E-Scrap Conference attendance hits 1,300

E-Scrap Conference attendance hits 1,300

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Approximately 1,300 e-scrap recycling professionals came together in Dallas, Texas this week to make the largest audience ever gathered for the electronics recycling industry.

The record-breaking tenth anniversary of the annual E-Scrap Conference saw attendees from 43 states and 29 countries. Coupled with sessions on global electronics recycling and commodities markets, laws and policies, and a completely sold out exhibit hall, attendees benefitted from a truly international experience.

The opening keynote presentations offered those in attendance rare insight into the state of electronics recycling within the broader enterprise and consumer electronics industries.

"Managing electronics is a challenge because this industry in particular is driven by the next big thing," explained Consumer Electronics president and CEO Gary Shapiro, addressing the audience. "We've all seen the horrible images of what can happen to electronics after they're discarded. We need to ask 'what can we do to keep these products out of the informal sector?' And one of our biggest challenges is to change consumer behavior."

Also offering valuable insight in the opening session were David Daoud, research director for personal computing and green IT for market research firm International Data Corp., as well as Leo Raudys, senior director of environmental sustainability and services compliance for retail giant Best Buy. Both shared their predictions for the changing near-term composition of the electronics recycling waste stream, as well as the latest data on how the market for buying products and disposing of products is changing.

"The PC is not dead — contrary to what you may have heard," said Daoud, unveiling new research findings released by IDC. "There is still strong demand from enterprise but for the first time, consumer IT spending is outpacing enterprise."

As for Best Buy's experience operating one of the widest-reaching take-back programs in the country, Raudys said the company had made impressive strides in showing that such a program can be operated sustainably. "We want to make recycling easy for our customers, regardless of where they are. We essentially break even on recycling, and considering the service it provides, that's pretty good."

Next year's E-Scrap Conference will be held in Orlando, Florida on Sept. 11-12, 2013.

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