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Closed Cincinnati firm leaves behind major CRT stockpile

Closed Cincinnati firm leaves behind major CRT stockpile

By Bobby Elliott and Dan Leif, E-Scrap News

March 7, 2014

E-scrap processor 2TRG has left behind significant tonnages of CRT glass as its former Cincinnati facility, several sources, including the Ohio EPA, have informed E-Scrap News.

After closing the doors to its 11093 Kenwood Road facility in Cincinnati last year, 2TRG, a former R2- and e-Stewards-certified processor, abandoned "tons upon tons of [CRT] glass" in Gaylord boxes, Global Environmental Services (GES) president Kenny Gravitt told E-Scrap News. Apparently unable to pay for downstream processing, 2TRG left at least 1,500 tons of the glass at the facility, Gravitt said.

Another processor who also toured the facility estimated there were upwards of 3,000 tons of intact and crushed CRT glass on-site.

While declining to confirm either estimate, the Ohio EPA did verify the existence of the glass at the former 2TRG facility. "Ohio EPA staff has visited the site," Dina Pierce, the state agency's media coordinator, told E-Scrap News. "Staff saw a large number of Gaylord boxes onsite containing various computer parts (not just CRT glass)."

State rules, according to Pierce and the Ohio EPA, hold both "the owner and operator responsible for appropriate management of CRT glass." With 2TRG no longer in business, the "property owner's representative told our inspectors he intends to take bids for a contract to remove the stockpiled computer materials, including the CRT glass," Pierce said.

Three processors, including GES, told E-Scrap News they had each entered a bid to take over the glass. One processor estimated a cleanup cost of roughly $600,000, while another suggested costs could easily exceed $1 million.

Attempts to contact the property owner and property manager were unsuccessful. Repeated attempts to reach former 2TRG executives, including CFO and founder Carol Weinstein, were unsuccessful.

Pierce told E-Scrap News the Ohio EPA "will monitor and follow up as needed to make sure any hazardous wastes at the site are properly managed and removed."

A number of 2TRG's assets were acquired in December of 2013 by the publicly traded firm E-Waste Systems (EWSI). An EWSI executive told E-Scrap News the acquisition excluded "anything that would have been a liability" and sources indicated 2TRG's CRT glass did not change hands in the deal.

While an increasing number of processors have indicated challenges moving CRTs downstream, 2TRG's alleged misconduct could represent one of the most surprising instances of a trusted and lauded firm unable to figure out how to address CRT management costs. The company had facilities in Geneva, New York and Georgetown, Kentucky in addition to the Cincinnati location.

As reported in this publication, a handful of other e-scrap processors, including some in Arizona, Colorado and Maryland, have also left piles of CRTs in warehouses. However, in comparison with 2TRG, some of those firms were small, underfunded operations. 2TRG was a more sizable industry member. For instance, the firm was previously a member of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc., and the Cincinnati plant was certified under the industry's two hallmark standards, e-Stewards and R2.

Executives at 2TRG have previously stated the firm had annual revenues of more than $5 million annually and its three plants had a total footprint of more than 200,000 square feet.

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© Bobby Elliott and Dan Leif, E-Scrap News

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Global e-scrap market to quadruple in coming years

Global e-scrap market to quadruple in coming years

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Feb. 28, 2014

The annual e-scrap market is expected to reach nearly $41.4 billion by 2019, more than four times its 2012 value of $9.8 billion.

According to a market report by Transparency Market Research, regulatory improvements, sustainability programs from major manufacturers and "rapid industrialization" will play a major role in driving market growth. While Europe "dominated" e-scrap recycling in 2012, emerging economies in the Asia-Pacific, benefiting from cheap labor and rising access to used electronics, are expected to represent the fastest growing market for e-scrap going forward.

The region, which includes Korea, Taiwan, India, China and Japan, is also noted for its lack of regulatory measures, making it one of the biggest landing spots for e-scrap collected elsewhere.

By volume, the global e-scrap market reached 48.43 million tons of material in 2012. Volumes in 2019 are expected to reach about 141.1 tons, nearly tripling 2012 totals.

