E-Scrap News Magazine

Updated: 19 hours 53 min ago

Smartphones with big screens make big impact

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 13:57
Smartphones with big screens make big impact

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Sept. 11, 2014

With worldwide tablet shipments slightly lower than expected this year, devices that blend the tablet and phone concepts are picking up some of the slack.

Shipments of "phablets," defined by research firm IDC as mobile devices with screen sizes between 5.5 and 7 inches, are expected to reach 175 million units in 2014, 318 million units in 2015 and almost 600 million units by 2018.

That trend explains, at least in part, relatively sluggish shipments of tablets this year. While 2014 growth in tablets shipments was anticipated to reach 12 percent, IDC recently downgraded that expectation to 6.5 percent due to flat mature market demand.

Not surprisingly, Apple's new iPhone 6 will come in two screen sizes, the larger of which, the iPhone 6 Plus, comes with a 5.5 inch screen.

"With Apple expected to join the space in the coming weeks, we anticipate even more attention on phablets as larger screen smartphones become the new norm," said Melissa Chau, senior research manager with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

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E-Scrap 2014: Can't-miss sessions

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 13:56
E-Scrap 2014: Can't-miss sessions

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Sept. 11, 2014

E-Scrap 2014 is just around the corner, and if you're still looking for motivation to register, just turn your attention to the conference's four headlining plenary sessions.

On Oct. 22, the leaders of five of the most important e-scrap firms in the country share their insights on the top industry challenges and the solutions they're pioneering. Next up that morning is a session that will dissect CRT recycling from three different angles, offering attendees the most complete picture possible on the CRT market today and what it might look like tomorrow.

Oct. 23 features a plenary session on e-scrap flows and where our scrap electronics of yesteryear are headed today. Later, attendees will hear from experts in the rare earth and critical metals space and learn how those sectors are evolving.

E-Scrap 2014 will be held Oct. 21-23 at Orlando's Rosen Shingle Creek. The 2013 edition saw more than 1,300 attendees and 125 exhibiting companies, so plan now to make the most of this year's conference. Get all the latest information at e-scrapconference.com.


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Major CRT tonnages left in Creative Recycling's wake

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 13:52
Major CRT tonnages left in Creative Recycling's wake

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

Sept. 11, 2014

A new report on the state of Creative Recycling System's operations reveals approximately 30 million pounds of glass are stored at company sites in six states.

Filed on Sept. 4, the long-awaited inventory report culminates a month-long review of company operations by Creative's receiver, Robert Swett. With the company bankrupt and in search of a buyer — and also entangled in a multimillion dollar lawsuit — Swett's findings suggest a massive glass cleanup is in store.

According to the report, "approximately 30 million pounds of CRT glass inventory [is] stored in various locations throughout six states." Those states are Florida (approximately 6 million pounds), Illinois (1.5 million pounds), Kentucky (444,400 pounds), Maryland (7.6 million pounds), North Carolina (8.8 million pounds) and South Carolina (5.5 million pounds).

The Florida and North Carolina totals are spread between two facilities each, while the others represent single-facility stockpiles. There was no "legacy glass" found at the company's remaining locations in Connecticut, Georgia, New York or Tennessee, the report states.

Creative is hoping to have a bit more time to get its glass recycled. "CRS has recently applied to the six states for a variance from the 75 percent recycling requirement for 2014 in an effort to mitigate any penalties with not meeting the annual recycling requirement," Swett's report states. "This will alleviate CRS' efforts towards glass recycling, allowing it to focus cash on other areas within the company that are more immediate."

The CRT rule requires firms to recycle 75 percent of their glass inventory by the end of the year, but states can grant variances on a case-by-case basis.

The glass in need of processing includes "separated funnel and panel glass, mixed funnel and panel glass, and broken tubes with steel belts mixed in," Swett's report states. The company had been unable to pay for end-of-life recycling of glass "due to its liquidity crisis over the last 18 months."

