E-Scrap News Magazine

Updated: 1 day 20 hours ago

Hillary Clinton touts recycling, ducks shoe, at ISRI Convention

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 15:16
Hillary Clinton touts recycling, ducks shoe, at ISRI Convention

By Dylan de Thomas, E-Scrap News

April 11, 2014

At the closing general session of the 2014 ISRI Convention & Exposition, presumptive presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke to over 1,000 attendees about recycling and how the industry fits into the larger U.S. and global economy, but not without some controversy.

Just as Clinton began speaking, a member of the audience threw a strapped shoe and some papers at the former Secretary of State. Clinton responded with humor, saying, "My goodness, I didn’t know that solid waste management was so controversial. Thank goodness she didn’t play softball like I did."

ISRI's director of media relations and online communications, Mark Carpenter, told the Las Vegas Sun that the shoe-thrower was not a convention attendee and a Resource Recycling staffer at the event confirmed the woman was not wearing a badge.

Clinton spoke for 30 minutes, praising the recycling industry for "driving innovation and resource efficiency," noting that recycling "offers a chance to improve the environment and stimulate the economy at the same time.” The former senator then highlighted various projects the Clinton Foundation has launched relating to "sustainable waste management," including a Haitian recycling plant.

"We can be the clean energy superpower for the 21st century as American innovation unlocks new supplies, pioneers new technologies and gives us new tools to lower carbon emissions," Clinton said.

After Clinton's speech and shoe-dodging, she sat down with outgoing ISRI chair Jerry Simms, who offered a "deepest apology for that crude interruption."

During the discussion with Clinton, Simms noted the recycling trade group's strong stance in favor of exports without restrictions and history of "preventing protectionist trade policies of other nations."

Clinton expressed support of such policies. "We have to be stronger about going after countries in the WTO, like China, now like Russia, like any others who try to put those barriers up," Clinton said. "We have to be tougher in bringing trade action against them. We have to threaten reciprocity, because they love to get into our market while they block their markets."

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Apply now to grab funding for your recycling innovation

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 15:15
Apply now to grab funding for your recycling innovation

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

April 11, 2014

There are only a few weeks left to submit your game-changing ideas to the Recycling Innovators Forum. And competing in the event couldn't be easier — simply submit a three-to-four page proposal by April 30.

If you have a creative solution that will help move the recycling industry forward, don't miss out on this chance to take your innovation to the next level. The Recycling Innovators Forum is a venue for individuals and groups to present their bright ideas. Co-located with the annual Resource Recycling Conference, the Forum is designed to shine a spotlight on new recycling concepts and connect inventors to the companies, institutions and organizations that can help turn ideas into reality.

A $20,000 prize will be awarded to each of the two top-ranking innovations, and finalists will have the invaluable opportunity to market their ideas to industry leaders. Whether you're a small-scale "garage innovator" in the beginning stages of development or work in a team at an established industry organization, this is a prime opportunity to gain exposure and funds to make a real impact in recycling.

Head to the Recycling Innovators Forum website to get complete details.

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R2 Solutions says its standard follows Basel Convention

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 15:14
R2 Solutions says its standard follows Basel Convention

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

April 11, 2014

R2 Solutions recently argued its certification is "fully consistent" with international trade agreements, a claim that has drawn the ire of the Basel Action Network (BAN).

R2 Solutions' FAQ document, released April 5, asserts the R2:2013 certification holds verified firms to all applicable international trade laws, including the Basel Convention. "The export requirements of the Standard are fully consistent with international hazardous waste trade laws," the document reads.

Combating the perception that the R2 standard lacks sufficient export standards, R2 Solutions says its list of hazardous "Focus Materials," which include polychlorinated biphenyls and CRT glass, "largely tracks" a list of "hazardous or of concern" e-scrap components identified in a 1998 amendment to the Convention. Moreover, the certification body cites language appearing in its recently revised standard that includes a broad mandate that certified recycling facilities must "comply with all applicable environmental, health and safety … legal requirements."

BAN, which has vigorously pushed its e-Stewards certification as the more export-conscious of the certifications, issued a response to R2's document. The organization's press release states the R2 standard "was created in the U.S. for those U.S. stakeholders who are in disagreement with the Basel Convention."

BAN's statement also argues R2 "fails to control the list of hazardous materials prescribed by Basel," a view point echoed in its "Five Fundamental Flaws: A Concise Critique of the R2:2013," released in 2013.

