E-Scrap News Magazine

Updated: 1 day 5 hours ago

California firms receive reminder on downstream due diligence

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 16:16
California firms receive reminder on downstream due diligence

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

Dec. 19, 2014

In another sign of the increasingly tight CRT glass market, regulators in California have asked registered e-scrap firms to exercise caution when planning to send glass beyond state lines.

"If your company is shipping CRTs or CRT glass out-of-state, you should understand the difference between a destination that remanufactures CRT glass and/or engages in lead smelting, and an intermediate facility," the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) wrote in a Dec. 10 advisory notice. "Most CRT processing facilities in other states are intermediate facilities. Your company bears responsibility under California law for material while it is at an intermediate facility, and until it reaches its final destination for recycling."

The notice urges recycling firms to "ask hard questions of out-of-state facilities in order to avoid potentially crippling liability for material mishandled downstream." It also references the costly clean-up of Dow Management's Yuma, Arizona CRT glass operation, which had received and stockpiled large quantities of glass from California and Washington. The company later went out of business, and California firms were required to retrieve glass sent to Dow and have it sent elsewhere for final processing.

"DTSC does not want to see such a scenario happen again — either for the sake of the environment or for the sake of California recyclers," DTSC's Rita Hypnarowski wrote in a follow-up email.


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Kuusakoski acquires processing firm

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 16:14
Kuusakoski acquires processing firm

By Dan Leif and Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

Dec. 19, 2014

Illinois-based Vintage Tech Recycling has been purchased by Kuusakoski, a central player in the ongoing industry debate over CRT glass management.

A U.S.-based Kuusakoski executive confirmed the deal in an interview with E-Scrap News this week. Kuusakoski USA's parent company, Finland-based Kuusakoski Recycling, which has owned 40 percent of Vintage Tech since 2011, has acquired the remaining 60 percent of the company's shares.

Vintage Tech was founded in 2005 and operates six processing facilities (two in Illinois and one each in California, Michigan, Missouri and Pennsylvania). Most of those facilities carry both e-Stewards and R2 certification, and the company is active in several state take-back programs. Karrie Gibson, the processing firm's president, told E-Scrap News Vintage Tech operates more than 1,000 permanent collection sites nationwide.

"In 2014, Vintage Tech collected and recycled more than 110 million pounds of electronics in the U.S. marketplace, and Kuusakoski will continue to grow that volume and maximize the value of the materials while following all compliance under state legislation and certifications," Gibson said.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. The two companies will be run separately with a "shared executive team," Gibson said. Gibson and her husband, Todd, Vintage Tech's vice president of sales and marketing, will remain in their current leadership roles "for as long as it takes to assure a smooth transition for our customers and employees," she said.

Kuusakoski has positioned itself as a potential downstream option for CRT glass. The company, in partnership with an Illinois landfill, employs a technology that "stabilizes" lead within processed CRT glass so that it can be used as alternative daily cover (ADC) at the landfill site.

Few state regulators have allowed CRT glass destined for ADC to be counted toward state-program pound quotas. The U.S. EPA has suggested the process is disposal, not recycling.

Kuusakoski representatives said the CRT-to-ADC operation is at about 25 percent capacity, having processed roughly 12,000 tons of material in 2014, versus the 50,000 tons they had hoped to garner.

Kuusakoski leaders said the decision to buy Vintage Tech was driven by a desire to cut deeper pathways into the North American e-scrap sector, including the refurb space. They said glass currently collected through Vintage Tech contracts won't necessarily head into the ADC pipeline.

"The OEMs that Vintage Tech serves chose the destination for the glass produced under their respective programs, and this will not change," said Rich Hipp, CEO and president of Kuusakoski USA. "With the acquisition of Vintage Tech we will now become a coast-to-coast service company with front end collection networks and fully integrated customer service and operations that will provide that true one-stop-shop service to our customers."

Kuusakoski USA and Vintage Tech both have their headquarters in Plainfield, Illinois.

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Deadline for transitioning to R2:2013 draws closer

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 16:12
Deadline for transitioning to R2:2013 draws closer

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

Dec. 19, 2014

About a quarter of firms certified to the R2 standard have yet to transition to the latest version of the certification.

With a Dec. 31 deadline looming, 414 of the 550 facilities certified to the R2 standard are R2:2013 certified, Patty Osterberg told E-Scrap News. Osterberg serves as the Director of Education and Outreach at SERI, the group that manages the R2 standard.

