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Turning eWaste into eCycling: Finding an Electronics Recycler

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  1. Turning eWaste into eCycling: Finding an Electronics Recycler FEC Partner Teleconference October 4, 2007

  2. Overview • Reasons to recycle electronics • Electronics end-of-life flow chart • Following personal property regulations • FEC best practices • Finding and evaluating a recycler • Types of recyclers • Recycler performance standards • FEC tools • Preparing to recycle • Resources

  3. Why Recycle? • Volume • Used or unwanted electronics amounted to approximately 1.9 to 2.2 million tons • Of that, about 1.5 to 1.9 million tons were primarily discarded in landfills • Only 345,000 to 379,000 tons were recycled • Toxicity • Electronics may can hazardous substances (heavy metals, flame retardants) • Value • Electronics may contain precious metals • Recyclers recover more than 100 million pounds of materials from electronics each year

  4. Electronics End-of-Life Reuse Internally General Services Administration Hierarchy Declared Excess Computers for Learning Environmental Hierarchy Report to GSA Reuse Transfer to other Federal Agencies AND/OR Refurbishment Declared Surplus Donation (States & Nonprofits) Sales Recycling Abandon / Destroy / Recycle Incineration / Landfill

  5. Recycling Government Personal Property • Must adhere to federal regulation • Property must be offered through the GSA disposition process (excess, surplus, sales) • Property with no value may be labeled for abandonment and destruction • Agencies can donate to a public body in lieu of abandonment (UNICOR)

  6. Recycling Government Personal Property • Must adhere to Executive Order 13423… • Use environmentally sound practices with respect to disposition of agency electronic equipment that has reached the end of its useful life • …and the Implementing Instructions • Agencies shall comply with GSA procedures for the transfer, donation, sale and recycling of electronic equipment, as well as any applicable Federal, State an local laws and regulations • Agencies shall use national standards, best management practices, or a national certification program for recyclers • In the absence of these, agencies shall use EPA’s Guidelines for Materials Management for Plug-In to eCycling partners

  7. FEC Best Practices • Use recyclers under the Recycling of Electronics and Asset Disposition (READ) Services Contract • Contract with UNICOR • Choose and contract with another environmentally responsible electronics recycler • Perform due diligence • DoD equipment must go through DRMS

  8. Finding an Electronics Recycler • EPA’s eCycling Web site includes links to donation, recycling and manufacturer take-back Web sites • http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/hazwaste/recycle/ecycling/donate.htm • GSA’s Environmental Services Schedule (GSA 899-5), a multiple award schedule of electronic waste or hazardous material recycling contractors • Contact your local or state environmental or solid waste agency for assistance • Local collection programs or databases of vendors

  9. Types of Electronics Recyclers • Asset Management • Repair and Refurbish • De-manufacture • Parts and Subassemblies Recovery • Materials Recovery and Recycling • Materials Processing and Refining • Brokers

  10. Asset Management • Specialize in moving and managing of equipment • Corporate move-out firms • End of lease equipment • May handle more than electronics • Equipment may go to reuse or recycling • Useful equipment may be resold or sent to a refurbisher • Obsolete equipment may be disposed of or recycled

  11. Repair and Refurbish • Resell equipment as-is • May provide media sanitization, cleaning • Refurbish equipment to improve value for resale • Repair or replace nonfunctional components • Upgrade obsolete components • Equipment likely to be reused • Equipment that can not be repaired or upgraded, and broken and replaced components, may be disposed of or recycled

  12. De-Manufacture • Disassembles equipment for bulk reuse or recycling • By part (memory, disk drives, processors) • By material (plastics, glass, metals) • Material likely processed by hand • Most or all components and materials are reused or recycled

  13. Parts and Subassemblies Recovery • Resell parts and subassemblies after testing • Recovered items vary • Parts: microchips and memory removed from motherboards, power supplies, video and sound cards, hard drives • Subassemblies: motherboards with intact components, cases with power supplies • May disassemble whole equipment or receive components from a demanufacturer or refurbisher • Most or all components and materials are reused or recycled

  14. Materials Recovery and Recycling • Separate out, and prepare materials for recycling • May disassemble whole equipment or receive components from other types of processors • May process materials by shredding or other methods • Most or all materials are recycled

