E-Scrap News Magazine

Updated: 14 hours 40 min ago

Under regulatory pressure, Closed Loop explores options

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 13:54
Under regulatory pressure, Closed Loop explores options

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

Nov. 21, 2014

Emerging CRT glass processor Closed Loop Refining and Recovery has announced it is initiating a program to send leaded CRT glass downstream.

In a statement sent to E-Scrap News, Closed Loop representatives say the firm will begin shipping leaded CRT glass stored in its Arizona and Ohio sites "to EPA-approved lead smelters, ceramic manufactures and glass-to-glass furnaces."

The move comes shortly after environmental officials in Arizona and Ohio took action in regards to the leaded glass Closed Loop had been accumulating.

"The initiation of this program is in response to recent actions from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources," writes David Cauchi, Closed Loop’s founder and CEO. "Both organizations felt that our handling of leaded glass cullet was outside EPA guidelines, and we intend to rectify that immediately to ensure that Closed Loop and our upstream partners continue to uphold all federal, state and local regulations."

Since its founding in 2010, Closed Loop has been accepting and storing leaded CRT glass at sites in Arizona and Ohio, with the eventual goal of building de-leading furnaces in both locations. No furnaces have become operational at either site.

The company has defended its storage practices as necessary in order to build sufficient feedstock for the furnaces once they are up and running, but regulators have taken issue with that approach.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality recently issued a notice of violation to the company after an inspection of Closed Loop's Phoenix facility indicated the company was not adhering to the CRT rule, a federal regulation that requires firms to recycle or ship downstream at least 75 percent of their leaded CRT glass inventory by the end of each calendar year.

In a related move, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources announced last week its state electronics take-back program would not count pounds sent to Closed Loop as recycled unless the company began recycling glass itself or sending it downstream for further processing.

In their statement this week, Closed Loop representatives say the company has a goal of getting a furnace operational in Ohio next year.

"[Sending glass downstream] is a short-term measure designed to ensure compliance until the completion of Closed Loop’s proprietary leaded glass furnace in Columbus, currently slated for June 2015," the statement reads.

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LifeSpan acquired by refurb giant CDI

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 13:51
LifeSpan acquired by refurb giant CDI

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Nov. 21, 2014

A major player in the IT refurbishing industry has bought asset disposition specialist LifeSpan.

CDI, a portfolio company of H.I.G. Growth, announced the deal in a Nov. 6 press release. Financial terms were not disclosed in the announcement.

“We are excited to be joining forces with CDI and H.I.G.,” said Dag Adamson, president and founder of LifeSpan in the release. “This partnership provides LifeSpan significant additional strategic, financial and operational resources to accelerate our growth and expand the scope of services we can provide to our customers.”

LifeSpan, which Adamson started in 2002, is based in Newton, Massachusetts and provides a full range of ITAD services, including data erasure and destruction and refurbishment. The firm's website notes processing centers and "processing partners" spread throughout the U.S. The company is certified to the e-Stewards standard.

CDI, meanwhile, is primarily a provider of refurbished electronics to institutions and businesses. In late October, the company announced a multi-million dollar deal with Jackson County, Florida public schools to provide refurbished tablets to students in grades K-12.

LifeSpan recently marked America Recycles Day with a free e-scrap drop-off event in Denver on Nov. 15. LifeSpan is also offering free drop-off services for a wide range of electronics at its facility through Nov. 21.

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Informal electronics recycling sector grabs attention in Singapore

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 13:49
Informal electronics recycling sector grabs attention in Singapore

By Jerry Powell and Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

Nov. 21, 2014

More than 200 attendees from over 30 countries convened earlier this month in Singapore to consider Asian e-scrap trends and issues.

And amid the presentations and panel discussions tackled at the Electronics Recycling Asia Conference, one recurring topic was Asia’s informal e-scrap sector.

Jim Puckett, executive director of the Basel Action Network (BAN) and one of three opening speakers at the event, referred to Asia’s informal processing sphere as a "scourge," a "cancer" and in “crisis.” He said, "The current laws are good, but the enforcement is the problem."

In another panel, Patrick Wiedemann from the Reverse Logistics Group (RLG) also asserted enforcement need to be ramped up, but he stressed the importance of transforming the sector instead of simply eradicating it altogether.

“We should integrate the informal sector into a modern recycling system and not build a competitive system,” Wiedemann said from the stage. Wiedemmann said RLG has launched a handful of pilot projects in China to work alongside local collectors and offer consistent, standardized pricing for material.

Vans Chemistry’s Venkatesha Murthy, meanwhile, estimated 85 percent or more of e-scrap processing taking place in Asia comes via the informal sector. He, too, suggested finding ways to move that sector forward.

Improvements to large-scale collection infrastructures in Asia also emerged as a theme during the two-day conference.