“It is a significant achievement for companies to successfully implement the rigorous requirements of the R2:2013 standard," Osterberg said in a statement. "We are extremely pleased that so many have made the transition, and are especially encouraged by the growing global footprint of the R2 Standard."

According to Osterberg, companies certified to the standard are now operating in 19 different countries.

SERI expects 80-85 percent of the 550 facilities in its system to gain the R2:2013 certification by Dec. 31.

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Arkansas sees e-scrap tonnages fall

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 16:10
Arkansas sees e-scrap tonnages fall

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

Dec. 19, 2014

Arkansas' annual review of recycling performance shows the state has increased its overall recycling rate to 39 percent, but e-scrap recycling is noticeably down.

E-scrap recycling tonnages fell during the state's fiscal year (July 2013 through June 2014) by about a quarter, a report from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality states. In 2014, 2,919 tons of electronics was reported recycled, compared with 3,917 in 2013.

"We've made a conscientious effort here throughout the state to clear out all of that stuff in people's homes that they'd been holding onto," Robert Hunter, the recycling and marketing manager at ADEQ, told E-Scrap News. "We've been counting electronics for several years and we've made a real push with grants to sponsor collection events for free so residents could get rid of that bulky stuff."

Hunter says collection events are now seeing fewer of the heavier monitors and televisions and more lightweight electronics.

Arkansas is not among the 25 states that currently have laws mandating e-scrap recycling programs.

On the whole, overall landfilling of waste generated in the state fell 5 percent in the most recent fiscal year, coming in at 3,265,463 tons, while recycling was up 13 percent, reaching 1,086,820 tons. Waste generation was slightly up during the year at 5,352,283 tons.



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Long-haul shipping prices could drop next year

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 16:07
Long-haul shipping prices could drop next year

By Dan Leif, E-Scrap News

Dec. 19, 2014

An amendment included in the $1 trillion spending bill passed last weekend by Congress suspends two provisions of a trucking rule that long-haul firms say have crunched efficiency. That could mean lower logistics prices for export buyers and some other e-scrap entities.

The trucking provisions in the bill relate to hours-of-service (HOS) regulations that were introduced in 2013 and which many trucking firms and groups have fiercely opposed.

Here's how industry publication Transport Topics characterized the change brought about by the spending bill: "The legislation suspends the requirement that all qualifying restarts contain two consecutive periods of time between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m., and that it can only be used once every 168 hours (or seven days). In other words, the restart rule reverts back to the simple 34-hour restart in effect from 2003 to June 2013."

The HOS requirements will be dropped for a year, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will conduct a study showing the impact of altering the legislation. With the regulations suspended, long-haul truckers will be able to increase their weekly maximum driving hours from 70 to 82.

From an e-scrap perspective, the move will most affect firms that buy and collect material in one section of the country and pay long-haul services to transport it to distant processing or warehouse sites. Companies that buy material for export could also see lower prices – those companies typically pay to have material shipped to U.S. ports before it is moved into foreign markets.


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Certification scorecard

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 16:04
Certification scorecard

Dec. 19, 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.

Spectrum Ecycle Solutions, Inc. of St. Louis is now certified to OHSAS 18001 and R2:2013.

Crown Information Management of South Daytona, Florida; Gagnaeyðing ehf of Reykjavik, Iceland; and Proshred Security of Crestwood, Illinois 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, 12/18/2014 - 16:02
NewsBits

Dec. 19, 2014

The U.S. EPA has begun reminding industry stakeholders of a new CRT export policy set to go into effect the day after Christmas. As of Dec. 26, U.S.-based exporters of CRT devices or glass will be required to provide the EPA with more detailed tracking data as well as annual records of the amount of material shipped outside the U.S. For more information on the changes, click here.

In a separate move, the U.S. EPA has pushed ahead with a revision to the 2008 Definition of Solid Waste document. The update focuses on a series of "regulatory lapses" identified by the EPA and various stakeholders that will be remedied through new requirements for firms handling hazardous secondary wastes, including those found in various electronics and parts. For more on that, click here.

Oregon's electronics recycling take-back program is gearing up to expand its reach. Starting Jan. 1, Oregon E-Cycles will accept used keyboards, mice and printers alongside computers, monitors and TVs. The move could be a sign of things to come for state programs throughout the country, as the consumer e-scrap stream evolves.

