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Accurate IT Services at SWACO Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

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Accurate IT was excited to be invited by SWACO to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony for their new Landfill Gas-to-Energy Facility.  Jack Knapp, our Director of Client Relations was among the many guest who attended.  There were also representatives from the EPA, US Senate, House of Representatives, and many local communities.  The event included several speakers, a facility tour, a ribbon cutting ceremony, and cake. The event was a huge success and we are thankful for SWACO inviting us to be part of it.

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MIT/NCER release study on electronics recycling

MIT/NCER release study on electronics recycling

Trade groups respond to the study, which says 90 percent of electronics collected in the U.S. are recycled domestically.

DECEMBER 20, 2013
 
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Materials Systems Laboratory and the U.S. National Center for Electronics Recycling (NCER) have released Quantitative Characterization of Domestic and Transboundary Flows of Used Electronics, a study that analyses the generation, collection and export of obsolete electronics generated in the United States. 


The study was completed under the umbrella of the StEP initiative—a partnership of several UN organizations, industry, government and international organizations, NGOs and the science sector—and funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in support of the U.S. government’s National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship. 

According to the report, it “presents the results of an effort to calculate quantities of used electronics (as whole units) generated and collected in the United States and exported from the United States.” The authors calculated generation and collection quantities using “a sales obsolescence method that included uncertainty,” while export quantities were calculated based on trade data. “The advantage of the trade data approach is that trade data for all types of electronic products is widely available (including extensive historical data), updated relatively frequently and provides insight into the destinations of products,” the authors note. 

Jane Nishida, acting assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of International and Tribal Affairs, says, “We are pleased that StEP, working with the MIT and the NCER, was able to deliver a report that provides a scientific-based approach to generating information on U.S. exports of used electronics.”

According to the study, about 258.2 million units of used electronic were generated in the United States in 2010, of which 171.4 million units were collected. Export flows were estimated at 14.4 million units, or 8.5 percent of the collected estimate on average, the study notes. By weight, 1.6 million tons of used electronics were generated domestically in 2010, with 0.9 million tons collected for recycling. Of the collected electronics, 26,500 tons were exported, which is 3.1 percent of the electronics collected by weight. 

The study adds, “While the total quantity of used electronics exports reported here is most likely an underestimate due to the likelihood that some shipments of whole units are not reported using the proper trade codes, the proportions of exports to world regions is likely accurate.” 

According to the study, mobile phones dominate generation, collection and export on a unit basis, while television sets and monitors dominate on a weight basis. 

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Washington, D.C., says it has welcomed the new report. According to ISRI, “This study, along with similar reports by the U.S. International Trade Commission and the International Data Corp., provide irrefutable evidence that used electronics products are being reused and recycled in America, not ‘dumped’ into developing countries as proponents of export controls have argued for years.”

Robin Wiener, president of ISRI, says, “This latest study adds to the growing body of evidence that the U.S. electronics recycling industry is flourishing, recycling used electronics right here in America. Over the past 10 years this market has shown tremendous growth, and, today, American recyclers have the know-how, the technology and the capacity to handle the growing stream of used electronics products collected domestically.”

ISRI adds that the EPA estimates that only 25 percent of eligible used household electronics products are being collected for recycling. “Figuring out a way to pull that remaining 75 percent out of the basements and garages of homes throughout America, as well as preventing the material from being disposed of in landfills, provides the largest opportunity for increasing the recycling of used electronics in the U.S. and thus increasing jobs in the domestic electronics recycling industry,” Wiener says.

To address the opportunities recycling holds, ISRI recently launched Project Reboot, an effort to educate consumers on the importance of responsibly recycling used electronics and make them aware of opportunities for recycling within their communities. 

The steering committee for the Coalition for American Electronics Recycling (CAER), which says it represents “U.S. companies that believe electronics recycling should be performed securely and sustainably, for the benefit of the American economy,” sent Recycling Today a statement in response to the release of MIT/NCER study and ISRI’s comments that reads:


“The new MIT/NCER study provides valuable insights into the dramatic growth of electronic waste around the world. However on the issue of exports, the study does not provide a sound platform for policy makers. As the authors note: ‘gaps in available data mean that the export quantities represent a lower bound. This is due to a lack of explicit data on used whole unit trade flows, which necessitates several key assumptions in the methodology. Therefore, it is important that other approaches be used to estimate export flows and compared with the quantities calculated in this report. This would provide insight into the magnitude of the error derived from the data gaps.

“As the largest representative body of electronics recyclers in the country, CAER members support the Responsible Electronics Recycling Act (HR 2791) based on our real world experience in the marketplace. As the researchers acknowledge, transboundary flows of e-waste are highly complex and we would welcome an opportunity to collaborate as this issue continues to evolve. 

“While we disagree with ISRI on RERA, we support their efforts to increase consumer recycling here in the U.S. through Project Reboot. We strongly agree that increasing the current 25 percent recycling rate must be a top priority.”

Copyright

© Recycling Today Staff

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Contest winners propose nuclear applications for old CRTs

Contest winners propose nuclear applications for old CRTs

By. Dr. Thomas Engelhardt

Last month CEA and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc. (ISRI) ® announced the winner of the “CRT Challenge.” The goal was to identify financially viable, environmentally conscious proposals for using recycled CRT glass. This CRT challenge was a crowd-sourced technical competition to find new uses for old CRT glass, a powerful way to dispose of old TVs and monitors. 

Dr. Thomas Engelhardt was the winner of the CRT Challenge. Here is an explanation of his winning proposal. 

The disruptive impact of modern flat screen displays on the established recycling system of cathode ray tubes (CRTs) is an interesting example of how technology changes affect manufacturing and the environment.

Since making new CRTs is no longer an option, other uses for this material have to be found. CRT glass contains up to 30 percent lead and could be seen as very rich lead ore, which sounds good, but the glass portion gets in the way. A brilliant way of getting lead out of the CRT glass is being commercialized but requires investing in a dedicated plant. Without new uses, the outlets for recycled lead containing glass are limited and do not allow for processing all the CRT material.

The solution is simple—why not use lead-containing glass in the vitrification process? Vitrification of nuclear waste is a mature technology that has been used for more than 40 years in France, Germany, Belgium, Russia, Japan and the United States. It involves the melting of waste material with glass-forming additives so that the final glassy product immobilizes the waste material, trapping the lead and the other elements in the glass. The Environmental Protection Agency has declared vitrification to be the “best demonstrated available technology” for heavy metals and high-level radioactive waste.

The Hanford vitrification plant in Washington State is projected to produce approximately 160,000 cubic meters of glass material which, at five percent dosage of CRT glass, would consume around 24,000 tons of CRT material. The Hanford Waste Treatment Plant represents a long-term outlet for CRT glass, since operations are planned to run until 2028.

This potential outlet for the CRT waste stream uses established technology and covers the time span relevant for recycling CRT material. The main hurdle will be to qualify the CRT material as a new component in the vitrification process.

Final storage of the vitrified material is done under extremely controlled conditions, which reduces the risk of lead emissions. Safety and environmental aspects of nuclear waste processing and storage may trigger lengthy tests and prevent a fast implementation. Working with an organization such as the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) is crucial to identifying the best solution and speeding up the development and testing phase for CRT glass containing vitrification material.

Copyright

© DR. THOMAS ENGELHARDT

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For over ten years Accurate IT Services has been at the forefront of Internet retail with our value priced LCD monitors, laptops, computers, and professional grade CRT monitors.

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