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CRT player Closed Loop receives notice of violation

E-Scrap News Magazine - 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

E-Scrap News Magazine - Thu, 11/06/2014 - 11:27
Wide world of e-scrap

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Nov. 6, 2014

The rising tide of e-scrap generation inside both China and India has recently been covered in news stories that paint worrisome pictures of materials processing situations in those nations. Head to NewsBits for more.

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

E-Scrap News Magazine - 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

E-Scrap News Magazine - 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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Industry group says foodservice packaging not a contamination concern

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Wed, 11/05/2014 - 11:26
Industry group says foodservice packaging not a contamination concern

By Dan Leif, Plastics Recycling Update

Nov. 5, 2014

A second study from manufacturers of food packaging aims to drive home the point that the products from those companies are not too contaminated for curbside recycling.

The recently conducted effort from the Foodservice Packaging Institute follows the first segment of the report, which was released at the end of last year.

The latest research looked at a sampling of 2,600 pounds of residential recyclables collected in southern Delaware. Researchers separated the material into two categories – foodservice packaging and other packaging in contact with food – and then went through the loads on an item-by-item basis. Products were given one of three ratings: high food residue contamination, medium or low.

The two categories proved to have roughly the same proportion of low- and high-level contaminated products, according to FPI's report. The foodservice packaging had a slightly higher proportion of medium-level contamination.

FPI's earlier study, which looked at samples collected in Boston, found roughly similar contamination levels across the board when looking at foodservice packaging and other materials that came into contact with food residue. Together, FPI stated, the two studies indicate tubs, lids and other material categories in the foodservice realm should be regularly included in residential recycling streams.

"One of the most common reasons that municipal programs do not accept foodservice packaging is the concern about increased levels of food contamination in recyclables," Lynn M. Dyer, president of FPI, said in a press release. "The encouraging results of the Delaware study provide us a different representative sample of food residue on foodservice packaging. They assist in corroborating our findings of foodservice packaging residue as a perceived barrier in recycling programs rather than a real obstacle."

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Waste Management, Republic release Q3 figures

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Wed, 11/05/2014 - 11:23
Waste Management, Republic release Q3 figures

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

Nov. 5, 2014

Third-quarter financials for Waste Management and Republic Services are in, and recycled commodity pricing in 2014 continues to be a major factor for both firms.

During the quarter Waste Management (WM) netted $362 million in commodity sales, down $5 million from last year's third-quarter performance, and the company attributed the fall to "decreases in the prices of the recycling commodities we sold." Year-to-date commodities sales were likewise down, coming in at $1.076 billion, $32 million below 2013.

The company's well-documented restructuring has thus far resulted in 650 employees leaving the company's recycling and corporate wings, including former WM recycling chief William Ceasar. Overall, revenues for WM reached $3.60 billion during the third quarter compared with the $3.62 billion the company generated in the same quarter last year.

Republic Service's third-quarter performance, meanwhile, saw sales of recycled commodities increase, slightly.

Republic's recycled commodity sales for the quarter totaled $97.8 million, compared with $93.3 last year. On the year, Republic's recycled commodity sales are similarly up, this year coming in at $296.6 million, compared with the $271.6 million the company brought in during the January-September period in 2013.

Republic's quarterly report also notes the "volatility" of commodity prices. Total revenues at Republic during the third quarter came in at $2.26 billion, up from last year's $2.17 billion.

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Massachusetts voters shoot down expanded bottle bill

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Wed, 11/05/2014 - 11:18
Massachusetts voters shoot down expanded bottle bill

By Editorial Staff, Plastics Recycling Update

Nov. 5, 2014

An update to Massachusetts' longstanding bottle bill failed to gain voter approval Tuesday.

The update, which almost three-quarters of voters ended up voting against, called for the addition of water bottles and containers holding many other non-carbonated beverages into the state's bottle deposit program. Since going into law in 1983, the state's bottle bill has only covered carbonated beverages and an update has been discussed – and debated – for much of the past decade.

“We’re clearly disappointed, and it’s obvious we didn’t make a strong enough case for the bottle bill,” Janet Domenitz, executive director of the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group, told the Boston Globe following the latest defeat. “We’re going to regroup now and consider what we need to do to get Massachusetts to recycle 80 percent or higher of its containers.”

The referendum item engendered a passionate fight between environmentalists and the deep-pocketed beverage industry. A poll run by the Boston Globe back in August showed 62 percent of voters voicing early support for the update. The support, however, was largely upended by a multi-million dollar media campaign from the "No On Question 2" group.

Environmentalists called foul over ads they said were blatantly misleading voters, while opponents of the update never looked back. Tuesday's voting on the update was called early in the election evening.

A total of 10 U.S. states have bottle deposit programs in place.

According to the website of the Container Recycling Institute, the last time a new state bottle bill was enacted was 2002, when Hawaii moved ahead on deposit legislation.

