Ship laden with illegally exported materials turned back to U.K.

When properly handled, electronics recycling can be safely and responsibly exported to developing nations. Western e-scrap provides valuable economic opportunities for people in areas that might otherwise be in weakened economic conditions, and the fact that this can be done safely is being demonstrated the world over. Take, for example, R2 certified facilities owned by TES-AMM Recyclers in Singapore, India, Malaysia and China.  By achieving and maintaining Responsible Recycling certification, the company has proven that ethical, safe recycling of electronics can be, and is being, done outside the U.S. and Europe.
Because of intense media coverage, places like Nigeria, Ghana and Guiyu in China have become synonymous with illegal electronics recycling and, unfortunately, for much of the American public, synonymous with electronics recycling in general.
International treaties strictly regulate the movement of electronic scrap across national borders, particularly between developed and non-developed countries. However, just as some unscrupulous companies seek to unsafely dispose of electronics rather than properly recycling them in the U.S., the same happens in Africa.
Nigerian officials recently intercepted M. V. Marevia in Lagos, having been tipped off that two containers of improperly exported wastes and other materials were on board.
The Nigerian National Environmental Standard and Regulatory Agency impounded the vessel and sanctioned the parties involved in the shady dealings to the tune of $1 million U.S., Nigerian newspaper The Vanguard reported. Newspaper accounts list the contents of the containers as used appliances and electronics; they were sent back to their country of origin, the U.K.
Africa, for a variety of reasons, does not have any certified e-scrap recycling facilities, and reports of a formal recycling system across much of the continent are anecdotal at best. Recycling of electronics can and is being done safely around the world, and it’s time to focus on educating and formalizing the recycling sector in areas of the world that have long been victimized by unscrupulous practices.


R2 and R2/RIOS™ Education Series to be held at September’s E-Scrap conference in Dallas

Following up on a tradition of education at the E-Scrap conference, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries is holding a series of workshops at the annual electronics recycling conference, slated this year to be held in Dallas.

The ISRI workshops are:

The Basics of R2:2008 & R2:2013

Sept. 18, 8-10 a.m.

The first session will focus exclusively on all the basics of the R2: 2008 standard, providing attendees with details and comprehensive understanding of the requirements to become R2 certified.  The session will cater to those looking to learn more about current standards and will highlight changes being considered for R2:2013.  Additionally, the Recycling Industry Operating Standard (RIOS™) will be discussed to showcase a successful environmental, health and safety (EH&S) management system.

Due Diligence & Refurbishment Best Practices

Sept. 18, 10:30 a.m. – noon

To be successful, both internal and external best practices are necessary with downstream partners.  This session will examine both due diligence (R2 Provision 5) and refurbishment (R2 Provision 6).  Speakers will provide step-by-step information to build, streamline and customize your own due diligence program as well as examine best practices to implement for testing, repairing and refurbishing electronics.  Changes considered in R2:2013 will also be discussed.

Registration for both sessions is $125.

Registration for a single session is $85.

Session speakers include: John Lingelbach of R2 Solutions; Kelley Keogh of Greeneye Partners; Corey Dehmey of Momentum; Rike Sandlin of HiTech Assets; Tracey Blaszak of eRecycling Corps; and Sarah Commes of PC Rebuilders & Recyclers.