to consumers using the machines. Nonetheless, after four years, the system was only able to capture about 25,000 containers per day and recently the company stated that "the pilot program is ending and we are closing the centers while we perform a detailed analysis of the results and determine our course of action moving forward."

The company also noted its ongoing support of its Recycling Bin Grant Program which it partners with Keep America Beautiful, pointing out that it "has placed more than 238,000 recycle bins in communities and customer locations across North America since 2008."

Robinson further pointed out that the company joined the Walmart-led initiative, the Closed Loop Fund, "to help provide more Americans with access to recycling infrastructure, while decreasing the materials deposited in landfills."

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Delaware compost facility closed over odors

Resource Recycling Magazine - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 21:38
Delaware compost facility closed over odors

By Dan Leif, Resource Recycling

Oct. 30, 2014

Regulators in Delaware have forced the shuttering of Wilmington-based Peninsula Compost Company, noting the firm caused an "undue burden on the quality of life" of nearby residents.

The closing order was issued last week by David Small, secretary of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNERC). The agency stated Peninsula Compost was taking too long to process material and was also storing more material than it had been allowed under permitting. Those issues as well as fires, contamination and a number of other problems prompted the action, the agency indicated.

"Peninsula Compost Company has placed an undue burden on the quality of life of residents in the City of Wilmington, parts of the City of New Castle and part of New Castle County – particularly those living in close proximity to the facility due to frequent uncontrolled odors," Small stated. "The company has been unable to maintain compliance with DNREC’s Beneficial Use Determination permit."

Peninsula has been operating with a state-issued permit since 2009 and processed around 115,000 tons of material annually.

DNERC says despite the action, state regulators want to continue to promote composting and other waste diversion initiatives. "We remain committed to aggressively pursuing recycling opportunities to preserve our landfill capacity, create jobs and reduce our reliance on raw materials to manufacture products,” Small said.

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Patent watch

Resource Recycling Magazine - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 21:34
Patent watch

Oct. 30, 2014

Berkeley, California's Intellergy, Inc. was given Patent No. 8,858,900 for a process and system for converting waste to energy "without burning."

Patent No. 8,862,495 was awarded to Swisscom AG from Zollikofen, Switzerland for an app-based recycling reward system.

Robert William Carlile, Jr. and Rodney Sewell, from Santa Ana, California, were awarded Patent No. 8,800,781 for a new type of disc for a disc screen sortation device for MRFs.

Toyo Seikan Kaisha, Ltd., from Tokyo, Japan, was awarded Patent No. 8,807,438 for a RFID tag to be utilized for marking recyclable materials.

Patent No. 8,808,592 was given to Euroline S.r.l. from Maserada Sul Piave, Italy for a device that shreds asphalt for recycling.

A method for the processing and recovery of organic materials via anaerobic digestion is the subject of Patent No. 8,809,038, awarded to Recology, Inc., of San Francisco.

Shervin Moloudi, from Los Angeles, was awarded Patent No. 8,810,361 for a smart lock for trash and recycling containers.

Patent No. D711,610 was given to Austin, Texas' Balcones Resources, Inc. for the design of an ornamental recycling bin.

A manufacturing method for controlling the value of containers to maximize container recycling is the subject of Patent No. 8,813,463, given to Allen Berte of Algona, Iowa.

A method for recycling reclaimed asphalt pavement is the subject of Patent No. 8,814,464, given to Western Emulsions, Inc. from Dana Point, California.

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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Latest export numbers show more scrap ferrous declines

Resource Recycling Magazine - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 21:29
Latest export numbers show more scrap ferrous declines

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Oct. 30, 2014

The first seven months of 2014 showed a rebound from Green Fence-era levels of scrap plastics exports, but ferrous scrap exports still show strong declines year-over-year.

Through July 2014, the most recent month for which figures are available, 8.84 million metric tons of ferrous scrap were exported, a 20.5 percent decrease from levels from the first seven months of 2013. At $405 per metric ton, the weighted average price of exported ferrous scrap was also down – 2.5 percent from ferrous scrap export figures through July 2013.

Scrap plastics exports, meanwhile, saw a 2.5 percent decline from June 2014 export levels, with 395.16 million pounds of scrap plastics exported in July 2014. When matched against Green Fence-influenced July 2013 levels, the volume of plastic scrap exports was up by a robust 19.5 percent.

The weighted price of recovered plastic exports in July, at 19.63 cents per pound, was up by 1.4 percent from its June 2014 standing of 19.36 cents per pound. When compared with its year-over-year (YOY) level, the price was down by 3.9 percent.