The certificantion comparison debate has long been a divisive one within the industry, with e-scrap export policy proving to be a constant focal point.

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Microsoft encourages recycling as it phases out XP

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 15:14
Microsoft encourages recycling as it phases out XP

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

April 11, 2014

Microsoft is leading a charge to encourage proper data sanitization and recycling of old computers.

Ending technical support for Microsoft XP and Office 2003 this week, the software comany expects users to begin migrating to newer technology, such as Windows 8.1 and Office 365. If that shift does occur as planned, "there will be a growing need to help safely and securely dispose of older devices," Microsoft says.

To help, Microsoft wants customers to seek out authorized refurbishers and recycling partners to ensure sensitive data is properly erased and gadgets get recycled. The company specifically mentions finding R2, e-Stewards and WEEELABEX-certified recycling firms "to make sure you're working with someone that will recycle old technology in a safe and environmentally responsible way."

Microsoft had offered technical support to Microsoft XP and Office 2003 users for 12 years. Last year's launch of Microsoft 8.1 was unable to offer any significant reprieve from slumping PC shipments in 2013.

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Certification scorecard

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 15:13
Certification scorecard

April 11, 2014

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

InterConnection, of Seattle, renewed its ISO 14001 certification and is also now certified to OHSAS 18001 and R2:2013. InterConnection is the first U.S. nonprofit organization to achieve the updated R2 standard.

AMS Store and Shred LLC of Lake in the Hills, Illinois; Best Shredding (Div/Best Service Pros) of Langley, British Columbia; Certified Document Destruction of Wauseon, Ohio; Goodwill Easter Seals Of The Gulf Coast, Inc. of Mobile, Alabama; Maverick Shredding of Weslaco, Texas; Metro Record Storage and Shredding of Bakersfield, California; Royal Document Destruction, Inc. of Gahanna, Ohio; Shred Works, Inc. of Oakland, California; and The DocuTeam LLC of San Luis Obispo, California have either achieved or renewed their NAID Certifications for Physical Destruction of Hard Drives.

Announcement: 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 from E-Scrap News

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 15:12
NewsBits

April 11, 2014

Recycling firm AnythingIT, Inc. has decided to start another company, and it's one that has little to do with e-scrap. Attempting to capitalize on the growing legal marketplace for marijuana, AnythingIT's Weedhire.com will feature an extensive listing of job openings within the regulated, $1.5 billion per year marijuana industry.

Former environmental regulator and Best Buy executive Leo Raudys has started a web-based e-scrap consulting firm known as Riduvit. The company website connects corporate e-scrap generators with national recycling firms and provides quotes for recycling services.

The electronics repair gurus at iFixit have given the Samsung Gear 2 watch a repairability score of 8 out of 10. Aside from a tricky-to-dissect fused display – making repair "a little difficult and costly" – iFixit says the high-tech watch is generally primed for repair and reuse.

Research group International Data Corporation (IDC) has found that wearable electronic devices are beginning to become more popular. In 2014 alone, "wearables" shipments are expected to triple, exceeding 19 million units.

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Vermont e-scrap regulators issue RFP

Fri, 04/04/2014 - 10:41
Vermont e-scrap regulators issue RFP

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

The state of Vermont is preparing to consider bids for a new two-year contract for the management of its embroiled e-scrap program.

Waste management and recycling firms have been asked to pitch their proposals to the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) for "collection, transportation and recycling of electronic waste collected under the state e-waste program." The contract will run from Oct. 1, 2014 through September 30, 2016.

ANR's Cathy Jamieson told E-Scrap News the agency is "very satisfied" with the performance of its current contractor, publicly traded Casella Waste Systems, and she said the request for proposal had been planned in advance.

Jamieson, however, did acknowledge the agency has received a number of comments concerning the state's prior handling of the bidding process. After ANR awarded its e-scrap contract to Casella last year, the entities that previously handled the state's program, Northeast Resource Recovery Association (NRRA) and subcontractor Good Point Recycling, cried foul and a number of media outlets reported on the controversey.

NRRA and Good Point were later approved to administer an independent plan on behalf of equipment manufacturers who wanted to opt out of the Casella-run state plan.