By revenue, steel accounted for a little more than a third of global e-scrap revenues. Steel, owing to its value as a recycled commodity, was also the most recycled material in the e-scrap stream during 2012.

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© Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

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R2 certification hits milestone

R2 certification hits milestone

By Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

Feb. 14, 2014

More than 500 e-scrap recycling facilities around the world are now certified to the R2 standard.

R2 Solutions, the nonprofit organization responsible for developing and administering the standard, announced the news Feb. 7 in a press release. A total of 508 facilities across 14 countries are currently certified and "more are in the pipeline," the release states.

Facilities will have to update their certification this year to meet the recently introduced R2:2013 standard. A 58-page guidance document was released in November to aid firms conform to the changes, which include a requirement for certified facilities to have an environmental health and safety management system in place.

The R2 standard was founded in 2008.

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© Editorial Staff, E-Scrap News

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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.

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© DR. THOMAS ENGELHARDT

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New Jersey presses residents to recycle e-scrap

New Jersey presses residents to recycle e-scrap

By Bobby Elliott, E-Scrap News

Jan. 3, 2013

The administration of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is leading a charge to encourage residents to follow the state's e-scrap law and recycle used electronics.

Anticipating a surge of electronics replaced by newer devices this holiday season, the Christie administration is attempting to help spread the word about the importance of recycling e-scrap and the state's significant steps toward accommodating the process.

"These electronic devices can no longer be placed at the curb for trash pickup," state environmental official Bob Martin told NJ.com. "They can be taken to specially designated e-waste recycling drop-off points conveniently located in our cities and towns or to retailers that accept these materials."

Under the state's e-scrap law, which went into effect as Christie assumed the governorship in 2010, residents are required to recycle many of their used electronics free of charge by dropping them off at retailers, such as Best Buy, UPS and Target, or municipal collection sites. Most electronic items, including televisions, computers and tablets, are covered under the state program. Residents are only encouraged – not required – to recycle some other products, such as cell phones, DVDs, VCRs, video game consoles.

Electronics manufacturers are tasked with funding the recycling program and thus far, state officials say, the program has been a major success. But with e-scrap volumes continuing to climb and the holiday season just wrapping up, state officials are trying to ensure that the program continues to be a success through its public awareness campaigns and website, which provides a full list of drop-off locations throughout the state. Hundreds of locations have been added since the program began in 2010.

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Where Old IPhones Go to Die

Where Old IPhones Go to Die

This holiday season, as you upgrade that old smartphone, pause a moment to reflect on an unexpected fact: In 2012, developing nations -- including China, India, Brazil, and Russia -- tossed out more e-waste (25.4 million tons) than the world’s developed nations, including the U.S., Japan, and the European Union (23.5 million tons).

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Electronics Recycling Asia: Playing Catch-up

As the e-scrap stream has grown and changed, both laws and certification systems are attempting to keep up.

Jean Cox-Kearns
“We’d like to achieve a closed loop—it’s our aspirational goal,” said Jean Cox-Kearns, the Ireland-based Director of Compliance for Dell Global Takeback, part of computer maker Dell Inc., Round Rock, Texas.

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R2 Solutions releases guidance document

R2 Solutions releases guidance document

R2 Solutions and Greeneye Partners have released a new guidance document intended to help companies conform to the new R2:2013 standard.

The 58-page guidance document provides best practices on how facilities can implement the principles described in the R2:2013 certification, as well as clarifications and standard interpretations of the language in the certification. For example, the guidance document specifically states that R2 certification is facility-specific, a mention that is a direct response to the growing concern that some processors obtain R2 certification at one facility and claim to be an "R2 processor" while their other processing facilities do not meet the standards of the certification.

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Scrap circuit board metal price sinks in October

The average value of metals commonly found in scrap circuit boards was down by a dime in October, continuing a slide from the previous month.