With current per-pound recycling costs ranging from 6 to 15 cents, CRS will need to pay at least $1.8 million and as much as $4.5 million to send the glass downstream. The report cites costs ranging from 6 to 12 cents on the pound.

All that said, the report identifies three potential buyers that "have indicated a strong interest in the vertical integration of CRS into their model": Colt Refining and Recycling, Kuusakoski US and CIMMA Recycling. In addition, three private equity groups have also emerged as potential buyers for the firm, according to the report, with all interest deriving from CRS' "true differentiator — the balance maintained between the company's reuse and end-of-life businesses."

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Sprint tries to capitalize on trade-ins

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 13:49
Sprint tries to capitalize on trade-ins

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Sept. 11, 2014

Sprint has announced it will match or top any trade-in offer from its competitors as it aims to meet high collection and recycling goals.

The wireless carrier, which started its take-back program in 2001, is aiming "to collect an average of nine devices for every 10 devices sold by 2017." To do that, Sprint is attempting to make trading in old devices easier by matching any other offer from Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile.

"Our trade-in program is well known in the industry and when we guarantee the best value over any of our competitors, we’re taking this to another level," said David Owens, senior vice president-product, in the company's announcement. "Offering a competitive price match was the next logical step to ensure existing and new customers understood that we make our trade-in program a top priority and are willing to provide the very best value in the industry."

Sprint's Buyback program, which offers store and account credits of up to $300, also allows consumers to trade in up to five cellular devices per calendar year.

According to the company, more than 80 percent of traded-in devices are reused, while the remaining phones are sent for a recycling to "only certified recyclers." The carrier currently offers its buyback program in about 40 percent of its retail stores, a percentage that will likely need to increase dramatically to meet its 90 percent collection goal.

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Certification scorecard

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 13:48
Certification scorecard

Sept. 11, 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.

Capitol Asset Recovery, Inc. of Lanham, Maryland is now certified to the e-Stewards, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and R2:2013 standards.

Reworx, a wholly owned social enterprise organization of the Nobis Works Foundation in Marietta, Georgia has achieved e-Stewards, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OSHAS 18001 and R2:2013 certifications.

Access of Livermore, California; Access of Fife, Washington; Access of Sacramento, California; A.R.M.S. Inc. of DePere, Wisconsin; Business Records Management LLC of Wickliffe, Ohio; Data Shredding Services of Texas, Inc. II of Grapevine, Texas; Document Shredding & Storage of Amarillo, Texas; Lincoln Archives of Buffalo, New York; Rapid Shred LLC of Grandville, Michigan; Record Keepers LLC of Bismarck, North Dakota; The Shred Truck of St. Louis; and Time Shred Services (Shred Services, Inc.) of Hillside, New Jersey have either achieved or renewed their NAID Certifications for Physical Destruction of Hard Drives.

Also, Lewis Clark Recyclers, Inc. of Lewiston, Idaho has renewed its NAID Certification for Computer Hard Drive Sanitization Operations 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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NewsBits

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 13:43
NewsBits

Sept. 11, 2014

The latest e-scrap collection numbers out of Washington continue to suggest 2014 will be the first year since program implementation that volumes are down. Through the first eight months of the year, Washington's producer-funded e-scrap program, E-Cycle Washington, has led to the collection of 29.5 million pounds of electronics, which is about 4 percent below 2013 January-August totals. Those numbers are giving rise to the hope that CRT tonnages in the state are beginning to plateau.

The U.S. EPA hosted a conference call on the CRT rule this week after a petition by consultancy TransparentPlanet netted more than 240 signatures in support of increased focus on enforcing the rule. While the call was not open to members of the media, TransparentPlanet has reflected on the session in a petition update, which urges members of the industry to sign and push the federal agency to action. Read it here.

While Guiyu, China has been etched in many minds as a toxic hub of the underground e-scrap world, a new report from PCWorld suggests things are beginning to change there. The cause of the shift, asserts reporter Michael Kan, is a new recycling plant outside of town that is helping to reduce hazardous activities such as the burning of electronics.


