Back to Top

Certification scorecard: Jan. 11, 2017

Published: January 11, 2017


Citadel Information Management of Westmont, Ill.; Shred Northwest of Gresham, Ore.; and UltraShred Technologies of Jacksonville, Fla. have either achieved or renewed their NAID certifications for physical destruction of hard drives.

Also, Reclamere of Tyrone, Pa. has renewed its NAID certification for hard drive sanitization as well as for physical destruction of hard drives.


Visit our archive to view previous editions of the scorecard.

E-Scrap 2017

Penalties handed down in WEEE export trial

Published: December 12, 2012


Penalties have been handed down in the case involving the largest criminal network ever uncovered by the U.K. Environment Agency.

A total of 220,000 GBP ($354,266) in fines have been levied on eight individuals and three companies in connection with an electronic waste trafficking scam. The individuals and companies in question illegally exported 496 tons of scrap televisions, refrigerators, computers and other electronics, to Ghana, Nigeria and Pakistan, all while telling customers the items were being refurbished or recycled responsibly. Separate convictions for five individuals and three companies were handed down in connection with the allegations in November, 2011. Additionally, two defendants are awaiting sentencing and a third is still at large.

“This has been a long and complex investigation to bring to book criminals who have flouted the law, risking people’s health in developing countries and undercutting legitimate recycling businesses in the U.K.,” said Jeff Warburton, an investigator working on the case. “Working in partnership with the authorities in Nigeria and Belgium, we have successfully stopped these illegal exporters. But we won’t stop there – we will continue to track down environmental criminals.”

The penalties are the result of a three-year investigation by the Environment Agency and a legal process that has been ongoing since October 2010.

Posted in News |

Illinois amendment aims to fix e-scrap program

Published: December 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.

Posted in News | Tagged |

Reuse advocate calls Agbogbloshie ‘a hoax’

Published: April 30, 2015


“This is the place where thousands of tons of the world’s electronics go to die,” The Atlantic in December wrote about Agbogbloshie, a district in the middle of Accra, Ghana. One U.S. e-scrap expert, however, says he saw no evidence of that during a recent trip to the West African country.

“It’s basically a hoax,” said Robin Ingenthron, founder of the Middlebury, Vermont-based World Reuse, Repair and Recycling Association (WR3A), which advocates for the fair international trade of used electronics. Ingenthron also runs Middlebury e-scrap processing business Good Point Recycling.

In an interview, Ingenthron, who visited Ghana March 28 to April 19, offered a contrasting picture of a site that’s been widely described by the mainstream media as a toxic dumping ground for the world’s broken e-scrap. The designation has also spurred heated debate within the industry, propelling countless U.S. companies to market their services as an antidote to foreign dumping.

According to Ingenthron, during his trip to Ghana he saw no evidence of imported e-scrap traveling from the country’s port at Tema to Agbogbloshie. He estimated he spent a total of 16 hours at Agbogbloshie and another six hours interviewing people who work there.

“We saw no evidence of direct import,” he said.

Ingenthron said the site mostly contained automobile scrap, in addition to appliances and some locally generated e-scrap, which was delivered on hand carts from the surrounding neighborhoods. Only 20 to 50 used electronic pieces come to the site each day, Ingenthron wrote in a press release about his visit.

Ingenthron, whose WR3A is preparing a more complete report on the visit, did note “the soil at Agbogbloshie is extremely contaminated.”

“We do not condone the conditions at Agbogbloshie. We only note that ending imports will do nothing to address the problem,” Ingenthron stated.

Posted in News |