Through July, at 2.72 billion pounds, the volume of recovered plastics exported was up 15.0 percent from its 2013 year-to-date (YTD) figure. At 19.66 cents per pound, however, the average price for the first seven months of 2014 was down 3.5 percent from its 2013 YTD standing.

As for other exported materials, recovered paper exports saw small improvement for the first seven months of 2014, with 11.24 million metric tons exported, a 1.5 percent increase from levels through July 2013. At $165 per metric ton, the weighted average price of exported recovered paper through June was also relatively unchanged, up just 0.2 percent when compared with its standing through the first seven months of 2014.

Lastly, the 2.14 billion pounds of aluminum scrap exported through July 2014 equated to a 8.6 percent decrease from the first seven months of 2013. At 76 cents per pound, the average price of exported aluminum scrap through July 2014 was down 4.3 percent YOY.

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NewsBits

Resource Recycling Magazine - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 21:23
NewsBits

Oct. 30, 2014

In its third-quarter earnings report, released Oct. 29, Waste Management showed year-over-year earnings gains from its recycling operations, despite continued price declines in the OCC market. The company, which saw overall revenue and net income fall slightly, attributed the recycling boost to contamination-mitigation efforts and changes to its customer rebate structure.

Following the lead of MRF operators in other pockets of the nation, Rumpke is reaching out to residents and media in an effort to try to curb contamination of loads headed to its facility in Cincinnati. The company says contamination levels are five times higher than what was expected.

In other industry news out of Ohio, state regulators have criticized parts of a waste management plan put forth by Medina County officials. Regulators say the county, which is currently in the final stages of choosing a MRF operator contractor, inflated its waste diversion rate.

A women's prison is Vermont was recently labeled a recycling and composting "trailblazer" for achieving state-mandated waste diversion goals a year ahead of schedule. Resource Recycling recently published an article on recycling in prisons that can be read ">here.

In its first year of single-stream recycling collection, the City of Minneapolis reported a 25 percent waste diversion rate, a notable increase for a municipality that had a 16.5 percent rate as recently as 2011. City officials also say worker injuries declined after the switch to single stream.

 

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

E-Scrap News Magazine - 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

E-Scrap News Magazine - 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 in 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 nearby Indian Creek Landfill in Hopedale, 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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Chiefs of prominent processors break down the industry

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 14:47
Chiefs of prominent processors break down the industry

By Dan Leif, E-Scrap News

Oct. 23, 2014

Yesterday's opening session at E-Scrap 2014 brought together five major e-scrap decision-makers, and together they offered a cautiously optimistic view of the future of electronics recycling.

The panel discussion was moderated by E-Scrap News founder Jerry Powell and featured leading executives at five materials processing companies – Dag Adamson of LifeSpan Technology, Cindy Erie of E-World Online, Neil Peters-Michaud of Cascade Asset Management, John Shegerian of Electronic Recyclers International and Steve Skurnac of Sims Recycling Solutions.

The conversation covered a wide range of topics, a fact that itself illustrates the challenging market e-scrap recycling firms currently face. Pressing concerns such as form factor shifts and CRT cost considerations were brought up, but so were less-prominent topics like the processing implications from the move toward cloud computing and the bring-your-own-device trend in the corporate world.

On the CRT topic, Shegerian was clear that from his vantage point, the leaded glass issue is no longer something to push down the road. "The problem is here now," he said, adding that the industry has little time for "Field of Dreams" technologies that put forth promises of handling glass sometime in the future.

The panel also noted the importance of getting systems in place to handle flat panel displays, the technology that replaced CRT TVs and monitors and which could pose disposition challenges of their own.

"We need to be careful to look at it as another possible environmental harm issue," Peters-Michaud said in reference to flat panels. He said he had been on tours of several facilities where employees had broken the fluorescent lamps inside the displays.

Still, the word "opportunity" came up often, even in the midst of talk of tight margins and fast business evolution.

The session started with the panelists talking about how their business models had changed in recent years. And Skurnac noted chances for growth at a global level are particularly ripe as the world's largest companies look to streamline their asset disposal. "There's a crying demand for global services," the Sims leader said. "They don't want 50 different recyclers."

Even on the CRT front, the executives held out hope for better times ahead.

"I believe we're closer to getting more markets for the material," said Erie.

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International Computer Refurbisher Summit heads to Denver

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 14:44
International Computer Refurbisher Summit heads to Denver

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Oct. 23, 2014

The Mile High City will play host to the 11th annual International Computer Refurbisher Summit next month.

