E-Scrap News Magazine

Updated: 1 hour 35 min ago

Arkansas offers $200,000 for e-scrap efforts

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 12:10
Arkansas offers $200,000 for e-scrap efforts

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

July 24, 2014

For the ninth year in a row Arkansas is issuing grant funding to help keep scrap electronics out of landfills.

The state's 2014 E-Waste Grants will be awarded to project developers aiming to create jobs and mitigate improper disposal in the state, which does not have an e-scrap law in place.

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will be accepting applications for grants until Sept. 1 and make decisions on dispersing about $200,000 in funds on or before December 31, a press release states.

The grant program was created "to assist in the development of sustained processes for recovery, recycling, and demanufacturing of scrap computers and electronics" and is funded through the sale of state-owned computers, the website states.

Katherine Benenati, who serves as the DEQ's public outreach and assistant division chief, told E-Scrap News the grants "help provide more recycling opportunities across the state and keep e-waste out of landfills, particularly in rural areas where opportunities may not have existed before."

Benenati also noted the state offers a separate series of annual grants to regional solid waste management districts and local governments looking to properly and sustainably handle computers and other used electronics.

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E-Scrap 2014: EPA’s role in the CRT issue

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 11:35
E-Scrap 2014: EPA’s role in the CRT issue

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

July 24, 2014

The industry has heard plenty from individual firms that have been squeezed by the ongoing cost struggles when it comes to processing old TVs and computer monitors. At this fall's E-Scrap 2014, attendees will get the unique opportunity to hear a federal regulator's take on the topic.

Amanda Kohler, a specialist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, will take to the stage to discuss her agency's response to the growing concerns surrounding CRT recycling. The presentation will review the details — and limits &mdash of the agency’s ability to address the problem, touching on EPA’s actions to date and possible future policy.

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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Federal study shows safety lapses in e-scrap processing

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 11:33
Federal study shows safety lapses in e-scrap processing

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

July 24, 2014

A just-released federal report sheds light on the numerous occupational health and safety dangers that likely exist at e-scrap firms throughout the country.

The report, released this month by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), shares findings from a series of site visits conducted between 2012 and 2013 at the request of an undisclosed e-scrap firm in the U.S. NIOSH collected air, surface and blood samples and interviewed about a quarter of facility employees to identify necessary health and safety improvements.

And, according to the report, a variety of shortcomings were found. Seven of 26 interviewed employees reported health concerns connected to CRT de-manufacturing, and NIOSH staffers found reason for worry on lead exposure.

Two company employees engaged in "maintenance or in the CRT processing area" had elevated blood lead levels and one employee was found to be overexposed to lead in the air. In addition, lead was detected on the clothing and skin of employees as well as on surface areas throughout the facility. Lead, a potentially toxic substance, is concentrated in the funnel glass and frit components of CRT monitors and displays.

Noise and ergonomic assessments were also carried out during NIOSH's visits — both areas, the report states, could stand to improve. Seven of 13 employees were exposed to noise levels above national workplace standards and employees were observed working in "awkward," strenuous and potentially dangerous positions.

A 13-point list of recommendations was drawn up to respond to NIOSH's concerns, including updating the ventilation system, segregating CRT glass breaking areas and a remodeling of facility work stations and procedures to ensure worker safety.

The NIOSH agency, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is responsible for conducting research and making recommendations on national worker safety issues.

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Certification scorecard

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 11:30
Certification scorecard

July 24, 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.

Oscar Winkski eRecycling of Lafayette, Indiana is now certified to the RIOS and R2:2013 standards.

Li Tong Group of Fo Tan, Hong Kong has achieved NAID Certification for Computer Hard Drive Sanitization and Physical Destruction of Hard Drives.

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

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NewsBits

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 11:22
NewsBits

July 24, 2014

Goodwill Industries of Southwestern Pennsylvania has already met its state-mandated 2014 e-scrap recycling target, meaning the organization will no longer accept old CRT televisions at its 30 stores. Once state targets are met, groups and businesses no longer receive funds to put toward the recycling and Goodwill says it simply cannot afford to pay for the recycling of CRT devices on its own.

The owner of West Virginia Recycling Services in the city of Charleston has decided to no longer accept e-scrap from the community, citing overwhelming amounts of expensive-to-recycle televisions and computers. "I’m done with e-waste," owner George Hunyadi told a local newspaper. "It’s just been a big pain in the butt." Residents will still have at least two recycling options for their end of life electronics: the city of Charleston and a nearby Best Buy drop-off site.