The scrap circuit board index, which measures the value of commodity metals proportionally weighted to their share in a pound of scrap circuit boards, declined to $6.52 per pound in October. Copper prices stabilized last month, but slumping prices for gold, silver and other precious metals dragged the index lower.

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Accurate IT Services is Moving!

Accurate IT Services is Moving!


Beginning next week, Accurate IT Services will be located at 3854 Fisher Rd. Columbus, OH 43228. We will be moving into a larger facility that will better suit our operation as an electronics recycling and refurbishment company.

The new location’s hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. We will be accepting e-waste drop-offs at our main office located at the end of the facility. Our new facility will also soon feature a retail store, showcasing our refurbished LCD monitors, computers, laptops, and televisions.

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Report Analyzes Economic Impact of E-Scrap Export Ban

Report Analyzes Economic Impact of E-Scrap Export Ban

Recycling Today Staff

JUNE 4, 2013

A report conducted by John Dunham and Associates, Brooklyn, N.Y., and released by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Washington, D.C., highlights the relationship between economic growth and electronic scrap export activity. According to the report, a ban on the export of electronic scrap would result in less competition, reduce jobs and increase the costs of consumers.

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U.S. Isn’t Flooding the Third World With E-Waste

U.S. Isn’t Flooding the Third World With E-Waste

“By Adam Minter - May 26, 2013

Every year, Americans toss out as much as 4.5 million tons of old mobile phones, laptops, televisions, Xboxes and other electronic gadgets

Some is recycled; some is repaired and refurbished for reuse; and some is thrown into landfills or incinerators. Almost none of it, however, is “dumped” overseas.

That, at least, is the conclusion of the first comprehensive survey of what happens to U.S. e-waste after it is dropped into a recycling bin. Published in February, the study by the U.S. International Trade Commission surveyed 5,200 businesses involved in the e-waste industry (companies that received the survey were required by law to complete it, and to do so accurately), and found that almost 83 percent of what was put into American recycling bins in 2011 was repaired, dismantled or recycled domestically.

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The Hidden Environmental Risk of IT Asset Remarketing

The Hidden Environmental Risk of IT Asset Remarketing

"By Cindy Miller, Published May 26, 2013 – IT Asset Disposition Blog

When your company turns its retired IT equipment over to a vendor for asset remarketing, what happens to the equipment that vendor can’t sell as a working asset? It’s a more important question than you might think. As you know, the market for used IT assets is fickle and very dependent on trends. If too many of a certain piece of equipment flood the market—because an upgrade has become available, for example—it can be difficult to sell that piece of equipment for a profitable price. But if it doesn’t sell, something must be done with it. Your company, as the original owner of the equipment, may still be liable if it is disposed of improperly. Whether your company’s IT assets are collected by recycler or a remarketer, it’s crucial you understand their entire process through to the final disposition of your assets. The cost of environmental non-compliance is too high not to do your homework.

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Trash or Treasure?

Trash or Treasure?

As Rep. Gene Green prepares to reintroduce the Responsible Electronics Recycling Act, a recent study says such legislation would generate numerous jobs in the U.S. However, the proposed legislation still has detractors.

Curt Harler – Recycling Today

APRIL 1, 2013

Electronics are part of our everyday waste stream. Many government officials say they feel the improper disposal of such devices presents a risk to both American jobs and to the world’s environment.

To that end, a bill known as the Responsible Electronics Recycling Act (RERA) was introduced in Congress as HR 2284 in June 2011 by Texas Rep. Gene Green, a Democrat, with 14 Republicans and nine Democrats signing on as co-sponsors. However, it died in committee. According to his office, Green will reintroduce the measure in this session of Congress. The bill restricts exports of untested and nonworking electronics from the U.S. to developing countries, though it would still allow free trade of tested and working used electronics being exported for reuse.

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E-Waste Event Season is Approaching

E-Waste Event Season is Approaching

April is just around the corner and with it comes the beginning of Accurate IT Services’ Community Recycling Events. With over a dozen e-waste events scheduled for 2013 already, Accurate IT will surely be in your area to responsibly recycle your old electronics.

