ISRI to Offer Educational Opportunities at International Computer Refurbisher Summit 2013 (ICRS)

ISRI will again be sponsoring a short course as well as a session at this year’s ICRS to be held November 11-13, in New Orleans. Following is a preliminary outline of the ISRI program:

Benefits of R2/RIOS for Refurbishers
Course Description: This course will focus on the importance and value of certification to refurbishers. It will also present the revisions and updates to both the R2 and RIOS standards and what they mean to both those who have not yet obtained certification as well as those who will be transitioning their certification to the revised standards. R2:2013 now requires a certified EHS management system and RIOS continues to provide an integrated solution. Also included is the importance of managing your downstream – as well as perspectives from certified refurbishers.

Course Moderator: Rike Sandlin – HiTech Assets

Course Outline:

  • What’s new in R2?
    Instructor: Corey DehmeyAERC Recycling Solutions
  • RIOS – As the R2 certified EHS Management System
    Instructor: Rike Sandlin – HiTech Assets
  • Downstream Due Diligence
    Instructor: Bob McCarthy – Green Eye Partners
  • Managing Focus Materials
    Instructor: Jeanne Shackelford – JT Environmental Consulting
  • Certified Refurbishers Panel
    • Nancy Jo Craig – Capital Area Corporate Recycling Council (CACRC)
    • Pat Furr –  Computers for Classroom
    • Willie Cade – PC Rebuilders & Recyclers/PCRR
    • Q & A – Panel of instructors

ITAD Services and How to Make Sure You Don’t Lose Money
Description: This session will address the business opportunities in value-added services in the life cycle management of electronics equipment and how to market them – with a focus on data security, asset management, and logistics.

  • Recycling Services Opportunities – Dag Adamson (LifeSpan Technology Recycling)
  • Business & Marketing Challenges – Craig Boswell (HOBI International)

For more information about the conference, including registration, go to the website.

ITC reports on US eScrap industry

Contrary to popular opinion, the U.S. electronics industry is not exporting broken or obsolete electronics products on a large scale, according to a study prepared by the U.S. International Trade Commission.

The study, available here found that about 17% percent of used electronic products are being exported from the U.S., a direct rebuttal of the widely-quoted myth that 80 percent of electronics collected for recycling in the U.S. are dumped overseas.

Andrea Boren of the U.S. ITC discussed the government’s findings at ISRI’s Convention  and Expo April 11.

“The reports that you’ve heard over the past few years citing 80 percent of electronics are exported and dumped into developing countries has no relationship to the facts that are in this report,” said John Powers of ISRI.

The report values the entire U.S. electronics recycling market at $20.65 billion.

Of the 17 percent percent of electronics exported by American companies, “Whole equipment for reuse accounted for the largest share of U.S. exports by value in 2011, and tested and working products represented the majority of U.S. exports of whole (Used Electronic Products),” according to the report.

Boren responded to criticism that the government agency may have been misled or the material under reported, saying the agency is confident the report prepared at the federal government’s request is the best information available.

“We were aware of the challenges (in preparing the study) from the onset, and the ITC has expertise in conducting these surveys of industry and we did not see any anomalies in our results,” Boren said.

ISRI’s Electronics Division, which met before the start of the convention, welcomed rhe findings of the report.

“We are quite pleased with the results of this finding,” said Eric Harris, Associate Counsel and Director of Government and International Affairs. “It the most comprehensive, exhaustive study to date on the export of used electronic products leaving the U.S. marketplace.”

For ISRI’s summary of the report, click here.

Electronics recycling programs at ISRI 2013

ISRI CONVENTION PROGRAM – Electronics Recycling Program Finalized

The annual ISRI Convention and Exposition will be held on April 9-13 at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL. As in the past, there will be an extensive program track on electronics recycling – the Electronics Recycling SUMMIT® – 2013

Following is an outline of the program.

 

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 10

Educational Program – 2 Short Courses

  • 8:00AM-12:00PM: Electronics Recycling Fundamentals – what you need to know

Course Description: This short course is designed for those getting involved or interested in electronics recycling. It is intended to provide an overview of the industry and key factors that affect it – including materials processing, reuse, and responsible recycling practices.