An Illinois musician has created a guitar/synthesizer-like instrument out of recovered hard drives and other computer components. "Instruments are this free-form art; they just have to make sound," the innovator, Colten Jackson, told Wired. "Whatever you start with, whether it’s garbage or e-waste, it lends itself to something."

A Chinese firm that offers payments for used mobile devices with resale value has nabbed $8 million in funding from investors including the International Finance Corporation. The startup company, called Aihuishou, uses a digital platform to connect with consumers.

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Great Expectations

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 11:51
Great Expectations

By Bobby Elliott and Dan Leif, E-Scrap News

July 17, 2014

Three-year-old E-Waste Systems, Inc. (EWSI) claims to be the next industry leader.  But do its globetrotting partnerships and multimillion dollar revenue projections add up?

From the print edition of E-Scrap News -- Click the image below for the full text:

 

Utah e-scrap firm hit by another fire

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 13:31
Utah e-scrap firm hit by another fire

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

July 17, 2014

Stone Castle Recycling, which has been mired in an ongoing back-and-forth with Utah state regulators, recently experienced its second fire of the year.

On July 8, a fire broke out at one of Stone Castle Recycling's e-scrap facilities, requiring firefighters from the area to work for 13 hours to put it out. The incident, which occurred at Stone Castle's Cedar City facility, was first reported by southwest Utah newspaper The Spectrum.

In March, a fire broke out at the company's Parowon facility, raising major environmental concerns and provoking the state to take a closer look at the company's three facilities — all of which were found to have significant regulatory and compliance holes.

Soon after the March blaze, environmental watchdog group, the Basel Action Network, issued a highly critical report on Stone Castles' operation.

Like the Parowon fire before it, the Cedar City incident is being investigated as a potential case of arson. No conclusions had been made as of July 16, Cedar City fire chief Paul Irons told E-Scrap News. An investigation at the Parowon site was inconclusive.

A May 22 letter from the Utah DEQ implored Stone Castle to provide an updated plan of operation at its Cedar City facility, citing "large amounts of CRT glass" at the location. DEQ officials, however, say no electronics were affected by this month's fire and that all CRT glass is housed in a separate building.

According to Stone Castle's website, the Cedar City facility at 1442 West Industrial Road accepts a wide range of materials other than electronics, including paper, glass and plastics. According to initial reports, the fire broke out inside the facility when materials went up in flames.

"It would be easier for me to put out a fire at the landfill than it is here," Cedar City's fire chief Irons told The Spectrum. "The garbage is just everywhere."

DEQ officials confirmed that the company has thus far failed to submit an updated plan of operation as of July 15. In a July 1 letter addressed to Stone Castle owner Anthony Stoddard and obtained by E-Scrap News, officials stipulate that Stone Castle had been asked to supply a new plan by June 27. The DEQ also requested Stone Castle clean up its Parowon facility by September 30, among other demands.

The letter notes these requests have been made taking into account the "limited resources" available to Stone Castle.

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E-Scrap 2014: The meetings that matter

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 13:27
E-Scrap 2014: The meetings that matter

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

July 17, 2014

Start planning now for E-Scrap 2014, where you'll be able to make connections with the leading industry trade associations and groups all in one convenient (and sunny) location.

In conjunction with the conference, a number of additional meetings and events will take place, including ISRI's welcome reception the evening of October 21. Attend the full range of meetings and sessions to learn what's new in electronics recycling, maximize value in reuse, and get an overview of e-scrap laws.

In addition, the trade show at E-Scrap 2014 will open a day earlier than in years past. The hall will open Tuesday, Oct. 21, and hours that initial day will be 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. The hall will also be open for all your networking needs on Wednesday, Oct. 22 and Thursday, Oct. 23.

E-Scrap 2014 will be held Oct. 21-23 at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Florida. 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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Wyoming company shutters, leaving question marks and glass

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 13:23
Wyoming company shutters, leaving question marks and glass

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

July 17, 2014

A Wyoming e-scrap operation with CRT glass on its hands has abruptly closed.

Located off of I-80 in Burns, Wyoming Tatooine Electronic Systems closed its doors in the beginning of July without any announcement or forewarning.

The closure appears to have coincided with the arrest of company owner and CEO Jeffrey Stumpf, who has been charged with six counts of sexual assault and five counts of sexual offense. Stumpf is currently being held on $50,000 bail at the Laramie County jail. No court date was scheduled as of July 15, a representative from the jail confirmed with E-Scrap News.

One of Tatooine's longtime clients, the city of Cheyenne, says the company's closure came as a surprise.

"We take a 30-yard roll-off of e-waste there each week and last week there was nobody on-site," said Dennis Pino, Cheyenne's director of solid waste. "We don't know exactly what occurred. … As far as I'm concerned, they broke their contract and I'm going to a different e-waste recycler at this point in time."