Taking place Nov. 11-12 at the Westin Denver Downtown, the Summit will bring together leaders from the global computer refurbishment and recycling space to address the most pressing issues facing the industry today. A Microsoft Imaging Training Class will headline pre-conference events on Nov. 10, a day that will also feature a Right to Repair group meet up and an R2/RIOS crash course on getting certified, while International Computer Refurbisher Summit (ICRS) presentations will cover the full gamut of topics, challenges and opportunities facing the refurb space.

To find out more, head to the ICRS website.

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Patent watch

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 14:43
Patent watch

Oct. 23, 2014

Patent No. 8,855,809 was given to Bedford, Massachusetts' Spectramet, LLC for a X-Ray fluorescence sortation device.

A novel method of lithium battery recycling was discovered by Kawasaki Jukogyo Kabushiki Kaisha from Kobe, Japan and awarded Patent No. 8,858,677.

Recovering precious metals from crushed printed wiring board is the subject of Patent No. 8,800,775, given to Terra Nova from Isbergues, France.

Patent No. 8,802,040 was given to Tokyo, Japan's Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd. for a method for extracting and separating light rare earth elements from electronic scrap.

Gleisdorf, Austria's Binder + Co AG was awarded Patent No. 8,803,020 for a method and apparatus for sorting leaded CRT glass from a mixed glass stream.

Patent No. 8,807,189 was given to Wilmington, Delaware's Empire Technology Development LLC for a method of removing and segregating components from printed circuit boards.

Ontario, California's Raw Materials Company Inc. described a method of recovering materials from sealed batteries, the subject of Patent No. 8,807,466.

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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E-Scrap 2015: Save the Date

E-Scrap News Magazine - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 14:40
E-Scrap 2015: Save the Date

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Oct. 23, 2014

The premier gathering for North America's e-scrap collectors, processors and recycling firms is set for Sept. 1-3 in Orlando, Florida.

The conference, which this year set a record with more than 1,400 attendees, will again bring together the who's-who of the electronics recycling industry under one roof. Whether you're new to the industry or at the helm of an operation, E-Scrap 2015 will offer unsurpassed business opportunities.

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


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Ambassador initiative connects students to e-scrap export market

E-Scrap News Magazine - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 13:31
Ambassador initiative connects students to e-scrap export market

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Oct. 22, 2014

A U.S. electronics recycling group recently launched an internship program for college students interested in traveling abroad to gain a better understanding of what's happening to the world's exported e-scrap.

"The Ambassador Program," spearheaded by the Fair Trade Recycling (FTR) group – formerly known as WR3A – will send students to Africa, Asia and Latin America to meet with buyers of overseas used electronics and "find out what's being dumped (if anything) and negotiate improvements (if necessary)," according to FTR's founder, Robin Ingenthron. Applications for the program are now being accepted.

U.S.-based companies can also become involved by nominating overseas buyers and reuse and recycling facilities for a visit by one of the ambassadors.

Ingenthron, who also runs Vermont-based Good Point Recycling, has been a longtime advocate for exports of reuse- and repair-ready electronics. He is currently leading a campaign to free Joseph Benson, a Nigerian man who had lived in England and was imprisoned for illegally exporting electronics to Africa.

To find out more about about the Ambassador program, click here.

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E-Scrap 2014 off to a lively start

E-Scrap News Magazine - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 13:30
E-Scrap 2014 off to a lively start

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Oct. 22, 2014

Extended trade show hours brought hundreds of attendees to the early opening of E-Scrap 2014, now under way at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Florida.

The 12th annual E-Scrap Conference opened, as it has in years passed, with a bevy of workshops and informational activities, many of which were sold out and standing-room-only. The informational sessions were hosted by the conference and put on by the Electronics Recycling Coordination Clearinghouse (ERCC), e-Stewards, Greeneye Partners, ISRI's Electronics Recycling Education Program and SERI (Sustainable Electronics Recycling International).

In the afternoon, the opening of the trade show found attendees walking a busy exhibition floor with over 120 exhibitors showing off their wares and services. The trade show hours were extended for this year's conference to give attendees and exhibitors more face-to-face time with current and potential partners and customers.

Also during the afternoon trade show opening, iFixit's Kyle Wiens and Scott Dingle did a live tear-down of a Galaxy S5 and iPhone 5s outside the exhibit hall, demonstrating the "repair" of the three r's for crowds of e-scrappers.

Following the trade show opening, ISRI held its annual welcome reception, which saw hundreds of attendees rubbing elbows and enjoying the warm Orlando evening.

The sessions for E-Scrap 2014 begin this morning at 8:30 a.m. with an insightful view of the issues facing the electronics recycling industry from the perspective of the executives that head the leading firms of the business.