This time around any contractor chosen to run the state program, which has helped drive the nation's highest per capita collection rates, will need to be either R2 or e-Stewards certified, Jamieson said. Subcontractors will also need to be certified to at least one of the standards.

The certification issue has recently been wrapped into questions surrounding a key Casella subcontractor, Kuusakoski Recycling, which has been working with the company to take Vermont's CRT glass and process it as alternative daily cover (ADC). The process has become a point of contention for many within the industry who argue ADC is not a permissible form of recycling.

On that issue, Jamieson said the market conditions for CRT glass simply aren't robust enough to ask Casella to seek another downstream option. "Even though the state recognizes ADC is not recycling, there are very few recycling options that are actually within the U.S," Jamieson said. "Until there's a bonafide, full-scale recycling option available, it is acceptable for Casella via Kuusakoski to send CRTs to be treated and used as ADC."

At press time, Casella had yet to return a request for comment on the company's partnership with Kuusakoski.

Robin Ingenthron, Good Point's president, told E-Scrap News his firm had found ways to send CRT glass downstream when it was at the helm of the state program and asserted that there remain viable recycling options. "It's a major strategic mistake for Vermont … to abandon reuse and recycling of CRT glass," Ingenthron said.

Bids for the upcoming RFP will need to be submitted by noon on May 9.

 

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CRT cleanup underway at eco International

Fri, 04/04/2014 - 10:40
CRT cleanup underway at eco International

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

New details have emerged on the CRT glass stored at facilities run by former e-scrap recycling firm eco International.

John Martin, EPA Region II press officer, confirmed with E-Scrap News that eco International had stockpiled an estimated 12,000 tons of CRT glass by the time the company closed its doors in late 2013. The glass, housed at eco International facilities in Hallstead, Pennsylvania and Vestal, New York, represents the country's largest confirmed stockpiling.

The company "has verbally agreed to sort the CRT glass at their facilities and send any hazardous waste to a regulated hazardous waste disposal facility," Martin said. Asked if eco International had begun doing so, Martin told E-Scrap News, "The company indicates they have already begun sorting operations."

Lisa Kasianowitz of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection explained eco International had gone bankrupt at the time of its closure and the EPA Region II has "taken the lead" on ensuring the glass would be properly removed and processed by the firm.

The fall of the company surprised many in the industry when news first broke in October of last year. Eco International was one of the processing contractors for the OEM-backed Electronic Manufacturers Recycling Management Company (MRM) and had been in business for more than 20 years.

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Washington and Oregon release e-scrap figures

Fri, 04/04/2014 - 10:40
Washington and Oregon release e-scrap collection figures

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Washington and Oregon continue to collect more and more e-scrap thanks to statewide legislation.

Presenting nearly identical collection numbers of around 7 pounds per capita, the two states have released 2013 collection data alongside program-to-date data, highlighting continued gains in collection totals.

Washington's E-Cycles program has led to the collection of more than 200 million pounds of electronics since it began in 2009. In 2013, collection totals rose to 45 million pounds, up more than 1.5 million pounds compared with 2012. The population of Washington is around 7 million.

Of the 45 million pounds collected last year, more than 46 percent came from leaded CRT glass. Most processors reported sending leaded glass to final recovery operations in India, where Videocon runs the lone glass-to-glass operation still taking U.S. CRT glass.

Total Reclaim processed the most e-scrap through the program, responsible for more than half of all processing during the year. The Washington-based company processed 23.5 million pounds of state program e-scrap in 2013.

Following suit, Oregon, with a population of about 4 million, reported bringing in some 123.5 million pounds of e-scrap in the last five years. Last year was another record-setting year for the program, leading to the collection of 27.7 million pounds, up 1 million pounds from 2012.

According to the Oregon report, a major cause for the gains has been the expansion of collection points throughout the state, especially in rural areas. Since the program first began in 2009, the state has increased its number of collection location by 37 percent. Today there are more than 300 collection sites and recycling firms currently working with Oregon E-Cycles.

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NewsBits

Fri, 04/04/2014 - 10:38
NewsBits

PBS' "NewsHour" recently took an in-depth look at how Kenya, with help from computer maker Dell, is looking to transform itself from e-scrap dumping ground to processing hub. The report makes it clear other African nations such as Uganda are keeping a close watch on the process to see if they can replicate successes within their own borders.