Pino said Cheyenne had been sending e-scrap to Tatooine for a decade and, the sudden closure aside, the city was pleased with Tatooine's performance. "We've had no issues," Pino stated. "They've handled everything very well. I never saw this coming."

A February 2013 request from the Wyoming DEQ to remove large amounts of CRT glass stored at the site prompted Pino to keep closer tabs on the facility, and he occasionally stopped by Tatooine's Burns headquarters to check in on the removal process. "They've moved a lot, but there's still a lot on-site," Pino said in reference to the CRT glass.

Keith Guille, Wyoming DEQ's public information officer, said Tatooine was working closely with the state to get glass "properly disposed of" at hazardous waste facilities since last year, when the company informed officials it had moved from Cheyenne to its current location in Burns. It is unclear whether Tatooine met its obligation to recycle or dispose of 75 percent of at least 400 tons of CRT glass during 2013, but Guille says the company was in the process of moving some glass downstream when it suddenly closed.

Once "the dust settles" and more information is available, the DEQ's major role, Guille explained, would be to determine who's responsible for any material that needs processing. "Whoever owns that facility is still responsible for the disposal of material," Guille said. "From our understanding, it's still owned by [Jeffrey Stumpf]."

In the event Tatooine closes permanently and is unable to fund the cleanup of the site, Guille said the DEQ would look into viable cleanup options. He would not say whether Tatooine's suppliers — the firms that send glass and other electronics to the e-scrap company for further processing — could be on the hook for the glass.

Long before the DEQ issued its February 2013 letter — a copy of which was obtained by E-Scrap News — Tatooine had engaged in numerous battles with the public, environmental officials and local journalists.

Newspapers in Wyoming had reported on a number of alleged incidences involving Stumpf and Tatooine, including claims in May of 2012 that CRT glass was being dumped at local landfills.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Stumpf was charged on numerous counts of illegal weapons possession. Tatooine Industries International, which does business as Tatooine Electronic Systems, was registered as a Wyoming corporation in 1996.

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Counterfeit electronics briefing touches on e-scrap exports

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 13:17
Counterfeit electronics briefing touches on e-scrap exports

By Dan Leif, E-Scrap News

July 17, 2014

During a Congressional briefing this week in Washington, D.C., a panel of technology experts expressed support for the Responsible Electronics Recycling Act (RERA).

The session was held to discuss the problem of counterfeit electronics compromising American defense equipment, and according to a press release from the Coalition for American Electronics Recycling (CAER), the three panelists participating urged Congress to take steps to ensure more end-of-life electronics are processed domestically.

RERA, a piece of legislation that has twice been introduced to Congress but has never made its way to a vote, aims to significantly limit the export of e-scrap. CAER has been the biggest industry supporter of the bill, and it has gained the support of more than 130 e-scrap firms.

"E-waste from the U.S. and other countries provides the feedstock for electronics counterfeiters in China, and it creates a serious product integrity issue," said panelist Henry Livingston of BAE Systems Electronic Systems, which produces electronic components for commercial and military clients.

The other two panelists were Tom Sharpe of electronics distributor SMT Corporation and Jim Burger, partner at the Thomas Coburn LLP law firm and a specialist on digital technology policy issues.

The briefing was organized by the office Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island as part of a governmental effort to reduce the risk of counterfeit electronics ending up in systems employed by the U.S. defense industry. According to a CAER spokesperson, the briefing was held at the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill and staff members from the offices of roughly 25 senators and representatives were present. EPA staffers were also on hand.

Experts in the area of technology and security have said many counterfeit electronics are derived from recovered end-of-life electronics that are reconfigured by counterfeiters so that the components look new. According to the CAER press release, counterfeit parts have "flooded the supply chains of defense contractors in recent years."


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Japanese metals firm deepens focus on US e-scrap collection

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 13:13
Japanese metals firm deepens focus on US e-scrap collection

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

July 17, 2014

Mitsubishi Materials, which manufactures drills and cutting tools, has launched an electronics recycling division to be based in Southern California.

Mitsubishi's corporate headquarters is located in Tokyo, and the company operates manufacturing plants in Japan, Spain and Thailand. In a press release issued earlier this month, the company noted it has begun e-scrap collection in several European and North American countries, including the U.S., over the last several years, with those materials apparently being sent to Japan for further processing.

The company notes its imports of e-scrap from the North American market increased from 12,000 tons in the 2012 fiscal year to 28,000 tons in FY2013.

The recent release notes, "In order to provide a sustainable and stable collection of e-scrap from North America, as well as to promptly respond to future increase of the collected volume, we have decided to establish a base for business development in the U.S. which would be indispensable to this end."