For all of our community e-waste recycling events, we accept all electronics, including, but not limited to, old IT equipment, consumer electronics, and small household appliances. We will be accepting all electronic items free of charge, excluding CRT televisions, which has a $15 per unit fee associated with them. We will also not be accepting items containing Freon or Mercury.

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Why You Should Care Whether Your E-Cycler is Certified

Why You Should Care Whether Your E-Cycler is Certified

For some products, recycling is more involved than finding your closest blue bin. This is especially true with electronics recycling, where a little research is required to make sure that you are recycling products responsibly.

Increased government regulation and official certification of recyclers both help make this possible.

Of all the products brought to market each year, none render their previous iterations obsolete faster than electronics equipment. With technology often evolving faster than perceived market demand, electronics have officially become the largest growing recyclable material in the U.S., with over 7 million tons of electronics equipment available for recycling each year.

But with great technology comes great responsibility, as the recycling process for a desktop computer is more complicated than that of an aluminum can. Recyclers must separate the glass, metals and plastics and find a recycling market for all these individual recovered materials.

Electronics recyclers also must take special care to ensure that any hazardous substances or residues removed during the recycling process (such as batteries, leaded-glass, and mercury) are recovered safely and recycled.

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Study Finds Limiting E-Waste Exports Could Create U.S. Jobs

Study Finds Limiting E-Waste Exports Could Create U.S. Jobs

Recycling Today Staff

FEBRUARY 13, 2013

“Restrictions on electronic scrap exports could create up to 42,000 direct and indirect new jobs with a total payroll of more than $1 billion, according to a study commissioned by the Coalition For American Electronics Recycling (CAER).

“The study further documents how growing an industry with the capacity to manage the volume of e-waste generated within our borders could create tens of thousands of good-paying American jobs by promoting investment in our domestic infrastructure,” says Steve Skurnac, president of Sims Recycling Solutions and CAER steering committee member.

CAER members include a number of electronics recyclers and affiliated organizations that support the passage of the Responsible Electronics Recycling Act (RERA), legislation designed to promote fair and responsible e-waste trade, according to the CAER. The bill, which will be reintroduced in the current session of Congress, bans the export of certain types of unprocessed and nonworking electronics and e-waste from the U.S. to developing countries. Fair trade in tested, working electronics and processed e-scrap commodities would not be restricted, the group says.

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The Complex Business of Recycling E-Waste

The Complex Business of Recycling E-Waste

By Verne Kopytoff on January 08, 2013

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-01-08/the-complex-business-of-recycling-e-waste

IBM’s massive recycling facilities are more like rehabilitation centers. Most of the computers, printers, and servers—castoffs from IBM’s offices, along with equipment previously leased to corporate customers—are refurbished and resold. Some are salvaged for parts.

But inevitably some electronics are too old to resuscitate. Therein lies one of the biggest conundrums of the digital age: How to properly dispose of e-waste, which contains toxic materials such as lead, mercury, and cadmium. “It’s easy to buy something, but it’s hard to get rid of it,” says Richard Dicks, general manager for the IBM (IBM) division that handles the triage.

Americans get rid of 47.4 million computers, 27.2 million televisions, and 141 million mobile devices annually, according to the latest figures from the Environmental Protection Agency. Only a quarter of all those devices are collected for recycling.

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62% of Households Hoarding, Not Recycling, Old Cell Phones

62% of Households Hoarding, Not Recycling, Old Cell Phones

Thursday, December 27, 2012 – WRN Staff

Americans are still hesitant about recycling their old mobile phones.

Almost 2 out of 3 households in America – 62% to be exact – are hoarding their old cell phones instead of recycling them, according to a recent survey from mobile-phone security company Lookout Mobile.

Twenty-one percent of households have one phone they are holding on to; 21% have two; 9% have three; and a stunning 11% -- 1 in 9 households -- are hoarding four or more cellphones, the survey revealed.

Lookout Mobile said another 33 million cellphones were expected to be sold this holiday season as consumers rush to upgrade to newer devices.

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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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