A controversial reverse vending machine company that pays users for end-of-life electronics has expanded its reach in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Law enforcement agencies in some U.S. have harshly criticized the firm, ecoATM, for allegedly creating an environment that leads to more mobile-device theft.

Wired Magazine has a story explaining to general consumers the complicated set of circumstances that has led to CRT stockpiling in different corners of the country (full disclosure: Jerry Powell, executive editor of E-Scrap News, is quoted). The article urges government bodies to step in to develop solutions to the problem.

As college basketball fans descend upon Arlington, Texas for this weekend's NCAA Final Four, LG Electronics USA is hosting an e-scrap drop-off event. Arlington residents are being encouraged to "Do Game Day Right" by bringing used electronics to a collection point this Saturday.

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New Jersey e-scrap program hits major stumbling blocks

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:01
New Jersey e-scrap program hits major stumbling blocks

By Dan Leif, E-Scrap News

March 28, 2014

Want evidence of how difficult it is to craft effective statewide laws for the rapidly evolving e-scrap landscape? Just look to New Jersey and the collection quagmire that's unfolded there.

According to a state official and various e-scrap stakeholders in the Garden State, materials recovered under the state's e-cycling law have piled up at some collection sites in recent months, in large part because industry consolidation and the ongoing CRT dilemma have sparked major funding deficits when it comes to moving material downstream.

Some counties in the southern part of the state have even threatened to discontinue running the collection sites that are integral to the e-cycling law's goal of offering free and convenient e-scrap collection access to all residents.

"Towns and counties are facing large costs that should not be there, and [they] are facing the prospect of pulling out of the collection system," said Marie Kruzan, executive director of the Association of New Jersey Recyclers.

Quotas met, material remains

The state's e-scrap law, which was implemented in 2011 and offers free collection of computers and televisions to residents and small businesses, lays program funding responsibility at the feet of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Each year, the state's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) sets out specific collection quotas individual OEMs must meet, but due to a variety of factors, major tonnages are remaining at municipal collection sites even after manufacturers say they've fulfilled their requirements.

The program's issues are in many ways exemplified by the straits that have confronted Magnum Computer Recycling, a de-manufacturing firm based in Pennsauken New Jersey. During the initial years of the e-cycling program, Magnum covered six counties in the southern part of the state, handling and transporting scrap collected in that region.

Magnum's owner, John Martorano, Jr., told E-Scrap News that during 2011 and 2012 the company had deals in place with MRM, an alliance of OEMs, and other corporate groups that worked to wrangle pounds on behalf of product manufacturers, and Magnum was paid 6 cents per pound for TVs and other covered material it collected and 15 cents per pound for the material it actually de-manufactured. Those sums were enough for Martorano to profitably and efficiently maintain his link in the program.

In the middle of last year, however, the OEM alliances Magnum was relying on said they could no longer pay him for pounds. According to Martorano, one of those contractors assured him more weight would be needed soon, and Martorano kept servicing his county clients, paying from his own pocket. When the contractor finally came back to him in January of this year, it offered Martorano just a penny per pound. With 600,000 pounds of TVs, monitors and other material amassed, he was forced to take the payment, even though it didn't come close to covering expenses.

Martorano, whose firm is certified to the R2 standard, says a number of other processing firms in New Jersey have run into similar dilemmas. "Recyclers are going out of business," he said. "It's like we're eating soup with a fork. We're tasting everything, but not getting full."

Guy Watson, chief of the Bureau of Recycling and Planning at New Jersey DEP, confirmed many of the specifics of the Magnum case.

"Magnum got in a bind," Watson said. "My understanding is that the company has been able to again start moving the material from the collection sites, but it's had to charge counties around 4.5 to 6 cents a pound." It's those charges that have begun forcing countries to consider nixing their collection efforts.

A beguiling market

So what's behind the economic shift that led to the funding upheaval? Watson points first to the increasingly beguiling CRT glass market. Over the last year, the well-documented shortage of options for final processing of leaded glass in North America began to have serious ripple effects on the profitability of New Jersey collection firms.

"The subsidy needed by recyclers from the manufacturers for the CRTs went up," said Watson, "because the cost went up to market it."

But the trend in OEM financing has been moving in the opposite direction. Kruzan of ANJR says with OEMs needing to collect weight in the more than 20 e-scrap law states, they are turning to national e-scrap firms that then subcontract out work on a state-by-state basis. Brokers have entered the picture, and competition has grown fierce, meaning OEMs are able to get their weight covered at a very low per-ton price.