The U.K.'s Environment Agency (EA) has announced imported concrete blocks containing leaded CRT glass have been put under "waste controls." The blocks, primarily made by Dutch firm A Jansen, reportedly failed a new series of testing for hazardous content and EA has requested additional information from the company as part of the regulatory action.

Despite inroads made by U.S. and Australian firms, China continued its reign as the world's biggest producer of rare earth metals in 2014. Preliminary statistics for the year show the country has largely avoided the negative effects of a March 2013 World Trade Organization ruling that stated Chinese officials were not implementing export quotas.



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Nascent e-scrap processor evicted in Ohio

Thu, 12/11/2014 - 18:04

 

Nascent e-scrap processor evicted in Ohio

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

Dec. 12, 2014

E-Waste Systems has lost the lease on its Ohio location.

In a Dec. 2 ruling, a Hamilton County judge sided with the owner of the Springdale property leased by E-Waste Systems, Inc. (EWSI) and formally evicted the publicly traded company from the location.

According to court documents sent to E-Scrap News by the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts, the property's owner, DCT Northwest, claimed EWSI failed to pay rent for the months of September and October and refused to leave the 44,000 square-foot location after receiving a "Notice to Leave the Premises" on Oct. 15.

The monthly rent for the property was just under $12,000, plus estimated operating expenses of $5,000, court documents detail. The lease was intended to last three years and it commenced in March 2014.

EWSI's public relations department sent a statement to E-Scrap News regarding the eviction:

 

It is unfortunate that the EWSI-Cincinnati facility is forced to close at this time. We have been faced with a number of challenges that took our focus away from our main objective. We sincerely hope that we can change all of that and dedicate our energies on other areas of the business in order to make a comeback in the Cincinnati area. We feel it is only a temporary situation and we will be able to come back stronger than ever with the help of a very determined and dedicated core team remaining with the company.

 

EWSI, which also has locations in California and New York, says the New York location in particular "is not affected by the current situation in Cincinnati." A Dec. 4 press release announced plans to further expand in New York and venture into India as well.

The company recently announced a reverse stock split "to permit the Company to obtain appropriate financing and make [its] capital structure more attractive to potential investors."

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Vermont switches e-scrap contractors

Thu, 12/11/2014 - 16:09
Vermont switches e-scrap contractors

By Dan Leif, E-Scrap News

Dec. 12, 2014

After being criticized over a bidding process in 2013, e-scrap regulators in Vermont this year added transparency to their methodology – and awarded a state collection and recycling contract to a different bidder.

Earlier this year, the Vermont Standard Plan for electronics recycling management was awarded to the National Center for Electronics Recycling (NCER) and the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC), according to a letter from state officials that was recently obtained by E-Scrap News. NCER and NERC, which bid together, assumed collection and recycling duties on Oct. 1, 2014, and their contract lasts for two years.

The decision moved the contract away from publicly traded Casella Waste Systems, which held collection and recycling duties from Oct. 1, 2013 to Sept. 30, 2014. The state had an option to renew the Casella deal this year but chose not to exercise it.

The switch in contractors comes in the wake of debate that sprang up around the Vermont program a year ago. The state awarded Casella the contract in 2013, but soon afterward, officials at the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) came under fire for alleged inconsistent standards in regards to the bidding process.

"We did get a lot of feedback on the bid process that occurred when we awarded the contract to Casella," said Cathy Jamieson, solid waste program manager at ANR. "So we said, 'We will go out to bid again when the contract is up.' … Casella did an excellent job. We had no problems with Casella whatsoever."

Casella did not respond to a request for comment.

According to the ANR letter, four entities submitted bids to the state for the latest contract: Casella, NCER/NERC, the Northeast Resource Recycling Association (NRRA), and R.M.G. Enterprise.

After rejecting R.M.G.'s proposal for being incomplete, ANR scored the three other bids in five categories. Out of a possible 100 total points, the NCER/NERC bid received a 68.75, Casella scored 67.25 and NRRA came in at 61.25.

The main difference in the scores for Casella and NCER/NERC came in the price category. In that section NCER/NERC scored a 17, and Casella was given a 12.

Jamieson said the state laid out clear point totals in each rubric to help address the concerns that were voiced about the selection process last year.