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BAN-backed Marketplace makes its debut

E-Scrap News Magazine - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 13:26
BAN-backed Marketplace makes its debut

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Oct. 22, 2014

The leaders of the e-Stewards certification today unveiled an online tool that aims to push more material through certified firms.

Going live today, e-Stewards Marketplace functions as a virtual exchange for e-scrap. Firms certified to the e-Stewards standard can use the tool to buy and sell e-scrap, with non-certified firms allowed to sell material as well.

The Marketplace website was developed through a partnership with Seattle-based tech firm Retrace and, according to BAN, companies such as LG Electronics and the data protection services firm Tabernus "have all expressed their intent to use the site for their electronic asset disposition and services."

The site could also help non-certified and small to mid-level firms seeking to use certified downstream companies and IT service companies.

"At last, businesses everywhere can sell obsolete electronics at the best price, driving a triple bottom line – enhancing profits, sustainability and social justice," said Jim Puckett, executive director of the Basel Action Network, the group that administers the e-Stewards standard.

The launch coincided with the opening of E-Scrap 2014, where Puckett will deliver a presentation, in part, about the Marketplace platform on Thursday. BAN also recently released an app, which allows users to track the measurable environmental impacts of sending electronics to e-Stewards firms for recycling or reuse.

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Documentary shows global scope of illegal e-scrap shipments

E-Scrap News Magazine - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 13:20
Documentary shows global scope of illegal e-scrap shipments

By Dan Leif and Dylan de Thomas, E-Scrap News

Oct. 22, 2014

A documentary film exploring the complex underbelly of electronics recycling made its U.S. premiere last night during E-Scrap 2014.

"The E-Waste Tragedy," written and directed by filmmaker Cosima Dannoritzer, in many ways mirrors the angle of a well-known "60 Minutes" segment on illegal dumping of electronics that aired on CBS in 2008. Both depictions of the e-scrap sphere highlight instances of used devices flowing from the hands of unsuspecting consumers in developed nations to the feet of impoverished citizens of Ghana, China and other nations where material is ultimately dismantled in crude conditions.

However, while the "60 Minutes" look focused mainly on U.S.-generated material (and helped spark a public outcry over the electronics processing stream), Dannoritzer's film aims to cover the topic at a deeper, global level.

"The E-Waste Tragedy" tags along on the efforts made by a number of individuals trying to uncover the perpetrators and factors pushing forward the illegal electronic scrap trade. Viewers learn about the reporting of a journalist from Ghana who finds material from the U.K. in one of the infamous dumps near Accra, Ghana and heads to the British offices where the computer parts were once used to try to find how they made their way to Africa.

Also given screen time (and sympathy): a group of Spanish activists who tag different types of WEEE and follow it through the nation's recycling system; a Chinese Greenpeace representative trying to untangle the movement of material through Hong Kong; and Jim Puckett, founder of the Basel Action Network, who voices a particularly strong criticism of the U.S. government's strategy to dispose of its own electronic material.

Through those perspectives and others, the film investigates the unscrupulous hands material from the U.S. and Europe can go through even after its been collected via government-sanctioned systems. It becomes clear to the viewer that part of the problem stems from a lack of funding for inspection and enforcement (in Hong Kong, Dannoritzer states, 36,000 e-scrap containers are imported annually while only 40 are deemed illegal and sent back).

Dannoritzer also directed the 2010 documentary "The Light Bulb Conspiracy," a critical history of planned obsolescence in the consumer electronics industry. And to industry professionals steeped in the nuances of the realities of global e-scrap, her latest effort may feel slightly loaded. For example, the issue of demand for used electronics in developing nations (and the refurb market's efforts to supply it) is touched on only briefly near the end of the movie.

The film also conveys a notion that most, if not all, end-of-life-electronics management in developing countries comes in the smoky, sludge-filled pits we've come to associate with the names Guyiu and Agbogbloshie. But a deepening pool of reporting over the past several years has begun to illustrate a more nuanced processing situation. Bloomberg's Adam Minter and others have described modern facilities with well-trained workers that are helping nations like China and India get a grip on their electronics recycling while also driving local economies forward.

Still, "The E-Waste Tragedy" makes it clear the crude dumping grounds continue to exist and some of the material in them comes from countries that say they have infrastructures in place to avoid improper disposal.

The movie ultimately traces the problem back to consumer culture itself. Roughly 50 million flat panel TVs were sold a year ago, Dannoritzer notes, and the mobile market continues to evolve and expand. Recycling efforts surely continue to develop in the U.S. and other wealthy nations, but according to the argument put forth in the movie, more steps also need to be taken to control the illegal trade that for decades has existed beside legitimate global shipments of electronic material.