Furthermore, Kruzan said the increased number of brokers and national firms working in the state makes it hard to keep track of whether manufacturers are actually collecting their proper weight allotments.

"We can't demand numbers from someone in Philadelphia or Timbuktu," she said. "There's no way to audit that. That is the fallacy of the law."

OEMs, however, say the problems in the legislation run deeper than just accounting specifics. Doug Smith, corporate director of environment, safety and health at Sony, said that in New Jersey and many other states, e-scrap mandates are passed without comprehensive economic analysis. As a result, shifts in the e-scrap marketplace inevitably lead to underfunded operations even when the OEMs pay for their required tons for TVs and other devices.

"I have to use contractors that use subcontractors," he said. "It's a reality when dealing with so many state laws. But these are compliance laws and we take them very seriously. The counties are faced with hiccups and that has a trickle effect that goes up to us. We take the blame, but all we're really doing is complying."

Program updates

Watson said DEP has made adjustments to the New Jersey system for the 2014 calendar year, increasing the state's per capita recovery target by 13 percent and boosting the forecast of CRT material that is expected to head into the system. He also said the department is now requiring OEMs to provide estimates of what they expect to garner from individual collection sites so that regulators can make sure firms working in different areas have the financial coverage they need.

But the recycling official also admitted creating a foolproof system that will satisfy all requirements of all stakeholders -- and the public -- is a daunting task.

"There is this tension in the [law]," he said. "On the one hand, all consumers as defined in the act must have the ability to access a free and convenient system. That means without limitation. On the other hand, the law says we have to give each one of the manufacturers an obligation in pounds, which is a finite number. "

Martorano of Magnum and Kruzan of ANJR said New Jersey recycling stakeholders have begun a push to alter specifics of the law so that the companies responsible for collecting and processing the material are guaranteed the compensation they need.

"The program fell apart," said Martorano. "And without the legislation changing, it's only going to get worse."

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Save the date for E-Scrap 2014

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 13:00
Save the date for E-Scrap 2014

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

March 28, 2014

The nation's largest gathering of e-scrap professionals is set for October in Orlando, Florida.

E-Scrap 2014 will be held October 22-23 at Orlando's Rosen Shingle Creek. The 2013 edition saw more than 1,300 attendees and 125 exhibiting companies, so plan now for E-Scrap 2014 where you'll encounter business-boosting education sessions and extensive networking opportunities found nowhere else.

Attendee, sponsorship and exhibitor information will be coming your way this spring. Look for the latest at e-scrapconference.com, and get ready to boost your business by heading to Orlando.

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Certification groups clarify stances on CRT management

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 12:57
Certification groups clarify stances on CRT management

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

March 28, 2014

Industry certification bodies R2 Solutions and Basel Action Network (BAN) released formal clarifications this week on the way certified firms may handle CRT glass.

Issuing a formal rule clarification on March 26, R2 announced board members unanimously moved to ban the use of CRT glass as alternative daily cover (ADC) under the new iteration of the certification. R2 executive director John Lingelbach confirmed there are now no instances in which an R2-certified facility can use CRTs as ADC.

"There are viable downstream options for the subset of CRT glass that top-performing, R2-certified recyclers are processing," Lingelbach said.

BAN, which administers the e-Stewards certification, issued its own rule clarification today.

Emphasizing the challenges smaller recyclers face in paying for the proper downstream processing of CRT glass, BAN reaffirmed its stance that CRT-to-ADC actions do not constitute recycling but can be "used as a last resort" for disposal by its members.

"We believe that at this juncture where the market is already dangerously constricted, any further prohibitions should only be considered if they are based on sound science and a life-cycle approach examining all significant environmental and social impacts," the release reads. It also states that the group is engaged in "a science-based review of global CRT management practices" and will be reviewing the definition of "as a last resort" as used in the e-Stewards certification language.

The downstream processor likely to be most affected by R2's ban on the practice of using CRTs as ADC is Kuusakoski U.S. Through a partnership with Peoria Disposal Company (PDC), Kuusakoski runs a CRT-to-ADC operation in Peoria, Illinois and has hopes to process up to 50,000 tons of glass every year for the next decade.

Kuusakoski's Philadelphia facility is both R2 and e-Stewards certified. However, the company's Peoria, Illinois facility, which is actively involved in the ADC operation, is not certified to either standard.