  • 1:00-5:00PM: R2/RIOS-Certified Electronics Recycler™Promoting value & pushing the evolution of the industry

Course Description: This short course is designed for those interested in certification but who have not yet gone through the process. It will include tutorials on the R2 and RIOS standards – including pending changes – as well as how to prepare for certification. And it will provide perspectives on the importance and value of certification from OEMs, Recyclers and Refurbishers.

THURSDAY, APRIL 11

  • 10:00-11:15AM: Kick-off to the Electronics Recycling SUMMIT® Program

Session Description: This initial session of the electronics recycling track for the ISRI Convention program includes an overview of the ISRI Electronics Division and the program track – as well as 2 special presentations on the “Electronics Recycling Market Outlook” – including “Precious Metals” and the first release of the results of the USITC study on “Exports”.

  • 11:30AM-12:15PM: Spotlight on Electronics

Session Description: This year’s Spotlight on Electronics is a special panel of venture capitalists on “Venture Capital Perspectives on the Electronics Recycling Industry” – with a focus on industry M&A and consolidation activities, considerations and outlook. It addresses the question – why invest in the electronics recycling industry?

  • 2:00-3:15PM: How Electronics Recyclers Handle Problem Materials Responsibly

Session Description: There are a number of materials in electronics equipment that present problems and challenges for a recycler – because of the potential hazards, regulations and costs involved. This session will address the proper handling and processing alternatives available for CRT glass, batteries and mercury-containing devices.

 

 

FRIDAY, APRIL 12

AM

  • 10:00-11:15AM: U.S. – Global Summit on Electronics Recycling

Developed with the U.S. Department of Commerce

Session Description: The U.S.-Global Summit on Electronics Recycling is comprised of a panel of international experts who will provide perspectives, updates and outlooks on electronics recycling regulations and programs in their countries – including Brazil, India and China.

  • 11:30AM-12:45PM: Maximizing Value in Electronics Recycling

Session Description: This session will introduce new processing technologies, methodologies and best practices in electronics recycling – including hydrometallurgical precious metals refining, optimizing reuse and plastics recycling.

 

For more information on the convention, including registration and reservations, go to the convention website at: http://www.isriconvention.org/

ISRI Convention schedule firming up

The Institute of Scrap Recycling industry’s 2013 Convention and Expo, to be held April 10-13 in Orlando, Fla., is just two short months away.  Registration is now  open for the event, which includes a number of educational and networking opportunities for recyclers.
Each year, the electronics recycling programs become stronger and offer richer opportunities for industry insiders and innovators to share ideas and solve problems to strengthen their electronics recycling businesses.
“The ISRI expo and conference brings together the leaders of the electronics recycling industry from all across the globe and is a must-attend event for anyone involved in the industry,” Eric Harris, Associate Counsel and Director of Government and International Affairs for ISRI, said.
Last year’s agenda involved real-world discussions of current topics in the industry, including discussions on CRT management, panel discussions on international trade in electronics recycling, workshops introducing non-certified recyclers to the R2/ RIOS™ certification program and discussions on why obtaining the certifications are vital to the industry.
While the full schedule has yet to be released, here are some of the confirmed events on the schedule at the April event.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 10
Educational Program –
2 Short Courses

  • 8 a.m. – noon Electronics Recycling Fundamentals – what you need to know

Course Description: This short course is designed for those getting involved or interested in electronics recycling. It is intended to provide an overview of the industry and key factors that affect it – including materials processing, reuse, and responsible recycling practices.

  • 1-5 p.m. R2/RIOS-Certified Electronics Recycler™Promoting value & pushing the evolution of the industry

Course Description: This short course is designed for those interested in certification but who have not yet gone through the process. It will include tutorials on the R2 and RIOS standards – including pending changes – as well as how to prepare for certification. And it will provide perspectives on the importance and value of certification from OEMs, Recyclers and Refurbishers.

THURSDAY, APRIL 11

  • 10-11:15 a.m.: Kick-off to the Electronics Recycling SUMMIT® Program

Session Description: This initial session of the electronics recycling track for the ISRI Convention program includes an overview of the ISRI Electronics Division and the program track – as well as two special presentations on the “Electronics Recycling Market Outlook”.