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Flat tablet shipments in mature markets hold back growth

Wed, 09/03/2014 - 22:03
Flat tablet shipments in mature markets hold back growth

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

Sept. 4, 2014

Global tablet shipments in 2014 are falling short of industry expectations.

Despite earlier reports of double-digit percentage point growth, tablet shipments around the world this year are expected to increase by just 6.5 percent and total 233.1 million units, according to the latest from research firm IDC. The firm had originally expected growth of at least 12 percent while another forecaster, Gartner, projected increases of nearly 40 percent.

These numbers indicate the future waste stream of tablets will be slightly smaller than previously expected.

IDC's tablet category also includes "2-in-1" devices, which are tablets that double as laptops.

The apparent hold up on year-over-year growth, IDC analysts now say, comes down to flat tablet shipments to mature markets. After 2013 shipments to North America and Western Europe grew by 25 percent, this year's numbers suggest shipments won't grow at all.

Shipments to the rest of the world, meanwhile, have continued to grow, albeit at a slower pace. Expectations for 2014 "rest of the world" numbers show tablet shipments growing by 12 percent after increasing a whopping 88 percent in 2013.

IDC's tablet research director, Jean Phillippe Bouchard, says that growth trend is encouraging news and a sign that "there is still a good appetite for this product category."

That appetite is expected to feed growth going forward. IDC predicts 2018 will see tablet shipment growth in North America, Western Europe and the rest of the world.

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E-Scrap 2014: Secure your spot in the exhibit hall

Wed, 09/03/2014 - 21:59
E-Scrap 2014: Secure your spot in the exhibit hall

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Sept. 4, 2014

With just over a month left before the 2014 E-Scrap Conference, only a handful of exhibitor spots remain in the trade show hall. Act now to ensure your organization has a place at the center of the e-scrap industry.

Exhibiting is the perfect opportunity to reach industry decision-makers, including executives at original equipment manufacturers, generators of e-scrap, government officials, trade association leaders, e-scrap processors, and buyers of e-scrap parts and materials. Save time and money by connecting with them all in one location.

E-Scrap 2014 will be held Oct. 21-23 at Orlando's Rosen Shingle Creek. The 2013 edition saw more than 1,300 attendees and 125 exhibiting companies, so plan now to make the most of this year's conference. Get all the latest information at e-scrapconference.com.

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Creative Recycling Systems enters bankruptcy

Wed, 09/03/2014 - 21:51
Creative Recycling Systems enters bankruptcy

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

Sept. 4, 2014

With a multimillion dollar lawsuit on its plate, Creative Recycling Systems has entered into bankruptcy and decided to close or sell all of its e-scrap locations.

After an extensive review of Creative's holdings, the company's receiver, Robert Swett, determined that the only potentially profitable — and sellable — operations were in Florida and North Carolina. The company has operated an e-scrap processing facilities in each of those states.

A separate office building in Florida has also been identified as an asset to package with the others in a potential sale, Jay Verona, Swett's legal counsel, told E-Scrap News.

The company's remaining processing facility, located in Palmetto, Georgia, and numerous other storage and office sites have already been or will be closed, Verona confirmed.

"As for the rest of the leases, we've filed motions to reject those leases," Verona said.

The company's filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy was approved by a Florida bankruptcy court judge Sept. 3, court documents show.

Verona could not provide an estimate of how many jobs will be lost as a result of the anticipated closings.  Creative had been dual-certified to both the e-Stewards and R2 standards.

A loan of $1 million has also been requested from the plaintiff in the case, Regions Bank, to "operate the company in the short term along with the other revenues that the company generates," Verona explained. Regions Bank is suing Creative and related affiliates for $18.7 million. Swett was appointed a receiver for the company in July.

Swett has not been available to discuss what each inventory revealed or how much material the company has amassed — and will need to process. One former Creative employee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the company has more than 5,000 tons of CRT glass it will need to manage.