"We were striving toward clarity and transparency for the program so that people could understand our process and decision-making," said Jamieson.

Jason Linnell, executive director of West Virginia-based NCER, said his organization would be using Electronic Recyclers International and Good Point Recycling as recycling subcontractors for material collected in Vermont.

Good Point leader Robin Ingenthron was one of the most vocal critics of state officials after Casella was awarded the contract last year.

Good Point, alongside NRRA, held the Vermont contract for the first two program years, and last fall the state allowed Good Point and NRRA to move ahead on a manufacturer opt-out program that could run parallel to the state standard plan.

Ingenthron said his business would benefit from being back in the standard plan network. "We are glad to be rehiring lost staff, making good on promises to banks and creditors, and working closely again with all our Vermont clients," he said.

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Piles of CRT glass sit at closed Dlubak site

Thu, 12/11/2014 - 16:05
Piles of CRT glass sit at closed Dlubak site

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

Dec. 12, 2014

According to a report from environmental officials in Arizona, Dlubak Glass has closed its Yuma CRT glass processing site. Substantial tonnages of unprocessed and potentially hazardous material remain stored outside.

The report, issued on Dec. 2 and obtained by E-Scrap News, suggests the company closed its Arizona facility between April and August of this year. It also asserts alleged environmental infractions unearthed during a Sept. 10 inspection by Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) officials have yet to be corrected.

That September visit resulted in a still-standing notice of violation (NOV), which has also been obtained by E-Scrap News. The photographs accompanying this story show the current state of the Dlubak site in Yuma. They were taken Dec. 11 by a photographer hired by E-Scrap News.

Dlubak is a final processor of glass collected through numerous channels, including state programs. Dlubak incorporates leaded glass into various glass, ceramic and construction products. According to the company, those products pass federal tests for hazardous material content.

Dave Dlubak, the company's owner, did not return a request for comment on the closure or the company's plans to address the NOV. A message left at the company's headquarters in Ohio was not returned. Additionally, the phone number associated with the Yuma facility is no longer in service, an automated voice recording states.

Improper storage and soil stains

According to the Dec. 2 ADEQ document, Dlubak informed state environmental officials in an email dated April 21 it would be "closing the Yuma glass processing plant for the purpose of processing CRT glass." In an email to ADEQ four months later, Dlubak director Herb Schall referred to the site as "our now closed Yuma plant."

The subsequent Sept. 10 visit to the location, which was conducted without the presence of a Dlubak official, found numerous infractions.

Those issues included improper storage of hazardous waste outdoors, speculative accumulation and soil stains "most likely caused by run-off." The September report also noted "multiple citrus trees" dead or dying in the surrounding area.

A waste management professional who manages a facility near the closed Dlubak site said in an interview the Dlubak property has raised eyebrows for months.

"We just hope he gets it up cleaned up sooner rather than later," said Dean Ruffridge, senior vice president of CR&R Incorporated, which operates the South Yuma County Landfill, located on property that abuts the Dlubak location. "From a public standpoint, you drive by and wonder, 'What the heck is going on here?'"

According to Ruffridge, the Dlubak site has been closed "for at least two years."  In Ruffridge's estimation, some 20,000 tons of material currently sits on the Dlubak property.

The Yuma County Chamber of Commerce did not return a request for comment. A spokesperson for the county's Department of Development Services told E-Scrap News the agency is "not being informed [about] or involved with the issue" due to the state's involvement in the matter.

Under regulatory fire

The recent action from Arizona officials follows a number of other violations filed against Dlubak from environmental and safety regulators in recent years.

In 2008, Dlubak's only other CRT processing site, located in Upper Sandusky, Ohio, was found to be in violation of the Clean Air Act by the U.S. EPA. That site has also been cited for 24 worker safety-related violations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Additionally, in 2009, officials in Arizona noted "potential deficiencies" in the company's glass operation, which resulted in an NOV and a lawsuit from then-partner Electronic Recyclers International for breach of contract. Furthermore, EPA records show a "significant violation" in Arizona first uncovered in 2011 has not been remedied.

That violation, according to ADEQ media spokesperson Mark Shaffer, relates to "contamination exceedances at a trench site" adjacent to the company's CRT washing space in Yuma.

In March, the company was fined $120,000 for storage and management lapses.