The screening at the E-Scrap Conference was followed by a Q-and-A with Puckett, Kyle Wiens of online repair community iFixIt and Total Reclaim co-owner Craig Lorch. All three were featured in the film.

Many questions were raised by the audience following the screening, with a pair of comments coming from individuals with ties to developing nations.  Eric Prempeh, a Ghanan national studying at Georgia Tech, called on the media to offer a more nuanced look at the repair and reuse communities in his home country.  "In this film, I saw everything depicted as junk in Agbogbloshie, but I know that much of what comes into the country works when it gets there."

Two electronics recyclers from Egypt, Ehab and Omar Mostafa, called for increased investment and support for recyclers in the developing world, something that all on the panel – Lorch, Puckett and Wiens – agreed was necessary.

The 86-minute film, at press time, does not have wide U.S. distribution, but it is scheduled to appear Oct. 26 at the UNAFF International Film Festival in Palo Alto, California. It was inititally released in Germany in May.

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Logistics giant signs on as R2 Leader

E-Scrap News Magazine - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 13:12
Logistics giant signs on as R2 Leader

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Oct. 22, 2014

Transportation and logistics provider OneSource Freight has joined the R2 Leader program.

Tempe, Arizona-based OneSource is the 14th company or organization to join the initiative since the effort launched earlier this year. R2 Leaders effectively pledge to go through R2 firms whenever possible for downstream recycling services. The program also holds members responsible for playing an active role in developing and funding projects led by SERI, the group that administers the R2 standard.

"OneSource Freight has been a consistent supporter of the R2 Standard since its development in 2008, and provided guidance in the drafting of Provision 12 of the R2:2013 Standard, covering transport of recyclable electronics," a SERI press release stated. "One Source Freight has designed its reverse logistics and supply chain management solutions to prioritize adherence to the R2 Standard."

The other entities in the R2 Leader program are: DIRECTV, Goodwill Industries International, Greeneye Partners, Keep America Beautiful, Microsoft, Oracle, Panasonic, Recycle Across America, Reverse Logistics Sustainability Council, Sony America, SourceAmerica, Wistron Corporation and Xerox.



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EWSI reveals latest partner

E-Scrap News Magazine - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 13:10
EWSI reveals latest partner

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

Oct. 22, 2014

After a relatively quiet summer, an e-scrap firm with a history of dealmaking has announced another partnership.

E-Waste Systems (EWSI), the publicly traded firm with U.S. operational hubs in California, Ohio and New York, announced on Oct. 10 that a "teaming agreement" had been reached with the U.K. firm S2S Electronics. Details of the partnership remain vague, but EWSI says the move will allow the firms to "collaborate jointly on reverse logistic operations in the U.K. and all of Europe."

"This is going to be another milestone in our business plan, giving EWSI a footprint in Europe and expanding our branded operations," EWSI CEO Martin Nielson stated in a release.

The announcement comes after a summer during which EWSI's share price plummeted to record lows. In January, shares of EWSI climbed above 5 cents soon after the company made claims that 2013 revenues would exceed $12 million. Revenues for the year, consequent filings with the SEC showed, totaled less than $1 million, and the stock has fallen steeply – the current share price of EWSI is one one-hundredth of a penny ($0.0001).

This past June, E-Scrap News ran an in-depth look at the company and its financial performance to date. Read it here.

The company has authorized a total of 6 billion shares, with 1.5 billion added Sept. 29 and another 3 billion added Oct. 3. About 426 million of those shares are outstanding.

EWSI's new partner, S2S, is based in Rothertham and has been a registered corporation since 1987. S2S' CEO Alan Dukinfield did not return a request for comment.

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Certification scorecard

E-Scrap News Magazine - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 13:09
Certification scorecard

Oct. 22, 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.

Seattle's 3R Technology is now certified to ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and R2:2013.

All Green Recycling, Inc. of New Brunswick, New Jersey is now certified to the R2:2013 and RIOS standards.

All Points Mobile Shredding of Stuart, Florida; Best Shredding (Div/Best Service Pros) of Calgary, Alberta; DeCycleIt! Inc. of St. Louis; Professional Records & Info Management of San Juan, Puerto Rico; RecordsPro / Shredmonkey of Indianapolis; and Secure Document Solutions of Independence, Missouri have either achieved or renewed their NAID Certifications for Physical Destruction of Hard Drives.

Also, LifeSpan International Inc. of Denver; LifeSpan International Inc. of Omaha, Nebraska and LifeSpan International Inc. of Tampa, Florida have renewed their NAID Certifications for Computer Hard Drive Sanitization and 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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