Rumors of uncertainty surrounding Creative's future have swirled ever since the Regions Bank lawsuit emerged and plans to layoff 74 employees in Florida followed. In recent weeks E-Scrap News has reached out to officials in every state where Creative has had a location, with numerous sources noting interruptions in service but few having a clear sense of whether or not the company would continue operating.

In North Carolina, a state where Swett thinks Creative might still have attractive assets, service disruptions have been going on for more than a year, Rob Taylor, who heads the Local Government Assistance Team at the North Carolina Department of the Environment and Natural Resources, told E-Scrap News. After abruptly opting out of most municipal collection programs last year, Creative held on to contracts in Mecklenburg County, Wake County and Moore County as well as with the city of Durham.

But this summer, service to those clients was also cut off, Taylor said, leaving a backlog of material to be cleaned up and a handful of important municipalities scrambling to identify new partners.

As for the reason, Taylor ventured an educated guess that Creative was outbidding its competitors in North Carolina — namely Electronic Recyclers International, Synergy and E-Cycle Secure — by putting in the lowest bids to OEMs required to fund recycling efforts in the state and then even offering municipalities money for their CRT-dominated e-scrap stream.

"Their offer was always an orange in a basket of apples," Taylor said. "Maybe they were hoping there'd be a better quality stream with less CRTs."

Meanwhile state officials up and down the East Coast, Creative's primary swath of business, have had a hard time reaching the company, especially in states where service has appeared to stop altogether. "I am concerned since the state’s primary contact has not responded to my requests for information to-date," one official wrote just days before the company filed for bankruptcy.

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CRT processor gets key green light

Wed, 09/03/2014 - 21:45
CRT processor gets key green light

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

Sept. 4, 2014

With an air pollution permit in place for a New York operation, a U.K.-based CRT glass recycling firm says it's bringing its smelting technology to the U.S.

Representatives from Nulife Glass, led by Simon Greer, informed E-Scrap News earlier this week the company has received final approval from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to build and operate a leaded glass smelting furnace at a facility in Dunkirk, New York.

That furnace, which has been in operation in the U.K., will be Nulife's first in the U.S. and the company says it has plans to expand beyond New York.

"Nulife Glass is presently in negotiations for additional sites for processing and melting glass in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Ohio," Greer told E-Scrap News. "The only restriction on Nulife's processing capacity will be the speed at which it can open new sites and that is only restricted by the rate at which suppliers can deliver glass."

As for supplying the site in New York, Greer said, "Key stakeholders in the supply chain managed, controlled and audited by the manufacturers, government and inspection organizations" have indicated they will have ample glass to get the Nulife operation going. The company website suggests the furnace "will have the capacity to process more than 200 million pounds [100,000 tons] of CRT glass." The site does not say whether that figure is an annual capacity.

Any additional processing capacity would provide help for firms looking for CRT recycling outlets. While estimates vary widely, somewhere between 200,000 and 400,000 tons of glass enters the U.S. waste stream each year while actual maximum processing capacity, including international options, hovers around 200,000 tons.

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Certification scorecard

Wed, 09/03/2014 - 21:41
Certification scorecard

Sept. 4, 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.

Merit ePartners, a nonprofit corporation located in Stockton, California is now certified to the following standards: e-Stewards, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and R2:2013. The group offers job training and services for incarcerated youth.

Bayaud Enterprises of Denver; Goodwill Data SHIELD of Milwaukee; H & R Contractors, Inc. of Staunton, Virginia; Paper Dragon of Grand Island, Nebraska; Proshred Security of Richmond, Virginia; recordSHRED, Inc of Oakland Park, Florida; SecurShred of South Burlington, Vermont; Shred-Ex, LLC of Colchester, Vermont; and United Document Destruction and Storage of Reading, 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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E-Scrap 2014: Form factor guidance

Wed, 09/03/2014 - 21:36
E-Scrap 2014: Form factor guidance

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Sept. 4, 2014

As gadgets have transitioned from our desks to our laps to our hands, processors and refurbishers have had to deal with new challenges to effectively dismantle or repair.