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PetroChem Wire: Recycled PS price steady, wide spec lower

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Wed, 11/05/2014 - 11:16
PetroChem Wire: Recycled PS price steady, wide spec lower

Nov. 5, 2014

Prices for GPPS white repro held in late October at 55 to 56 cents per pound FOB U.S. East Coast.

HIPS white repro held at 76 to 78 cents per pound FOB Eastern U.S. HIPS white regrind stood at 59 to 60 cents per pound, delivered Midwest on steady demand from plants in Michigan.

In the wide-spec generic prime market, prices were lower at the end of October. Wide spec generic prime GPPS sold in the mid-80s cents per pound range delivered in railcar to most U.S. locations, down about 4 cents per pound from the beginning of October. HIPS wide-spec fell by a similar amount. In the prime PS market, HIPS fell a penny in the last week of October to $1.04 per pound.

For a free trial to the Repro/Regrind Resin Report or to see sample issues of all PCW reports visit the PetroChem Wire website at www.petrochemwire.com. You can also contact Cindy Bryan at cindy@petrochemwire.com or (713) 385-1407.

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Patent watch

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Wed, 11/05/2014 - 11:14
Patent watch

Nov. 5, 2014

Patent No. 8,833,246, given to Paper and Plastic Partnership, LLC, from Salt Lake City, Utah, concerns a method for baling and processing scrap film and OCC.

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.

The Cal Poly Corporation, based in San Luis Obispo, California, was awarded Patent Application No. 20140278142 for a method of determining recycled thermoplastic content.

Mumbai, India-headquartered Essel Propack Ltd. was given Patent Application No. 20140220280 for a method of recycling various kinds of post-industrial scrap plastic materials.

A method of making reinforced composite scrap plastic materials is the subject of Patent Application No. 20140221510, awarded to Adesso Advanced Materials Wuxi Co., Ltd., from Jiangsu, China.

Revolutionary Plastics LLC, based in Las Vegas, was given Patent Application No. 20140228498 for a method of making thermoplastic compounds with different materials, including processed fly ash.

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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NewsBits

Plastics Recycling Update Magazine - Wed, 11/05/2014 - 11:10
NewsBits

Nov. 5, 2014

Albuquerque's revamped recycling program is seeing big improvements and plastics appear to be playing a key role. Residents in New Mexico's largest city can now recycle all plastics – with the exception of grocery bags – and thus far, overall recycling is up 70 percent.

A design school in Colombia has come up with a plan to build houses out of plastic bottles. By filling and surrounding stacked bottles with soil, hay and adobe, designers aim to construct strong and resilient walls and roofing while diverting waste materials.

California officials recently arrested five individuals in the Sacramento area for allegedly acting to defraud the state's beverage container deposit system. Two of the suspects owned a recycling center in the state.

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A snapshot of EPR growth in Canada

Resource Recycling Magazine - Mon, 11/03/2014 - 23:03
A snapshot of EPR growth in Canada

By Dan Leif, Resource Recycling

Nov. 4, 2014

According to a government-issued report, the number of product categories covered by extended producer responsibility systems in Canada has nearly tripled over the past five years.

The industry update comes from an EPR progress report issued by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME), which in 2009 authorized a Canada-wide "Action Plan for EPR." Extended producer responsibility is a concept through which product makers are held accountable for funding and managing recycling and other end-of-life concerns for the goods they produce.

Over the past two decades, Canadian provinces were among the first government entities in North America to pass EPR legislation for products such as electronics and paint. Earlier this year, British Columbia made waves by rolling out an EPR framework for printed paper and packaging.

According to the recent CCME report, 94 product categories are (or will soon be) covered by EPR programs or requirements in Canada. In 2009, when the Action Plan for EPR was established, that number was 33.

The report indicates that the action plan's timeline puts a priority on covering a list of Phase 1 product categories by 2015. Among those categories: packaging, printed materials, mercury-containing lamps and other mercury-containing products. The plan's Phase 2 aims to develop EPR programs for a wider array of products by 2017. That list includes construction and demolition materials, furniture, textiles, carpet and appliances.

The progress report also lists a number of challenges that have inhibited EPR development in some product categories and locales in Canada. Harmonizing similarly aimed programs across a number of jurisdictions is one major issue EPR organizers are confronting, according to the report. Eco-fees, which add a recycling charge to the cost of some products and are visible to consumers at the time of purchase, have also been a roadblock in some areas.

"CCME looks forward to continued success of EPR programs, and harmonization of EPR approaches by jurisdictions, and in making Canada a world leader in waste diversion," the report concludes.

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Waste Management, Republic release Q3 figures

Resource Recycling Magazine - Mon, 11/03/2014 - 23:01
Waste Management, Republic release Q3 figures

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Nov. 4, 2014

Third-quarter financials for Waste Management and Republic Services are in, and recycled commodity pricing in 2014 continues to be a major factor for both firms.