Lingelbach told E-Scrap News R2 Solutions and Kuusakoski held a conference call on Thursday, but he said the certification status of Kuusakoski's Philadelphia facility was not discussed. Kuusakoski's Anssi Takala clarified with E-Scrap News its Philadelphia facility can operate as a transfer hub for CRTs bound for Illinois but "our target is that customers with CRT glass or intact CRT devices ship it directly Peoria."

In addition, Takala told E-Scrap News the recycling firm and PDC "respectfully disagree" with the R2 clarification. "We have shared our concerns with R2 concerning its press release, and have challenged them to provide more information to the public that supports its decision on the viability question," Takala said. "Furthermore, we have agreed to furnish additional information to R2 on this matter."

According to a Kuusakoski white paper released last fall, aside from Kuusakoski, there are only three North American final recovery options for U.S. glass in North America. The paper also states annual glass supply far oustrips the industry's ability to handle the challenging material.

The paper advances the key argument that high levels of lead found in the funnel glass portion of CRTs are essentially locked within the glass by the technology employed by Kuusakoski and PDC, ensuring that it will not leach once used as ADC at landfills.

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U.K. export laws too lax on CRTs?

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 12:56
U.K. export laws too lax on CRTs?

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

March 28, 2014

Leaded glass recycling firms in the U.K. say export rules are hindering domestic CRT recycling efforts.

A contingent of U.K. companies, headlined by SWEEEP Kuusakoski and Environcom, argue CRT glass exported to the Netherlands for processing and then used in interlocking concrete blocks by A. Jansen B.V. are held to environmental treatment standards that are lower than those in the U.K.

Simon Greer, whose company, NuLife Glass, built the glass furnace currently utilized by SWEEEP Kuusakoski in Kent, England, told E-Scrap News the CRT funnel glass used in A. Jansen B.V.'s Legioblocks "still has its lead content." Once manufactured, the blocks head back to the U.K. for use in temporary and permanent building projects, remaining, according to Greer, "a future hazardous waste"

SWEEEP Kuusakoski managing director Patrick Watts called the process "a cheap way out," adding, "CRT recycling firms all compete. If there is a cheap loophole they can use, they will." Of particular concern is a "Trans Frontier Shipment" approval granted to the Dutch company by the U.K.'s Environment Agency (EA). SWEEEP Kuusakoski and others, including Environcom, would like to see EA revoke its approval and look into whether A. Jansen B.V.'s Legioblocks contain lead levels exceeding regulatory limits. Several parliamentary members have seconded the call for a further review of the issue.

An EA spokesperson told MRW: "The facility accepting the waste is regulated by the competent authority. We accept the view of the Dutch authority that it is a properly regulated recycling facility."

A. Jansen B.V.'s Marianne Kleingeld told E-Scrap News the company's Legioblocks are processed "in accordance with Dutch legislation and WEEELABEX." Kleingeld also said the company was working on a "unisonous statement" to address the recent spate of criticism.

While EU member nations all adopt a basic set of CRT management rules, it is the job of each nation to interpret and implement those guidelines. The U.K. is known to have some of the most stringent CRT management rules in place among its EU partners.

Each year more than 140,000 tons of CRT and flat panel displays enter the U.K. waste stream. About 85 percent are CRT devices, said Watts of SWEEEP Kuusakoski.

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Tablet shipments expected to see 40 percent growth this year

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 12:55
Tablet shipments expected to see 40 percent growth this year

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

March 28, 2014

Research group Gartner says worldwide device shipments in 2014 will show growth despite continued declines in PC shipments.

Overall device shipments are projected to increase by 6.9 percent in 2014, reaching 2.5 billion units during the year. Mobile phone shipments, accounting for about 75 percent of overall device shipments, are expected to total 1.9 billion units, a 4.9 percent increase from 2013 levels.

Tablet shipments are expected to post tremendous growth this year. Tablet shipments will reach 270.7 million units in 2014, up 38.6 percent, Gartner says.

PC shipments, a category including both desk-based and notebook computers, "will continue to hamper the overall growth of devices," however. Rosy mobile phone numbers and even rosier tablet figures for 2014 are expected to be offset – to some degree – by a decrease of 6.6 percent in PC shipments. PC shipments, after reaching 296.1 million units last year, will fall to 270.7 million units in 2014.