At E-Scrap 2014, an intriguing session will help attendees better understand how form factor changes are having an impact on the used electronics sector. Presenters will also offer potential solutions in product design and repairability.

This form factor discussion is just one of many platforms the conference offers attendees who want to better understand where our industry is headed and how to most effectively navigate a landscape riddled with both challenges and opportunities. Book your spot today and ensure your firm’s long-term competitive edge.

E-Scrap 2014 will be held Oct. 21-23 at Orlando's Rosen Shingle Creek. The 2013 edition saw more than 1,300 attendees and 125 exhibiting companies. Get all the latest information at e-scrapconference.com.


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NewsBits

Wed, 09/03/2014 - 21:30
NewsBits

Sept. 4, 2014

Ever wonder what your gently used iPhone 5 could get you on the trade-in market? A quick internet search shows a mint condition, 64GB iPhone 5 on Verizon could bring in as much as $160 from ecoATM, $180-190 from Gazelle or $225 in trade-in credits from Apple.

Speaking of trade-ins, ecoATM, the kiosk-based, automated service, announced it has collected 3 million devices since its launch in 2008. That total has been reached in large part thanks to a busy 2014, which has seen 1 million devices processed, the majority of which, the company reports, are the iPhone 4 and 4S.

UNICOR, the federal penitentiary jobs operation, operates seven e-scrap processing plants nationwide. Prisoners working for the quasi-public firm handled 39 million pounds of electronics in 2013, the latest annual data shows.

Reuse pioneer Close the Gap has officially marked its 10-year anniversary with the release of its 2013 annual report detailing the group's efforts and impact to date. Since 2003, 326 European companies have donated almost 400,000 "computer assets," which Close the Gap has used to drive nearly 400 projects in 54 countries. The group says approximately 1.5 million people have been affected by those projects, many of which center on reusing valuable computer equipment and thus "bridging the digital divide."

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The new iPhone's impact on the trade-in market

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 19:33
The new iPhone's impact on the trade-in market

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

Aug. 28, 2014

With Apple's iPhone 6 waiting in the wings, trade-in companies are saying price inquiries for slightly older models are on the rise.

Both NextWorth and Gazelle have reported significant increases in the amount of quotes requested for used iPhones as the anticipated mid-September release date of the iPhone 6 nears. NextWorth says quote requests for iPhones were up nearly 200 percent compared to last year, while Gazelle says quotes are up about 50 percent, Computerworld reports.

Apple's iPhone 6, said to feature an ever-coveted larger screen, is rumored to be slated for a Sept. 19 release date and, if quote requests are any indication, consumers appear eager to leave their gently used iPhones behind for the new gadget.

Mark Bowles, CEO of ecoATM, said while his company has also seen increases in the number of consumers checking in to see how much their iPhone is worth, trade-in volumes won't rise until the iPhone 6 is in stores. "Certainly, there is a vastly increased volume of price inquiries in the industry and consumers gear up early to see what they might get," Bowles told E-Scrap News. "We are experiencing that as well. But a significant rise in actual selling of devices doesn’t occur until the day the new iPhone is actually available and consumers can actually flip their phone."

If trade-ins do, in fact, increase with the release of the new iPhone, it would embolden longstanding views that U.S. consumers are quick to leave behind phones in working order for the flashiest devices on the market. That tendency has led, at least in part, to the success of companies like NextWorth, Gazelle and ecoATM, who offer to buy used phones and resell them for a profit overseas.

"The Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act," recently signed into law by President Barack Obama, should further reuse companies' business by allowing them to bulk unlock phones — paving the way for data sanitization, resale and reuse — without needing permission from wireless providers.

