Close up view of copper wire ends.

An article on copper market analysis topped the most-read list in 2021. | Flegere / Shutterstock

As the e-scrap and ITAD industry plunges into 2022, it can be useful to set the stage with a look at the biggest trends and developments of the past 12 months.

The list below shows our top 10 stories from 2021 in ascending order (with the most-read article in the No. 1 position at the bottom). Last year, metals pricing, the Morgan Stanley data breach, CRT problems and more grabbed attention. We here at E-Scrap News are set to keep tracking those news points and everything else shaping the sector in the months to come.

10 | Expert describes e-scrap impact of chip shortage
APRIL 29: A consultant who helps develop consumer electronics trade-in programs says the computer chip crunch is helping to fuel secondary device markets.

9 | Recycletronics exec pleads guilty to CRT charges
MARCH 25: The leader of a company that stockpiled CRT materials in the Midwest pleaded guilty to criminal charges of storing and stockpiling hazardous waste, federal prosecutors announced.

8 | Morgan Stanley ‘ignored industry standards’ in data breach
SEPT. 23: Financial services giant Morgan Stanley terminated a contract with its long-standing IT asset disposition vendor to save money prior to a botched data center decommissioning job in 2016, lawyers alleged in court in September.

7 | Copper price climbs to recent record
FEB. 25: After reaching an eight-year record in 2020, the price of copper continued to increase, by February reaching its highest level in nearly a decade.

6 | Largest CRT supplier to Closed Loop agrees to pay $6 million
JAN. 14: E-scrap processor Kuusakoski agreed to pay $6 million to settle a lawsuit demanding that it help clean up massive CRT stockpiles in Columbus, Ohio.

5 | Igneo targets low-grade material with $85 million plant
OCT. 28: A large electronics processing operation is launching in Georgia, and its focus will be lower-value, plastics-heavy devices in the e-scrap stream.

4 | Solar panels are ‘the new CRT’ but sector is preparing
MAY 13: As renewable energy trends push more solar modules into the market, processors are developing strategies and SERI is considering adding the material to R2 guidance.

3 | Morgan Stanley names vendor in data security case
AUG. 19: Morgan Stanley identified the data center decommissioning provider it claims was responsible for a data-breach incident, which led to lawsuits and a $60 million penalty against the financial giant.

2 | Former e-scrap exec sentenced to three years probation
DEC. 2: The former leader of Recycletronics, an Iowa e-scrap firm that amassed CRT stockpiles and failed in 2017, has been sentenced to probation for violating federal hazardous waste laws.

1 | Experts discuss the record rise in copper prices
MAY 20: The historically high prices for copper could elevate even higher in coming years because of strong demand for manufacturing, according to analysts.