ADEQ's Shaffer told E-Scrap News the agency met in person with Dave Dlubak on Dec. 4 and has had a phone conversation with him in the last week.

"For ADEQ, Dlubak is a multi-phase project and we are focusing on the highest-risk issues first," Shaffer said.

Cick here to see a slideshow of the facility.

(Photos: Chuck Miller, © Resource Recycling, Inc., 2014)

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Certification scorecard

Thu, 12/11/2014 - 15:47
Certification scorecard

Dec. 12, 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.

AER Worldwide is now certified to the R2:2013 and RIOS standards at the following sites: Duncan, South Carolina; El Paso, Texas; Fremont, California; and Guadalajara, Mexico.

Diversified Recycling LLC of Orlando, Florida has achieved ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certification.

Data Management Shredding of Terre Haute, Indiana; MinnKota Secured Document Destruction of Fargo, North Dakota; Proshred Connecticut of Wallingford, Connecticut; Secure Records Management Systems of Sanford, Maine; and Shred N Go, Inc. of Edina, Minnesota 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, 12/11/2014 - 15:43
NewsBits

Dec. 12, 2014

According to a note on the company's home page, CRT processing hopeful Nulife Glass has moved the components of its de-leading furnace to the U.S. from the U.K. Four containers containing equipment are currently making their way through customs in New Jersey and will then be sent to Nulife's site in Dunkirk, New York, Nulife representatives say.

The release of the Windows 10 operating system next year could cause a flood of old PCs to enter the recycling and refurbishment streams, industry experts are predicting. An Intel executive said consumers are reacting extremely positively to Windows 10 in market testing, which leads many to conclude those who avoided upgrading to Windows 8 will now be willing to buy new hardware and dispose of old machines.

Call2Recycle, an organization that spearheads battery and cell phone stewardship programs in North America, announced its efforts have led to 100 million pounds of material being diverted from landfill in the last 20 years. The group also says it has established 34,000 collection points in that time frame.

Kyle Wiens of electronics repair hub iFixit recently penned an informative story in Wired about the ongoing battle to keep device unlocking legal. The unlocking procedure, which allows a user to free a device from its wireless carrier, is key to the success of many e-scrap refurbisher operations.

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AT&T fined $52 million for dumping e-scrap

Thu, 12/04/2014 - 11:41
AT&T fined $52 million for dumping e-scrap

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

Dec. 4, 2014

Telecommunications giant AT&T has reached a $52 million settlement with the state of California for illegally dumping scrap electronics in state landfills.

The settlement was announced on Nov. 20 by California's attorney general and was decribed by state officials as their first e-scrap management enforcement action against a telecom company.

"This settlement holds AT&T accountable for unlawfully dumping electronic waste,” Attorney General Kamala D. Harris said in the release. “The illegal disposal of hazardous waste can lead to serious environmental and health risks for California communities. AT&T will be required to implement strict compliance measures at its facilities that set an example for other companies to safeguard our communities against hazardous waste.”

The settlement, filed in Alameda County Superior Court, calls for the company to pay $23.8 million in fines. In addition, AT&T has committed to spending an additional $28 million over the next five years to further improve its compliance.

However, AT&T is not required to recover material it has been accused of already disposing. It is not known how much material was landfilled in California by the company.

In a statement sent to E-Scrap News, AT&T spokesperson Marty Richter said the company will be putting significant resources toward improving management of e-scrap.

"We take environmental stewardship seriously, and we’ve cooperated closely with the state and Alameda County to resolve this issue in a way that is in the best interests of the environment, our customers and all Californians," Richter said in the statement. "The settlement recognizes the company for taking prompt action, dedicating significant additional resources toward environmental compliance, and improving our hazardous and universal waste management compliance programs. "

In 2011, representatives from California's Department of Toxic Substances Control and the Alameda County District Attorney's Office conducted a series of inspections at various AT&T facilities throughout the state. Those inspections led to the conclusion that the company had been knowingly disposing of electronics, some of which contained hazardous materials, for nine years.

"The inspections revealed that AT&T was routinely and systematically sending hazardous wastes to local landfills that were not permitted to receive those wastes," last month's attorney general announcement states.

Upon being informed of the inspection results, "AT&T immediately agreed to cooperate and promptly implemented measures to halt the removal of regular trash until it could be inspected to remove any potentially hazardous wastes before they reached municipal landfills," the notice adds.