The release did not indicate whether the company plans to develop processing capabilities in the U.S., and several e-mails and phone calls to the company were not returned.

The firm's U.S. subsidiary is called Mitsubishi Materials U.S.A. Corporation and is located in the Orange County city of Fountain Valley.


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Patent watch

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 13:10
Patent watch

July 17, 2014

Patent No. 8,764,503 was awarded to a group of researchers from the University of Limerick (Ireland) for a system and method of removing hazardous substances from liquid crystal displays (LCDs) and recycling the devices.

Shenzhen Gem High-Tech Co., Ltd., from Shenzhen, China, was given Patent No. 8,771,620 for a process of removing lead from CRT glass.

A method of recovering rare earth elements is the subject of Patent Application No. 20140186239, awarded to Tokyo, Japan's Hitachi Metals, Ltd.

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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Certification scorecard

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 13:07
Certification scorecard

July 17, 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.

AAI SecureDocs of Minneapolis; Ark-La-Tex Shredding Company of Tyler, Texas; Back Thru the Future of Franklin, New Jersey; Cintas Document Management of San Antonio; and Commodity Resources & Environmental, Inc. of Mojave, California have either achieved or renewed their NAID Certifications for Physical Destruction of Hard Drives.

Also, 3R Network, Inc. of Chino, California has achieved NAID Certification for Computer Hard Drive Sanitization and Physical Destruction of Hard Drives.

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

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NewsBits

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 13:04
NewsBits

July 17, 2014

China's informal e-scrap processing sector is leaving the nation's 91 government-vetted processors operating at less than half of annual capacity. While China has made an effort to galvanize its formal e-scrap sector, chiefly through vouching for permitted and authorized firms, statistis reported by Taiwan-based Want China Times show processors are fulfilling just 42.5 percent of their capacity, while the underground marketplace nets "billions" of dollars each year.

Worldwide PC shipments during the second quarter were down by 1.7 percent from last year. The year-over-year decrease, however, is the smallest in two years and is far better than the anticipated 7.1 percent decrease, according to research firm IDC.

Sims Recycling Solutions, the e-scrap wing of publicly traded Sims Metal Management, has released a new infographic highlighting the opportunity to divert more end-of-life electronics from landfills. With devices replaced every one to three years, Sims says Americans end up landfilling $60 million worth of gold and silver-containing electronics annually and those products produce 70 percent of toxins at landfills.

Florida-based Creative Recycling Systems (CRS) has entered into a receivership in connection to a nearly $20 million lawsuit filed against the company and its affiliates. The receivership, which was supported by CRS, will place Magnum Management Services at the helm of the e-scrap company, whose former CEO is also being sued in a related lawsuit.

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NCER again wins Oregon e-scrap contractor bid

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 10:53
NCER again wins Oregon e-scrap contractor bid

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

July 9, 2014

The National Center for Electronics Recycling will continue to manage collection for the state-run segment of Oregon's e-scrap program.

State officials last month announced their decision to stay with West Virginia-based NCER through 2018. Since 2008, the nonprofit organization has managed and maintained the state contractor program, which caters primarily to smaller manufacturers that choose not to cover collection quotas on their own or alongside other OEMs. The state contractor program is sometimes referred to as the fallback option.

"NCER is very excited to continue working with Oregon DEQ," Jason Linnell, NCER's executive director, said. "For the past six years, the NCER-managed contractor program has provided convenient electronics collection for Oregonians with rigorous environmental standards for recycling, all while providing a cost-effective solution for manufacturers."

In its management role in Oregon, NCER coordinates collection, transportation and recycling services for end-of-life TVs, monitors and computers. Starting in 2015, keyboards and other "computer peripherals" will also be included in the program.

Oregon's e-scrap law mandates free and convenient electronics recycling options for households as well as businesses and nonprofit groups that have 10 or fewer employees.

Aside from leading the Oregon state contractor law, NCER is involved in a number of data collection and research projects focused on e-scrap management.

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E-Scrap 2014: A big-picture look

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 10:51
E-Scrap 2014: A big-picture look

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

July 9, 2014

We all know the major trends that are quickly re-shaping the e-scrap industry. Think processor consolidation, CRT glass struggles and the possibility of material export regulations.

But understanding exactly how those developments intertwine and shape market opportunities can be a bit mind-boggling. E-Scrap 2014 will be bringing the top minds in the sector together to explore the issues and offer attendees an illuminating big-picture look at electronics recycling.