Looking ahead to 2015, Gartner expects tablet shipments to surpass PC shipments for the first time on record. As the tablet market saturates, Gartner expects replacements of PCs by tablets to slow. "As they do this, we will see where dedicated devices (such as tablets) … fit in the overall portfolio of devices," Gartner research director Ranjit Atwal said.

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Patent watch

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 12:54
Patent watch

March 28, 2014

Xerox Corporation, headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut, was given Patent No. 8,662,649, which describes a method of printing from an inkjet printer using recycled ink.

Patent No. 8,668,540 was awarded to Santa Clara, California's ECS Refining for a method of separating the glass panel from cathode ray tubes.

A method for removing personal information from an electronic device before recycling is the subject of Patent Application No. 20140059696, awarded to ATC Logistics & Electronics, Inc. from Fort Worth, Texas.

Osaka, Japan's Panasonic Corp. was awarded Patent Application No. 20140059857, which describes a method of dismantling and recycling refrigerators.

Patent Application Nos. 20140060250 and 20140069234 were given to Sumimoto Metal Mining for two different methods for recycling lithium-ion batteries.

Wilmington, Delaware's Empire Technology Development LLC was awarded Patent Application No. 20140068929, which describes a method for disassembling and recycling batteries.

A method for recovering rare earth elements is the subject of Patent Application No. 20140072509, awarded to Albert Vierheilig, from Savannah, Georgia.

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 from E-Scrap News

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 12:53
Certification scorecard

March 28, 2014

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

Affordable Shred of Springfield, Illinois; Alliance Document Shredding of Sulphur Springs, Texas; ASDD (a division of nonprofit group The Centers for Habilitation) of Tempe, Arizona; Beckley’s, Inc. of Rochester, Minnesota; Docu Shred, Inc. of East Grand Forks, Minnesota; Hoosier Shred LLC of Indianapolis; Secure A Cycle/Shredway of Matraville, Australia; Secure Data Destruction Company of Chester Hill, Australia; Security Mobile Shredding, Inc. of Boyce, Louisiana; Shred Ace of Durham, North Carolina; Shredder’s, Inc. of Halifax, Canada; The Shredding Company, Inc. of Gaithersburg, Maryland; and Wiggins Shredding, Inc. of West Chester, Pennsylvania have either achieved or renewed their NAID Certifications for Physical Destruction of Hard Drives.

Also, Regional Computer Recycling & Recovery of Victor, New York has renewed its NAID Certification for Computer Hard Drive Sanitization and Physical Destruction of Hard Drives.

Announcement: 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 from E-Scrap News

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 12:52
NewsBits

March 28, 2014

A Chinese metals executive says the Asian nation is reintroducing a rebate on value-added tax for domestic processors of scrap copper. China's finance ministry has not confirmed the rebate, which is aimed at improving weak domestic demand for scrap copper and could lead to greater import activity as a result.

Oregon's statewide e-scrap collection program has reported bringing in 27.7 million pounds of material in 2013, a gain of almost 4 percent compared with 2012.

Tech site Deal News has detailed the refurbished electronics programs run by some of the industry's biggest players, including Apple, Dell and Sony. The list notes some programs offer 50 percent discounts on as-good-as-new products and encourages consumers to shop green and contribute to the growing reuse culture in the U.S.

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Blaze shines harsh spotlight on Utah processor

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 16:35
Blaze shines harsh spotlight on Utah processor

By Bobby Elliott and Dan Leif, E-Scrap News

March 20, 2014

A fire broke out earlier this month on the grounds of a prominent CRT processor in Utah, raising questions about the legality and processing practices of the business as well as the cause of the blaze.

The facility building, located in Parowan, Utah and run by Stone Castle Recycling, was not affected by the March 2 incident. A large outdoor area, however, where the company stored "crates filled with televisions and computer screens," was engulfed in flames, requiring firefighters from Paragonah, Parowan and Brian Head to converge on the scene, local paper St. George News reported.

An industry source told E-Scrap News in February Stone Castle was storing large amounts of CRT devices and "cannot afford" to pay for final processing. Patrick Sheehan of the Utah Division of Solid and Hazardous Waste confirmed 1,500 tons of glass had been stored by the company.