Ronnie Tay, CEO of Singapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA), said, "Singapore is seeking to have a cost-effective electronics recycling system and we want to support a strong recycling industry.”

Residents and businesses in Singapore generated 66,000 tons of obsolete electronics last year, Tay said. The governmental department has helped launch a recovery system involving StarHub, DHL Logistics and TES-AMM, a local e-scrap processor. Singapore has also launched its own certification system – SS587 – to ensure firms are following strict guidelines in processing electronics.

Another speaker, Jinhui Li, noted there are now 106 local processors in China certified to one of the existing health and safety platforms. Li, a professor at Tsinghua University, has worked extensively on advising China’s government on e-scrap regulations.

Looking ahead, Puckett suggested BAN’s e-Stewards certification could also come to Asia with some notable shifts toward infrastructure, worker rights and the enforcement of international trade agreements to help stop “leakage” of non-Asian electronics.

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Certification scorecard

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 13:46
Certification scorecard

Nov. 21, 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.

Electronic Recycling Solutions LLC of Tooele, Utah is now certified to the OHSAS 18001 and R2:2013 standards.

Globix LLC of Norcross, Georgia is now certified to the ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and R2:2013 standards.

Liquid Technology, Inc. of Brooklyn, New York is now certified to the following standards: e-Stewards, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and R2:2013.

Sims Recycling Solutions, Inc. has achieved R2:2013 certification at its facilities in Elkridge, Maryland; Franklin Park, Illinois; Hayward, California; LaVergne, Tennessee; Mississauga, Ontario; Rancho Dominguez, California; Roseville, California; Tampa, Florida; Tucson, Arizona; and West Chicago, Illinois.

American Data Guard of Seattle; File Thirteen of Lawton, Oklahoma; and Shred Experts LLC of Saginaw, Michigan 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, email 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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Wide world of e-scrap

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 13:44
Wide world of e-scrap

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Nov. 21, 2014

An Australian artist uses old cell phones to mark the country's national recycling week while a waste prevention group in the U.K. launches a partnership with OEMs to spur recycling and reuse of electronics.

To celebrate Australia's national recycling week, Aussie artist Chris Jordan has made a mosaic sculpture out of 6,000 old and used mobile phones. The floor-based work features the number 23 to remind Australians to recycle the 23 million mobile devices residing in homes throughout the country.

Fresh off a new pact with the city of London to help increase its recycling rate, U.K.-based WRAP has announced yet another significant partnership. More than 50 organizations, including major electronics makers Dell, Microsoft and Samsung, have teamed up to work with WRAP on the Electrical and Electronic Sustainability Action Plan (ESAP). While limited details have surfaced on the initiative, ESAP will help steer device makers and stakeholders toward promoting reuse and recycling of electronics while also working to develop new products with longer lifespans and durability.

Globe Telecom is leading an effort in the Philippines to help boost recycling of mobile phones and other end-of-life electronics. The company, which is active throughout the country, has set up collection programs at partner stores in the Philippines, offering consumers a chance to enter a free raffle to win an iPad Air each month.

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NewsBits

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 12:38
NewsBits

Nov. 21, 2014

Lawmakers in Illinois are considering changes to the state's e-scrap program. House Bill 4202, sponsored by Democrat Emily McAsey, would increase manufacturers' yearly recycling obligations and keep collection and recycling firms from charging local communities for their services. While the Illinois Manufacturers Association is attempting to put the brakes on the immediate changes, citing budgetary constraints, proponents of the measure argue that current manufacturer collection goals are too low, leaving recycling firms collecting the material without enough financial backing for proper processing.

Some e-scrap processors desire to offer recycling services to cloud computing service providers. A basic primer on cloud computing based on data from Synergy Research Group shows that Amazon is by far the largest service provider, followed by Microsoft, IBM, Google, Salesforce and Rackspace. In terms of infrastructure equipment used in these server farms, Cisco is the leading manufacturer, followed by HP, IBM, Dell, EMC and VMware.

The folks over at iFixit have given Amazon's new Kindle tablet a favorable repairability score. Awarded a 7 out of 10, the Kindle Voyage is notably more repairable than its predecessors. For the group's hallmark step-by-step "teardown," click here.

Publicly traded E-Waste Systems has released third quarter financial results for the year, showing expenses continue to outpace revenues. During the quarter, expenses exceeded revenues by $422,990, bringing losses for the year thus far to just under $7.4 million. The company recently announced a reverse stock split "to obtain appropriate financing and make our capital structure more attractive to potential investors," Martin Nielson, E-Waste's CEO, explained in a release.


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Groups push to maintain legal unlocking of mobile devices

Thu, 11/13/2014 - 20:48
Groups push to maintain legal unlocking of mobile devices

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Nov. 14, 2014

Reuse and recycling advocates are attempting to convince the U.S. Copyright Office to continue to allow consumers and companies to unlock cell phones and tablets without the approval of wireless carriers.