  • 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.: Spotlight on Electronics

Session Description: This year’s Spotlight on Electronics is a special panel of venture capitalists on “Venture Capital Perspectives on the Electronics Recycling Industry” – with a focus on industry M&A and consolidation activities, considerations and outlook. It addresses the question – why invest in the electronics recycling industry?

  • 2-3:15 p.m.: How Electronics Recyclers Handle Problem Materials Responsibly

Session Description: There are a number of materials in electronics equipment that present problems and challenges for a recycler – because of the potential hazards, regulations and costs involved. This session will address the proper handling and processing alternatives available for CRT glass, batteries and mercury-containing devices.

FRIDAY, APRIL 12

  • 10-11:15 a.m.: U.S. – Global Summit on Electronics Recycling

Developed with the U.S. Department of Commerce

Session Description: The U.S.-Global Summit on Electronics Recycling is comprised of a panel of international experts who will provide perspectives, updates and outlooks on electronics recycling regulations and programs in their countries.

  • 11:30 a.m-12:45 p.m.: Maximizing Value in Electronics Recycling

Session Description: This session will introduce new processing technologies, methodologies and best practices in electronics recycling – including hydrometallurgical precious metals refining, optimizing reuse and plastics recycling.

SATURDAY, APRIL 13

  • 8 – 9:30 a.m. The Chair-Elect’s General Session Speaker: Tom Brokaw, Former Anchor and Managing Editor of NBC Nightly News

For more information, visit http://www.isriconvention.org/

Registration now open for ISRI’s 2013 convention and expo

Registration is now open for the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries’ 2013 Convention and Expo.

Held in April, the ISRI event presents a unique networking and learning opportunity for electronics recyclers. Attended by thousands of people, the event draws together high-level recycling executives, innovators and other people on the front lines of the recycling industry.

Last year’s conference featured several workshops and discussions focused solely on electronics recycling, such as an examination of national Electronics Stewardship agendas, a discussion of exports of commodities, and the importance of certification in electronics recycling.

The conference last year also included an international summit which drew together high-ranking officials from foreign environmental ministers and the United Nations. Another valuable discussion, many attendees said, were workshops dealing with CRT handling and legislative efforts.

Because the convention is open to recycling of all commodities – metals, plastic, glass, etc. – it’s an opportunity for cross-disciplinary exchange of ideas. Vendors from around the world bring the latest recycling technologies and demonstrate new ideas and innovations, all geared toward developing safer, more efficient recycling methods and processes.

The convention is open to the general public; students with an interest in the recycling industry are also encouraged to consider attending.

This year’s convention will be held in Orlando at the Orange County Convention Center. For more information on the convention, visit www.isriconvention.org. The event runs from April 9-13, 2013.

 

E-Scrap Conference to gather electronics recycling industry

E-Scrap Conference to gather electronics recycling industry

A little more than a month remains before E-Scrap Conference takes place, an annual gathering in the U.S. solely focused on electronics recycling.

The conference is organized by Resource Recycling Inc., publisher of E-Scrap News and Resource Recycling. This year’s event takes place Sept. 19 and 20 in Dallas. Each year, a program of education and discussion of issues impacting the industry is organized.

While the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries has held an annual workshop on RIOS™ and R2 certifications before the conference opens for several years, this year an ISRI-sponsored program is being featured in the agenda.  ISRI is also a platinum-level sponsor of the event.

The plenary session, set for 8:30 a.m. Sept. 20, will be moderated by ISRI’s Joe Pickard and will focus on recycling markets for the metals found in electronics, such as gold, silver, copper and ferrous scrap. Speakers include William Adams, FastMarkets; Jeffrey Christian, CPM Group; and Spencer Johnson, INTL FCStone.

ISRI and R2 Solutions are sponsoring two educational workshops before the conference opens: “The Basics of R2:2008 & R2:2013” and “Due Diligence & Refurbishment Best Practices.” 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. For more information on the workshops, click here.

The program is full of valuable information, the conference organizer said.

“We’ll also look at CRT recycling issues, provide details on electronics shredding, review the key export issues and provide information on electronics recycling Europe,” said Jerry Powell, publisher of Resource Recycling.