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E-Scrap 2014: The latest on the CRT crisis

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 19:31
E-Scrap 2014: The latest on the CRT crisis

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Aug. 28, 2014

Discussion of downstream options for CRT glass — and the associated pricing — has consumed the electronics recycling industry for the past year, and at E-Scrap 2014, the CRT debate will get its due treatment.

To help clarify the current situation and anticipate where it's headed, the conference will offer a full rundown of the North American processors still standing and those hoping to get in on the notoriously narrow-margin market. Distinguishing "established" and "emerging" operations, as well as pointing out who's amassing stock versus who's actually processing it, the presentation will provide attendees with a complete picture of the CRT landscape.

Whether you're running a collection program inundated with old TVs or trying to find downstream processors you can trust, this valuable session will serve as both education and encouragement.

E-Scrap 2014 will be held Oct. 21-23 at Orlando's Rosen Shingle Creek. The 2013 edition saw more than 1,300 attendees and 125 exhibiting companies, so plan now to secure your spot at this fall's conference. Get all the latest information at e-scrapconference.com.


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How one Texas facility tries to beat the heat

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 19:27
How one Texas facility tries to beat the heat

By Dan Leif, E-Scrap News

Aug. 28, 2014

Step out onto the massive processing floor at ECS Refining in Mesquite, Texas, and the first thing you notice is the air, which on an August morning feels like 100-degree soup. It’s not exactly the ideal environment for manually dismantling e-scrap for 10 hours.

ECS managers say many potential employees don’t make it through the initial three weeks of training, but they note those that can handle the rigors of CRT de-manufacturing and other tasks are actually able to thrive at the Dallas-area facility that spans 250,000-square-feet.

A number of unique efforts made by the company help workers weather the conditions in a facility so large that air conditioning is not an economic or effective option.

First is the schedule. ECS line workers start at 5:00 a.m. and work until 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, a time frame that allows workers to finish up before the hottest part of the day.  Owing to the four-day work week, the facility's 50 or so line workers also benefit from three-day weekends.

In addition, workers are taught the warning signs of heat stress during trainings. And each morning, managers stock hydration stations in every area of the processing space. "There’s Gatorade and water in every department," said Jessica Urizar, the company’s EH&S and lean manufacturing administrator, during a tour of the facility for attendees of this week's WasteCon trade show. "They can walk off the line every time they need to grab a drink."

Depending on the job task, employees often must put on protective layers such as Kevlar arm sleeves and heavy masks. But some apparel does have body temperature built into its design. Urizar notes many employees wear gel-lined vests that are made to stay cool. Workers are also required to remove all of their gear during every break (two 20-minute breaks and a 40-minute lunch), and they are encouraged to take at least one of their breaks in an air conditioned space.

Overhead fans and stationary fans are also located throughout the building. Mist generators, like those seen on outdoor patios at Dallas’ fancier restaurants, aren’t part of the equation, however.

“We thought about it,” said Urizar. “But with all the dust that accumulates, they get clogged up. Then keeping them clean becomes a whole job in itself.”

Executives at ECS, which also operates a large processing facility in California, say the Texas facility takes in 150,000 pounds of material daily and moves out a corresponding 150,000 pounds. That equates to 22 million to 24 million pounds annually, a number that the company wants to boost. Managers say they are looking to add a second shift — 12-hour stints that would run each Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

That would mean another crop of employees, who will have to learn quick to cope with the North Texas temps.

“This is tough work and the environment is not for everyone,” said Urizar. “But we’re upfront about that in the orientation. People know what they’re walking into.”

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PC shipments outpace expectations

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 19:24
PC shipments outpace expectations

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

Aug. 28, 2014

It appears PC shipments in 2014 aren't quite as lackluster as first thought.

While not exactly rosy, the latest estimate from the International Data Corporation (IDC) suggest global PC shipments in 2014 will total 303 million. That's a 3.7 percent decrease compared to 2013, but outperforms past IDC estimates that pegged shipments to fall by at least 6 percent.

The major driver of the better-than-expected figures is a growing mature market for PCs, the IDC reports. The mature market for PCs is set to grow by 5.6 percent during the year, the highest growth since 2010.