The Basel Action Network (BAN) visited the site of the fire earlier this week, and issued a report that was highly critical of Stone Castle. According to BAN, the fire started near the middle of a collection of Gaylord boxes containing intact CRT TVs and moved outward. The organization claims the blaze was hot enough to melt CRT glass and could have sent lead, cadmium and other potential pollutants into the soil and groundwater.

Sheehan, the Utah environmental official, noted he had not visited the site since the fire, but he said he had been informed the fire had burned Gaylords containing bulk electronics. "I do not believe that the fire affected Gaylord boxes of crushed CRT glass," Sheehan said.

In the wake of the fire, city officials revealed Stone Castle, which recently moved its headquarters from Clearfield, Utah to Cedar City, did not have proper business or zoning permits to operate its Parowan location. Stone Castle CEO Tony Stoddard and the city are reportedly working on an arrangement to resolve the matter.

The cause of the fire has been called into question as well. Arson was one of three possibilities listed by Todd Hohbein of the Utah State Fire Marshal's Office. The official suggested the blaze also could have been started by combustible electronics or a methane leak.

According to the BAN report, fires on similar processing sites have started when sunlight hitting lenses in electronic equipment reflected onto nearby paper or plastic, causing those materials to combust. The group reprimanded Stone Castle for storing the materials outside.

"What I witnessed in Utah was every bit as horrible as what I've seen in Ghana or China," said Jim Puckett, BAN's executive director. "The fire has created a toxic soup of dioxins, heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons all lying there, without a fence around it, or barriers to keep children away."

The BAN report states Stone Castle has been on the watchdog group's "alert list" since 2007 when a container allegedly exported by the company was rejected by officials in Hong Kong because it contained hazardous waste that was illegal to ship into the port.

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How OEMs can boost use of recycled plastic

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 16:31
How OEMs can boost use of recycled plastic

By Dan Leif, E-Scrap News

March 20, 2014

Motherboards and other metal-containing e-scrap components hold obvious value to reclaimers, but what about the plastics housing those pieces? According to a panel at last week's Plastics Recycling 2014, more cooperation among a range of stakeholders could do wonders to drive the demand of recycled e-plastics.

"My big dream is to see the electronics recycling industry and the plastics recycling industry come together for some best practices," said Wayne Rifer of Green Electronics Council, the organization that manages the EPEAT environmental rating system for electronics. "There are no real guidelines out there for the best system to recover these plastics. If we have system optimization, we could advise companies on what to do."

Beginning the discussion of such guidelines was the goal of Rifer, session moderator Kim Holmes of SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association, and the other industry experts on stage at the event.

Bill Long, director of strategic partnerships at Wistron Corporation, offered a holistic look at the subject. Wistron, a large original equipment manufacturer which makes a wide variety of electronic goods sold under other brand names, last year established its own 500,000-square-foot e-scrap processing facility in China in an effort to feed its nearby manufacturing centers. Both for Long and the other panelists, the most efficient e-plastics recovery systems establish silos by product type – for example, post-consumer resin (PCR) from reclaimed computer monitors is used only in the production of new monitors.

Long added one of the primary e-plastics recovery necessities is first collecting older plastics that contain brominated flame retardants. Material containing the additive is difficult to reuse in new products, so efforts need to be made to remove those from the collection stream as quickly as possible, which won't be easy. "The prediction is by 2016 to 2018 we'll see a dramatic reduction," Long said. "But we're dealing with people putting material in closets and basements. It could take a lot longer."

The third panelist, Scott O'Connell, director of environmental affairs at PC maker Dell, said for many manufacturers, increasing usage of recycled e-plastic will involve changing the mind-sets of product designers and engineers. O'Connell noted Dell now uses 50 million pounds of recycled plastic in its products annually and the company's monitors are made of 25 percent PCR.

Those numbers started to grow once engineers saw recycled resins could offer appearances and functionality on par with virgin sources. "It may not always be a drop-in solution," O'Connell said. "But if you can convince engineers you can tweak parameters to make PCR work, the rest of the company community will follow along."

Both Long and O'Connell noted use of more PCR has to align with cost savings for manufacturers themselves. But Rifer said jumpstarting the effort likely will carry higher prices, either for consumers or the industry. He explained efforts to remove lead from electronics in the past caused prices to rise, but safety regulations meant those prices were higher across the board.

"Nobody promised sustainability would be developed without a cost to the community," Rifer said.

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