Other topics on the agenda  include examinations of voluntary and regulatory consumer take-back programs, efforts to increase electronics recycling and methods of maximizing electronics recycling profitability.

In addition to the workshops and plenary sessions, the conference also features exhibits by more than 100 companies involved in electronics recycling.

Response to the conference has continued to strengthen, Powell said.

“We’ve sold out the exhibit hall (again) and we expect about 1,500 attendees. We already have registrants from more than 30 countries,” he said.

Registration for E-Scrap Conference is available online here.

For more information, visit http://www.e-scrapconference.com/.

ISRI is hosting an invitation-only reception on Sept. 18 before the conference begins. Sponsoring recyclers are AERC Recycling Solutions, Arrow, Avnet Integrated, Green Recycling Management LLC, HiTech Assets Inc., Regency Technologies, Wistron and Xstrata.

Industry leaders testify at U.S. ITC electronics reuse hearing

Representatives from across different segments of the U.S. and international electronics recycling and reuse industry testified before the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington May 15.

Early next year, the U.S. International Trade Commission hopes to produce a definitive, unbiased report on how much electronics recyclers are exporting to foreign markets for reuse and recycling.

The U.S. ITC is a bi-partisan, independent federal commission, created in the 1916, which operates in part as a think tank for Congress and the U.S. Trade Representative on trade-related issues. The major operations of the ITC include conducting anti-dumping investigations, studying performance and global competitiveness of U.S. industries and the impact changes in trade policy might have, trade information services and trade policy support. The office plays no role in the development of trade policy and makes no recommendations on policy, only studies the impact policies have or might have for the federal government.

The U.S. ITC is seeking information on:

-the type, volume and value of, and foreign markets of significance for, exports of used U.S. electronic products.

– the forms and activities, with respect to used electronic products, enterprises receiving U.S> exporters shipments; most common end uses of exports in the foreign market; and the extent of cross-border, intra-firm shipments by U.S. exporters;

– the characteristics of used electronic products exported from the U.S. including product condition, composition of shipments and the extent to which exports are processed before export; and

– the forms, activities and characteristics of U.S. exporting enterprises.

If possible, the U.S. ITC is also trying to determine volumes of used electronic products from U.S. companies that are sold for export, sold to U.S. firms, processed by exporting companies and disposed of by exporters.

To see the charge given the U.S. ITC, click Here: http://www.usitc.gov/research_and_analysis/ongoing/request_letter_332-528.pdf

One thing Laura Bloodgood of the U.S. ITC says researchers have observed is a dichotomy in the industry between those who think exports should be encouraged and those who do not.

“At the ITC, we’ve always been geared towards the idea that exporting, international trade is good,” Bloodgood says. However, in the electronics recycling industry, “It does seem to us that people who do want to repair computers, and do want to refurbish them for resale, are very strongly communicating the idea that there are lots of good reasons to export. More than one person has told us U.S. electronics and access to used phones and computers contributed to the Arab Spring.”

For a full list of testimony at the hearing, click HERE.

During the May 15 hearing, Joseph Pickard of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries testified on the global nature of scrap trade and how electronic scrap fit into that picture.
“The demand for scrap as feedstock by industrial consumers and manufacturers is truly global in nature. In 2011, the U.S. scrap industry exported scrap to more than 160 countries worldwide while generating nearly $40 billion in export sales and positively contributing to our balance of trade in the amount of almost $33 billion. Taken as a whole, scrap exports were among the top five exports by value from the U.S. last year,” he said.

HiTech Assets reported, that reuse comprises 91% of its annual revenue, and that 595,000 pounds of electronics were exported in 2011.

The top market for its exports was China, which generated 52% of the company’s resale income. Another 28% was generated by Africa and the Middle East, with 9% of the company’s resale income generated from North and South America.

Epperson testified that the company’s electronics sold for reuse are sold in fully working and documented condition.

Willie Cade, of PC Rebuilders and Recyclers, testified that his company has observed electronics deemed ‘unusable’ in the U.S. are still highly useful elsewhere in the globe.

“PCs in the United States are underutilized and well made,” he wrote to the U.S. ITC. According to his company’s internal tracking, sampling more than 15,000 units, “25% of the PCs are used less than 500 hours when they are categorized as “End of Use.”