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E-Scrap 2015: Your Labor Day is safe

Thu, 12/04/2014 - 11:38
E-Scrap 2015: Your Labor Day is safe

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Dec. 4, 2014

E-Scrap 2015 is scheduled to take place earlier than in years past – Sept. 1-3, 2015. But fear not, beach goers and grill masters: You won't have to decide between maintaining Labor Day weekend traditions and attending the best networking event in electronics recycling.

In 2015, Labor Day is Sept. 7, the week after E-Scrap 2015. That means you can get to the conference, be home in time to share all you learned with colleagues and then have your usual Labor Day fun. (Or maybe you can use that weekend to reach out to all the potential partners you connected with at the conference!)

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

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Illinois amendment aims to fix e-scrap program

Thu, 12/04/2014 - 11:35
Illinois amendment aims to fix e-scrap program

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

Dec. 4, 2014

Elected officials in Illinois are mulling an amendment to the state's e-scrap legislation that would lead to higher manufacturer recycling goals and protections for local governments.

Introduced by Rep. Emily McAsey, a Democrat representing Illinois' 85th District, the legislation picked up four chief co-sponsors in recent weeks following a reading in the Illinois House Environmental Committee.

“If some changes are not made, I’m concerned [some programs] will cease to be able to operate,” McAsey said during the meeting, according to the Joliet, Illinois-based Herald News. “There’s the possibility of widespread illegal dumping [of electronics].”

Rep. McAsey did not return a request for comment from E-Scrap News.

At its core, McAsey's amendment would signal three significant changes to the state program currently in place. The first change would be to double the current manufacturer recycling requirement from 50 percent to 100 percent of what each company sells in the state. (Individual manufacturer goals are based on sales of electronics in the state "two years before the applicable year," the law states.) In addition, the legislation would stiffen the penalty against OEMs failing to reach that 100 percent goal. The legislation also aims to ensure recycling firms and collectors don't charge municipalities for collecting or taking material unless they offer specialized services, such as home pick-up.

Mark Denzler, vice president and chief operating officer of the Illinois Manufacturers' Association (IMA), told E-Scrap News the group opposes the amendment but will engage in talks next year as part of a planned review of the program set forth by current legislation.

"The IMA opposes the current amendment that requires manufacturers to double their goals and significantly increase costs for the collection of e-waste," Denzler said. "The original law was carefully negotiated and includes a mandatory review of the program in 2015. Our members are committed to sitting down with Rep. McAsey and local government officials to review the overall e-waste program with a goal of making it better for both manufacturers and consumers."

One of the main challenges of the current legislative framework, proponents of the amendment say, is that manufacturer goals, at 50 percent, are too low and leave towns and cities with excess electronics to recycle. With CRT devices representing the vast majority of the end-of-life consumer electronics stream by weight in Illinois (and nationwide), that excess material is costly to process and responsibly recycle, causing municipalities to discontinue collection programs. Recycling firms, meanwhile, have begun to avoid the residential stream.

"We already have millions of people without service," Marta Keane, a recycling specialist for Will County, told E-Scrap News. She said Will County's recycling contractor, Vintage Tech, has continued to service the area despite no longer receiving manufacturer funding to do so, while numerous other counties, Keane noted, including DuPage County, are now without service. "Any day we could lose service," Keane said.

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PC shipments expected to finish 2014 down 2.7 percent

Thu, 12/04/2014 - 11:31
PC shipments expected to finish 2014 down 2.7 percent

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Dec. 4, 2014

With the year coming to a close, 2014 global shipment expectations for PCs, tablets and smartphones are in, giving the industry a glimpse of the consumer electronics waste stream to come.

PC shipments worldwide during 2014 appear to have been higher than originally expected. For the year, the International Data Corporation (IDC) is now expecting a 2.7 percent drop in shipments from 2013 compared to original expectations of a 3.7 percent drop.

In total, IDC says 163.9 million PCs will ship worldwide during 2014. Looking ahead to 2018, IDC says 161.9 units will ship, with mature and emerging markets continuing to veer toward tablets and smartphones.

On the tablet front, IDC is estimating a 7.2 percent growth rate for the year in overall shipments. That growth rate, while still positive, is far behind 2013's torrid year-over-year growth rate of 52.5 percent. IDC says to expect 235.7 million tablets to ship worldwide in 2014.