During the quarter Waste Management (WM) netted $362 million in commodity sales, down $5 million from last year's Q3 performance, and the company attributed the fall to "decreases in the prices of the recycling commodities we sold." Year-to-date commodities sales were likewise down, entering at $1.076 billion, $32 million below 2013.

The company's well-documented restructuring has thus far resulted in 650 employees leaving the company's recycling and corporate wings, including former WM recycling executive William Ceasar.  Overall, revenues for WM reached $3.60 billion during Q3 compared to the $3.62 billion the company generated last year.

Republic Service's Q3 performance, meanwhile, saw sales of recycled commodities increase, slightly.

Republic's recycled commodity sales for the quarter equaled $97.8 million compared with $93.3 last year. On the year, Republic's recycled commodity sales are similarly up, this year coming in at $296.6 million compared to the $271.6 million the company brought in during the January-September period in 2013.

Republic's quarterly report also notes the "volatility" of commodity prices.  Total revenues from Q3 came in at $2.26 billion, up from last year's $2.17 billion.

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Texas study tackles recycling data gap

Resource Recycling Magazine - Mon, 11/03/2014 - 22:58
Texas study tackles recycling data gap

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Nov. 4, 2014

A new study aims to estimate the recycling rate of the Lone Star State and a host of other key figures.

Launched on Oct. 15, the Texas Recycling Data Initiative (TRDI) is looking to collect and analyze key recycling data points from across the state, including the overall recycling rate, a breakdown of recycling activity by material and the number of jobs tied to the industry.

The statistics will be made available to state legislators in January, according to a press release, and organizers say it could be a major moment for the industry as a whole.

"For Texas, this is truly a game-changing effort because there is currently no comprehensive or statewide information collected on the amount of material recycled in the state," said Maia Corbitt, executive director at the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling (STAR), one of the key groups leading the survey. "This means that when it comes to market expansion, infrastructure development and public policy issues, both businesses and government entities are flying blind, and that's not good for Texas or its economy."

While some Texas cities issue their own recycling rates on a yearly basis, the overall state recycling rate has not been calculated. Once that number is known, STAR and others believe doors could open for growth, especially if the link between recycling and the economy is shown to be promising.

A study in Indiana, another state historically scant on recycling data, found that 10,000 jobs could be created if the state managed to divert just a quarter of the waste it currently sends to landfill. That report helped encourage the state to commit to a 50 percent recycling rate and an overhaul of its data collection practices.

The Texas study itself will "focus on data from processors and end users of recyclables," the release states. It will also provide an estimate of recycling of non-municipal program materials, too, such as electronics and household hazardous waste.

The TRDI was also the subject of a feature-length article in Resource Recycling, click here to read more.

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Wide world of recycling

Resource Recycling Magazine - Mon, 11/03/2014 - 22:55
Wide world of recycling

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Nov. 4, 2014

The world's largest beverage companies have shown limited interest in a Novelis product that offers more recycled content than previous aluminum can models. Get more details in our global roundup.

A reporter for the U.K.-based Guardian recently took a trip to Germany to see the recently unveiled $260 recycling operation of aluminum maker Novelis. Along the way, the reporter aims to figure out why interest for Novelis' evercan offering (featuring 90 percent recycled content) has been nonexistent among the world's largest beverage makers. The takeaway? Pricing and supplier relationships are acting as significant roadblocks.

Following a global trend to ban plastic checkout bags, France has introduced legislation that would impose a country-wide bag ban by 2016. If approved by the country's Senate, the action would go down as one of the most significant bans yet and could encourage other countries to consider similar legislation. California recently became the first U.S. state to ban the grocery store staple.

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 one-fifth of electronics getting properly recycled nationwide in South Korea, municipalities and major cities, such as Seoul, are beginning to offer collection and recycling services to help divert devices.


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NewsBits

Resource Recycling Magazine - Mon, 11/03/2014 - 22:52
NewsBits

Nov. 4, 2014

Republic Services is set this week to begin construction on a 110,000-square-foot materials recovery facility in the Las Vegas area. According to reports, the MRF will double the local county's recycling processing capacity.

A citizen's group in Quebec City recently began asking area residents to leave empty wine and spirit bottles in front of government-run liquor outlets (known as SAQ stores) instead of in recycling receptacles. The campaign is part of a push to get wine and booze bottles covered by deposit legislation.

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries last week noted that 7,500 law enforcement bodies currently use its ScrapTheftAlert.com website, which enables police and security personnel to post alerts about stolen materials to metals dealers and others operating in the vicinity of a theft. Six states have laws in place requiring use of the system.

California officials recently arrested five individuals in the Sacramento area for allegedly acting to defraud the state's beverage container deposit system. Two of the suspects owned a recycling center in the state.

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Certified firms can expect more inspections

E-Scrap News Magazine - 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

E-Scrap News Magazine - 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

E-Scrap News Magazine - 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

E-Scrap News Magazine - 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

E-Scrap News Magazine - 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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