  15. Materials Processing and Refining • Receive containers of like, processed, materials • Processes the material into a purer, more uniform material • Reuse potential of the material depends on its quality • Processed material is ready to be made into new products • Metal smelters will process base and precious metals • Special glass furnaces will handle CRT glass

  16. Brokers • Brokers use relationships and networking to find markets for equipment and materials • A broker’s assets are their relationships and information about them may be closely guarded • Ask questions so that you are comfortable that the equipment and component materials are properly handled • Brokers may move devices, parts, or processed material

  17. Important Notes! • One recycling company may have operations covering more than one recycling activity • Equipment that is sent for recycling may change hands several times during its processing • Understand the downstream processes of your recycler and be sure they demonstrate due diligence

  18. Recycler Performance Standards

  19. IAER: Certification Program • Eligibility • IAER member companies • Requirements • Management systems for environment, health, safety and quality • Specific business practices in management, finances, insurance and security • Operational capabilities and processes to address materials of concern, down stream due diligence, risk management, qualification and training of personnel, and suitable equipment and facilities • Process • Application, pre-screening, audit by third-party registrar • Designated “Certified Electronics Recycler®”

  20. EPA: Guidelines for Materials Management • Eligibility • Guidance for EPA’s Plug-In to eCycling Partners • Guidelines may be used by recyclers • Requirements • Maximize reuse, refurbishment, recycling to minimize incineration and landfilling • Specifics for exported materials • Specifics for “designated materials” for reuse, refurbishment and recycling • Process • Guidance for due diligence • Requires proper record keeping

  21. BAN: Electronics Recycler’s Pledge of True Stewardship • Eligibility • Any electronics recycler that can meet the requirements • Requirements • No: incineration or landfilling; export of hazardous waste; use of prison labor • Environmental management system in place • Track downstream processes and compliance, provide insurance and due diligence • Support Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and Design for the Environment (DfE) programs or legislation • Process • Apply for BAN qualification, provide documentation • Sign pledge

  22. ISRI: Recycling Industry Operating Standard (RIOS) • Eligibility • Scrap recycling companies • Requirements • Integrated management system for quality, environmental, and health and safety • Follow plan-do-check-act method • Process • Sign up as RIOS member • Obtain RIOS certification

  23. Important Notes! • No federal agency (including the EPA or the Department of Defense) certifies electronics recyclers • Companies may have environmental permits or follow agency guidelines or standards • All companies should follow federal, state and local environmental regulations

  24. FEC Tools • Recycling of Electronic Equipment • http://www.federalelectronicschallenge.net/resources/docs/recycling.pdf • Checklist for Selection of Electronics Reuse and Recycling Services • http://www.federalelectronicschallenge.net/resources/docs/select.pdf • Guidelines for On-Site Reviews of Electronics Recyclers • http://www.federalelectronicschallenge.net/resources/docs/onsite_review.pdf

  25. Checklist for the Selection of Electronic Reuse and Recycling Services • Checklist to help make a first cut when conducting a market survey of potential recyclers • Can be completed over the phone or via email • Check boxes make for easy comparisons between companies • Even if using READ or UNICOR this can help you to decide what services to request when asking for cost estimates

  26. Guidelines for On-Site Reviews of Electronics Recyclers • Tool for documenting a detailed on-site visit • Provides questions and important considerations • Provides a worksheet to record answers and observations • Review information can be shared among FEC Partners • Tool contains Confidentiality Notice and addresses use of Confidential Business Information (CBI) • Required for 2008 FEC Award activities when using a recycler besides UNICOR or a READ contractor

  27. Preparing to Recycle • Collect all peripherals and cables • Complete media sanitization of internal and external media • Remove property decals (if recipient takes ownership) • Remove external media (disks, CDs, DVDs, USB drives, paper) • Properly package equipment to reduce breakage • Complete necessary documentation

  28. Resources • FEC (End-of-life) • http://www.federalelectronicschallenge.net/resources/eolmngt.htm • GSA (Personal Property Disposal) • http://www.gsa.gov/Portal/gsa/ep/channelView.do?pageTypeId=8211&channelId=-13012 • DRMS • http://www.drms.dla.mil/ • EPA (Plug-In to eCycling) • http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/osw/conserve/plugin/

  29. Contact Us • FEC Champions • https://db2.erg.com/fec/champions.asp • Partner E-mail • partner@electronicschallenge.net • Cate Berard • berard.cate@epa.gov • 202-564-8847