PCs made for the United States market are known to have significantly higher quality than other markets. This is due principally to the preference given by U.S. buyers to high quality brands.”

Cade also said he felt much of the negative attention on recycling and reuse of electronics overseas is outdated.

“Much progress has been made recently to assure that this equipment is sent for reuse and/or material recovery within formal operations both within and outside the U.S. These formal operations are far more likely to responsibly process these materials notwithstanding  the state of the country’s  economy.  One of a number of factors that has lead me to this conclusion is that there are 202 facilities that are certified to the new R2 or Responsible Recycler Standard as of this writing.  Most of the negative press reports have come from the informal processing of “End of Life” electronics also known as “back yard recyclers.”

Pickard added that exporting used electronics for reuse is ethically sound.

“There is an increasing presence of reuse markets in developing countries, especially Asia, Africa, and South America, where the majority of the population simply cannot afford to purchase the latest available technology. It is both environmentally and socially responsible to help bridge the existing digital divide and continue to export these viable products that make basic technologies and communications available where they would otherwise potentially not be,” he said. “It is critical that the responsible, legitimate trade of commodity grade scrap generated from the recycling of electronics, as well as the trade in functioning, reusable electronic equipment be differentiated from illegal exports to informal recycling sectors.”

He added, “In addition to promoting legitimate international trade, the focus must be to promote responsible recycling globally and concentrate efforts towards enhancing and promoting environmentally capable facilities that will receive and properly handle recycled materials anywhere in the world.”

Witnesses at ITC hearing:

FOR-PROFIT RECYCLERS:

HiTech Assets, Inc., Oklahoma City, Okla., Lane Epperson, President and CEO

Forever Green By Way of Recycling, Inc., Chantilly, Va., Gordon F. Scott, Owner

LifeSpan Technology Recycling, Boston, Ma., Dag Adamson, President

Regency Technologies, Twinsburg, Ohio, Jim Levine, President

Sims Recycling Solutions, Roseville, Ca., Renee St. Denis, Vice President of Business Development

REFURBISHERS/EXPORTERS:

TechSoup Global, San Francisco, Ca., Jim Lynch, Director of GreenTech & Electronics Recycling & Reuse Programs

InterConnection.org, Seattle, Wash., Charles Brennick, Director

American Retroworks, Inc., Middlebury, Vt., Robin Ingenthron, President

PCRR Rebuilders & Recyclers, Chicago, Willie Cade, Owner

iFixit ,  Atascadero, Ca., Kyle Wiens, CEO

GLOBAL COMPANIES, ASSOCIATIONS, AND NGOs:

Umicore USA Inc., Raleigh, N.C., Holly A. Chapell, Director of Governmental Affairs

International Precious Metals Institute, Cheshire, Ct., John Bullock, Chair, Environmental and Regulatory

Affairs Committee

Coalition of American Electronics Recycling, New York City, Wendy Neu, Executive Vice President, Hugo

Neu Corporation

National Center for Electronics Recycling, Parkersburg, W.Va., Jason Linnell, Executive Director

Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc., Washington, D.C., Joseph Pickard, Chief Economist and Director of Commodities

EPA explains desire to update CRT rule

Is there a way for the EPA to get regulatory compliance on the growing used electronics issue on a long-term basis?

That question was recently brought up to Lisa Feldt, Deputy Assistant Administrator EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, at the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries’ annual Convention and Expo.

“We are committed in this administration and there is enough infrastructure in place that principles of the framework will last well beyond my tenure in the EPA,” Feldt said.

One such push in the EPA’s proposed revision to the rule and regulations governing export of Cathode Ray Tube rule. CRTs are the large, bulky leaded glass displays used in television sets for several decades until flat-screen technologies like Plasma and LCDs made it obsolete.

In 2002, the EPA made the rule “to encourage recycling and reuse of used CRTs and CRT glass.”

There’s a need for better regulation, the EPA says, to close loopholes and eliminate potential abuses of the law.