"Programs to reduce PC prices, such as Windows 8.1 with Bing, have helped to improve PC shipments in some segments," says Jay Chou, Senior Research Analyst, Worldwide PC Trackers, in a press release. "Coupled with a shift toward more mobile PCs, the market has seen a quickened pace of innovation and a focus on price points."

Tracking shipments of PCs, tablets and smartphones helps provide a snapshot of what the future e-scrap waste stream will look like. It now appears we'll be seeing more PCs down the road than first thought, although long term growth forecasts, IDC says, remain highly uncertain.

"The prospects for significant PC growth in the long term remain tenuous, as users increasingly see PCs as only one of several computing devices," the research firm notes, with 2018 shipment estimates coming in at just above 291 million units.

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Certification scorecard

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 19:22
Certification scorecard

Aug. 28, 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.

E-Waste Experts, Inc. of Bristol, Pennsylvania has achieved ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and R2:2013 certification.

Umicore Precious Metals Refining of Hoboken, Belgium is certified to the ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 standards.

Absolute Data Shredding of Norman, Oklahoma; Info Dog Security LLC of Spencer, Iowa; and River Mill Data Management LLC of Columbus, Georgia 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

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 19:09
NewsBits

Aug. 28, 2014

Kenya's East African Compliant Recycling Center has recycled roughly 65 tons of e-scrap since launching in Machakos last December. Thus far, the company has been able to pay community members as much as $2 per used CRT computer, reselling valuable commodities from a wide range of electronics to companies abroad. While significant in spirit, it appears the operation will need to be supported by a number of additional and larger operations to handle the electronic waste stream in Kenya — according to U.N. calculations, 2012 saw almost 50,000 tons of e-scrap generated in Kenya, a total that does not include devices imported into Kenya from developed countries.

With the city of Charleston, West Virginia and the surrounding Kanawha County down one e-scrap recycling center, the County Solid Waste Authority has compiled a list of options for residents to take their old and end-of-life electronics. Beyond the standard takeback services offered at retailers, including Best Buy, Staples and Radioshack, the County hosts three free e-scrap drop-off events during the fall while Charleston also offers curbside pick-up of electronics through the city. For more, visit the Kanawha's spiffy recycling website.

News reports continue to suggest that e-scrap is posing a major environmental and human health challenge in India. The latest, a study released by New Delhi-based Toxics Links, shows a direct link between the informal e-scrap sector in Loni and Mandoli and soil, water and air pollution — while e-scrap generation is on the rise within India, the study also points to "a significant volume of waste received from some developed countries" as compounding the country's current challenges.

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More losses for E-Waste Systems

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 22:14
More losses for E-Waste Systems

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

Aug. 21, 2014

Losses continue to pile up for E-Waste Systems, Inc. as newly released financials show operating losses of almost $2 million for the second quarter of 2014 and $7 million for the year thus far.

Publicly traded E-Waste Systems' (EWSI) second quarter results for 2014 were released Aug. 19. Between April 1 and June 30, the company generated revenues of $545,226 — largely offset by $483,531 in cost of sales expenses — while operating losses for the quarter came in at $1,919,333.

Operating losses for the first six months of the year have equaled $6,939,586 — four times higher than losses during the first six months of 2013. Revenues for the first six months of 2014 have totaled just over $1 million.

"These quarterly results do not meet our expectations, but our goals for establishing a strong platform for growth are completely intact and we expect to move forward with laser-focus to accomplish our plan," CEO Martin Nielson stated in an August 20 press release.

The quarterly results come just weeks after the company re-stated financials for 2013, an action the firm took after concluding it should not have consolidated revenues from XuFu, a Chinese partner. EWSI has also not been able to count revenues from another Chinese company, Tanke, which EWSI has said will generate $50 million in revenues for the company this year.

The company's stock price has fallen from a 2014 high of more than a nickel in January to less than one-fifth of a penny at press time.

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