By 2018, IDC anticipates 285.9 million units will ship annually.

From a percentage point perspective, smartphone shipments grew the most in 2014. Up 26.3 percent over 2013 shipments, smartphone shipments are anticipated to reach 1.3 billion units this year.

IDC predicts 1.4 billion smartphone units should ship in 2015, while 2018 will see as many as 1.9 billion units. The research firm has not released a 2015 forecast for PCs or tablets.


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Survey says … discrepancy

Thu, 12/04/2014 - 11:28
Survey says … discrepancy

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Dec. 4, 2014

What percentage of Americans are actively bringing old devices to recycling outlets? It depends whose numbers you go by.

A survey by office supply chain Staples indicates 92 percent of Americans have a TV, 72 percent have a laptop and 70 percent have a smartphone. In addition, the survey found just 8 percent of respondents recycled unwanted devices, with the majority of those gadgets (24 percent) collecting dust in American closets and basements.

Those figures seem to contrast the data of another recent survey, one released last month by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). That study found that a much higher percentage of Americans – 30 percent – had recycled at least one electronic device in the past year.

For more on CEA's study, click here.

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Certification scorecard

Thu, 12/04/2014 - 11:27
Certification scorecard

Dec. 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.

The San Antonio facility of Advanced Technology Recycling is now certified to the ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and R2:2013 standards.

Battery Solutions of Howell, Michigan is now certified to the R2:2013 and RIOS standards.

Call2Recycle, Inc. of Atlanta is now certified to the R2:2013 standard.

1st Choice Document Destruction, Inc. of Milaca, Minnesota; The Arc of Madison County Shredding Svc. of Huntsville, Alabama; ATI SecureDocs of Atlanta; Data Shredding Services of Texas, Inc. of Houston; Data Shredding Services of Texas, Inc. III of San Antonio; Goodwill So CA San Bernardino of San Bernardino, California; Hanna Paper Recycling, Inc. of Mansfield, Massachusetts; InfoShield LLC of Englewood, New Jersey; Kent Record Management – Muskegon of Muskegon, Michigan; Land Shark Shredding, LLC of Bowling Green, Kentucky; Proshred of Northern Virginia of Sterling, Virginia; Shred Right (A Rohn Industries Co.) of St. Paul, Minnesota; Shred With Us of West Columbia, South Carolina; The Shredders of Commerce, California; and Shred Defense of Richmond, California have either achieved or renewed their NAID Certifications for Physical Destruction of Hard Drives.

Also, Cascade Asset Management of Madison, Wisconsin and Cascade Asset Management – Indianapolis of Indianapolis have achieved their NAID Certifications for Hard Drive Sanitization as well as 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, 12/04/2014 - 11:21
NewsBits

Dec. 4, 2014

According to Materials Recycling World, Sims Recycling Solutions is implementing its strategy to reduce its processing footprint in the U.K. (subscription required). The firm’s e-scrap plant in Newport, Wales should be fully closed by early 2015, with some 100 workers being released. One other U.K. plant will be shuttered and another facility will see reduced operations. The company earlier this year made it clear a U.K. consolidation was forthcoming.

Recent research shows a combination of two sorting technologies is effective in separating plastics from obsolete electronics, especially those plastics containing brominated fire retardants. Two researchers at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in Italy tested a new way to detect bromine compounds in plastics. Rosa Taurino and Maria Cannio found that X-ray spectroscopy alone can estimate bromine concentrations, although with a degree of uncertainty. Taurino and Cannio determined that using Raman spectroscopy along with X-ray spectroscopy improved sortation accuracy to a purity level that complies with new European hazardous substances regulations.

Clover Holdings, an electronics reseller and refurbisher based in Illinois, is the subject of a feature over at Crain's Chicago Business journal. The publication highlights Clover's quick rise from a $1.7 million recycling firm to a $1 billion reseller and refurb hub. The company's latest moves has been a drive to take gently used models of the iPhone from customers and businesses upgrading to the iPhone 6.

E-scrap is the subject of a recent Newsweek article by reporter Lauren Walker. Walker primarily looks to the growing amounts of it we, as individuals and as a country, produce and the challenges and opportunities that poses for the recycling industry. "Transparency is key to responsible recycling," John Shegerian, CEO of Electronic Recyclers International, tells the publication. To read the article in its entirety, click here.

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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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