“When used CRTs are exported for recycling or reuse, there may be several persons involved from the time that a decision is made to export these materials up to the time that the actual export occurs. The trade in used electronics can take place along a chain of businesses that collect, refurbish, dismantle, recycle, and reprocess used electronic products and their components,” the EPA states in its proposed change of regulations, available here.

The proposal defines exporters of CRTs as “any person in the United States who initiates a transaction to send used CRTs outside the United States or its territories for recycling or reuse, or any intermediary in the United States arranging for such export.’’

Under current law, exporters of CRTs must notify the EPA of an intended shipment 60 days before the shipment occurs. Notifications may cover exports extending over a 12-month or shorter period. This notification includes information about the exporting recycler, the importing recycler and the frequency and estimated quantity to be shipped, and which countries the material will pass through on its way to its final destination.

The EPA then it notifies the receiving country and any transit countries. When the receiving country consents in writing to receive the CRTs, EPA forwards an Acknowledgement of Consent (AOC) to the exporter. The exporter may not ship the CRTs until he receives the AOC. Under these rules, exporters are not required to tell the EPA how much was actually exported in a given year.

The new rules proposed would require annual reports from all parties defined as exporters. These reports must provide basic information abot the business and the total quantities actually shipped for recycling, the frequency of shipment and the ultimate destination of the exported materials. This, the EPA says, will help determine that the CRTs are handled as commodities and not waste.

A new rule will also subject CRTs sent for reuse will be to similar notifications and requirements.

 

Scenes from electronics recycling at ISRI’s convention

Nearly 6,000 people are attending the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Convention and Expo this week in Las Vegas – and electronics recyclers are well represented.

Companies from all over the world are coming together to learn, meet and check out new technologies and opportunities in electronics recycling. Workshops have shared information on CRT recycling, best practices and options for reuse and other examinations of current topics in the industry.

Tomorrow is the last day of the convention. For more information, visit http://isriconvention.org/

 

U.S. ITC to conduct bipartisan survey of American electronics recycling and reuse landscape

Early next year, the U.S. International Trade Commission hopes to produce a definitive, unbiased report on how much electronics recyclers are exporting to foreign markets for reuse and recycling.

“We have been asked to look at used electronic products,” says Andrea Boron of the U.S. ITC.

The U.S. ITC is a bi-partisan, independent federal commission, created in the 1916, which operates in part as a think tank for Congress and the U.S. Trade Representative on trade-related issues. The major operations of the ITC include conducting anti-dumping investigations, studying performance and global competitiveness ofU.S.industries and the impact changes in trade policy might have, trade information services and trade policy support. The office plays no role in the development of trade policy and makes no recommendations on policy, only studies the impact policies have or might have for the federal government.

One thing Laura Bloodgood of the U.S. ITC says researchers have observed is a dichotomy in the industry between those who think exports should be encouraged and those who do not.

“At the ITC, we’ve always been geared towards the idea that exporting, international trade is good,” Bloodgood says. However, in the electronics recycling industry, “It does seem to us that people who do want to repair computers, and do want to refurbish them for resale, are very strongly communicating the idea that there are lots of good reasons to export. More than one person has told usU.S.electronics and access to used phones and computers contributed to the Arab Spring.”

The ITC is conducting a survey of American electronics recyclers to report back to the federal government exactly what, under the umbrella of “Used Electronic Products” is being exported by theU.S.industry. It’s a difficult nut to crack, says Boron.

“This includes everything from refurbished units, like PCs or phones that have been brought back up to spec and are going to be resold or donated to charity to shredded circuit boards and everything in between,” she says.

The ITC used one of the largest gatherings of electronics recyclers in theU.S.– theInstituteofScrap Recycling Industry’s annual convention and expo, taking place this week atMandalayBayinLas Vegas, as an opportunity to spread the word about the study and begin seeking sources for  interviews. Responding to interview requests and taking part in public hearings is voluntary, says Bloodgood, but filling out the survey is not. The ITC will conduct random sampling of the businesses in the industry, and for those who receive the survey in the mail, “they are legally obligated to reply,” she says.

To view the draft questionnaire, visit http://www.usitc.gov/332528comments. For more information on the ITC, visit www.usitc.gov/research_and_analysis/What_We_Are_Working_On.htm . The ISRI convention continues through April 19.