In several legal appeals filed with the U.S. Copyright Office and catalogued by the Electronics Frontier Foundation (EFF), advocates from across the industry voiced support for unlimited carrier-free unlockings, a process that was made illegal in 2012 by the Librarian of Congress.

Though lawmakers recently acted to overturn the Librarian of Congress action, unlocking could be deemed illegal again in 2015. Unlocking is a process by which a user can bypass the software code placed on a device by a carrier and allow for service from any operator. Advocates are pushing for both individual unlocking rights as well as "bulk" unlockings.

"Consumers should have the right to maintain the useful life of their mobile phones and other mobile communications devices," Consumers Union, the advocacy wing of Consumer Reports, writes in one such appeal.

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) writes in another appeal that "without a 1201 exemption, owners of tablets, including consumers, family members, and legitimate resellers and recyclers, are substantially impaired in their ability to make a variety of noninfringing uses."

While the U.S. Congress passed legislation this year making unlockings legal, the Librarian of Congress has the opportunity in 2015 to either reaffirm the prior ruling or reverse course based on an interpretation of Section 1201 of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. That 2015 ruling will likely last until 2018.

On two prior occasions, in 2010 and 2012, EFF was successful in lobbying, alongside others, for an exemption for unlockings.

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Wisconsin tightens focus on movement of CRT glass

Thu, 11/13/2014 - 20:46
Wisconsin tightens focus on movement of CRT glass

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

Nov. 14, 2014

Officials in Wisconsin have announced they will not be allowing leaded CRT glass accumulating for long periods of time to count as recycling under the state take-back program.

"Our goal is to ensure that glass collected under E-Cycle Wisconsin does not end up in stockpiles and is instead legitimately recycled," officials from Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources (DNR) state in a letter sent this week to Wisconsin e-scrap firms. "We also want to maintain a level playing field among recyclers and manufacturers."

Under the E-Cycle Wisconsin program, electronic manufacturers are required to fund the recycling of end-of-life consumer electronics. Their yearly obligations vary depending on sales in the state and are fulfilled through working with e-scrap firms that are contracted to recycle the material either themselves or via downstream partners.

The letter notes that in the case of CRT funnel glass, which contains lead, a few Wisconsin firms have been sending glass to an emerging downstream player that has yet to install the equipment necessary to fully recycle the glass. That company is Closed Loop Refining and Recovery, a processor with plans to build a furnace first in Ohio, then in Arizona.

"Until the furnace is up and running and processing CRT glass, the weight of any glass sent to Closed Loop and stored at any of its facilities may not be counted for manufacturer credit under E-Cycle Wisconsin," the notice states. The letter was sent by E-Cycle Wisconsin's program coordinator, Sarah Murray.

In a statement provided to E-Scrap News, Closed Loop CEO David Cauchi asserted, "The DNR and Sarah Murray showed a willful intent to damage our business with this notice." He added the company would be addressing the notice directly with DNR in the coming days.

Murray explained to E-Scrap News the state recently reached out to 25 firms to gauge where CRT glass was being sent for final processing. Three of the firms noted Closed Loop as one of their partner. After looking into the state of the company's operations in Arizona and Ohio, E-Cycle Wisconsin decided Closed Loop did not satisfy the requirements of the program.

"This is not in any way meant to single out Closed Loop," Murray said. "But looking at the law, for pounds to count they have to be recycled."

Closed Loop leaders last week said the company has amassed thousands of tons of leaded glass between their Arizona and Ohio operations. According to the company, a furnace will be up and running in Ohio sometime between June and October 2015.

The company has always contended that in order to feed a furnace with enough leaded CRT glass, it's necessary to accumulate material beforehand. Other emerging processors, such as Nulife Glass in New York, have echoed that sentiment.

Murray said DNR was not aware of any processors other than Closed Loop accumulating Wisconsin glass without the technology or downstream partners in place to recycle it. According to Murray, no Wisconsin glass has been sent to Nulife Glass thus far – that firm is currently accumulating glass as well and plans to install its own furnace in 2015.

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BAN: Utah firm on the run, electronics left behind

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

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Nov. 14, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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Oregon company responds to storage, management concerns

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

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Nov. 14, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Certification scorecard

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

Nov. 14, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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NewsBits

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

Nov. 14, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

Nov. 6, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Patent watch

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

Nov. 6, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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CRT player Closed Loop receives notice of violation

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

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

Nov. 6, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Wide world of e-scrap

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

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Nov. 6, 2014

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

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

Nov. 6, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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NewsBits

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

Nov. 6, 2014

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

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

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


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Certified firms can expect more inspections

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

By Dan Leif, E-Scrap News

Oct. 31, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Early-bird registration for ICRS 2014 ends soon

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

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Oct. 31, 2014

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

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

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

Learn more here.

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