Make your plans now to head to the one-of-a-kind conference this October. The educational sessions, networking events, bustling trade show and collection of ancillary meetings will give you a textured understanding of how the industry is developing — and where your business fits in.

E-Scrap 2014 will be held Oct. 21-23 at Orlando's Rosen Shingle Creek. The 2013 conference 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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Tablets aren't yet completely replacing PCs

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 10:45
Tablets aren't yet completely replacing PCs

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

July 9, 2014

The global PC market still faces an overall decline in shipments for 2014, but things are looking brighter than they did at the beginning of the year.

The latest PC shipment data released by technology market research firm Gartner shows overall PC shipments in 2014 are on pace to come in at almost 309 million units. While down from last year's total of roughly 318 million units, the decline this year has been less severe than expected, contracting just 2.9 percent. For comparison, shipments during 2013 were down 9.5 percent from 2012.

"2014 will be marked by a relative revival of the global PC market," said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner. "Business upgrades from Windows XP and the general business replacement cycle will lessen the downward trend, especially in Western Europe."

Tracking PC and electronics shipments helps provide a broad picture of what future e-scrap streams will look like — recent statistics suggest it will be increasingly populated by the personal computer's biggest challenger, the tablet, but the tablet transition doesn't seem to be unfolding as quickly as some analysts had predicted.

Tablet shipments are expecting to experience growth in 2014, Gartner says, though not as rapid as initially expected. Almost 207 million units were shipped in 2013; 256 million are expected to ship in 2014.

Tablet shipments aren't expected to overtake overall PC shipments until next year. Almost 321 million tablets will be shipped in 2015, estimates suggest, while just over 316 million PCs will ship during the year.

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Motorola regresses on collection, recycling

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 10:38
Motorola regresses on collection, recycling

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

July 9, 2014

The maker of the world's first razor-thin phone appears to have hit a wall when it comes to increasing e-scrap collection tonnages.

In 2013, Motorola Solutions collected less than 700 tons, equal to 2012's total. In 2011, however, the company managed to collect almost twice as much — 1,160 tons — through mandated, voluntary and internal collection efforts. The latest figures were noted in the company's 2013 sustainability report, issued last week.

In addition, Motorola admits it is falling short when it comes to increasing recycling of waste generated at its manufacturing facilities and office spaces. The company has a goal of achieving a 90 percent recycling rate by 2015 and readily acknowledges it may not be reached.

"We are currently not on track to reach our 2015 recycling rate goal. … We will continue to implement measures to improve recycling and recovery rates across all our facilities in an effort to reach out target," the report reads.

After recycling 75 percent of its manufacturing and office waste in 2011, the company recycled 71 percent in 2012 and just 68 percent in 2013.

Waste generation has, however, decreased since 2011. In 2011, the company produced more than 9,600 tons of waste, a total that was cut substantially in 2013, when just under 6,300 tons of waste was produced.

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Certification scorecard

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 10:35
Certification scorecard

July 9, 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.

Goodwill Industries of Denver is now certified to the ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and R2:2013 standards.

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

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 10:33
NewsBits

July 9, 2014

California startup BlueOak Resources is the subject of a feature-length article on the Fortune magazine website. With $35 million in investments and support from Al Gore, BlueOak is in the process of building an "urban mining" refinery in the small town of Osceola, Arkansas. The operation is the first of what the company hopes will be multiple "mini-refineries" that recover valuable metals from end-of-life electronics.

Apple has lowered the maximum trade-in payout offered for the latest iPhone to $225. The company had been offering up to $270 for mint condition iPhone 5S' as part of its U.S. and Canadian "Reuse and Recycling Program" and did not provide a reasoning for the move to a lower sum. For comparison, Gazelle, the Boston-based trade-in, reuse and recycling firm, offers up to $360 for a 64 GB iPhone 5S.

Dell's director of compliance, Jean Cox Kearns, recently participated in a Q-and-A with The Guardian and explained a bit about the hardware manufacturer's philosophy when it comes to developing e-scrap processing capabilities in developing nations. Among the topics discussed were the economic repercussions that can come from national policies to refuse to accept exported e-scrap and the nuances of bringing safer practices into informal processing sectors.

The latest e-scrap collection figures out of Washington point to increasing tonnages after a somewhat slow start to the year. The month of June brought in 4.39 million pounds of electronics and increased year-to-date totals to 21.92 million pounds. That's just slightly lower than the total volume collected through the first half of 2013.

E-scrap has been a focus of waste management plans in the City of Brotherly Love, a recently released sustainability report indicates. Philadelphia hosted eight collection events in 2013 to complement three permanent drop-off sites — those initiatives helped the city increase e-scrap collection tonnages by 32 percent in 2013.

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