Archive for the Recycling News Category

Is NYC Ready for the Green New Deal?

The plan comprises $ 14 billion in new and committed investments, legislation and concrete action at the city level that aim to reduce emissions and generate more jobs.
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House passes National Recycling Strategy amendment

House passes National Recycling Strategy amendment
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The House of Representatives has unanimously passed an amendment to develop a national recycling strategy. Rep. Haley Stevens of Michigan introduced the amendment in H.R. 3055, the Commerce, Justice, Science, Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, Interior, Environment, Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, Transportation and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act. Rep. Kim Schrier of Washington co-sponsored the amendment.

The amendment instructs the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to prioritize funding to develop a national recycling strategy to ensure the long-term economic and environmental viability of local recycling programs.

“After learning about the rising costs and challenges of maintaining local recycling programs in southeast Michigan, I have been working to bring attention to the recycling crisis that is unfolding in communities around the country,” Stevens says. “Our federal government cannot ignore this issue. Plastic use is skyrocketing, and our domestic recycling infrastructure is unequipped to keep up, especially in light of China’s new policy to ban the import of most postconsumer recyclable materials, including plastics, which the U.S. and other developing countries have been shipping there for the past 25 years. I look forward to working with the EPA and other federal agencies to create a national strategy to ensure long-term stability for local recycling programs.” 

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Source: Recycling Today
House passes National Recycling Strategy amendment
<![CDATA[The House of Representatives has unanimously passed an amendment to develop a national recycling strategy. Rep. Haley Stevens of Michigan introduced the amendment in H.R. 3055, the Commerce, Justice, Science, Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, Interior, Environment, Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, Transportation and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act. Rep. Kim Schrier of Washington co-sponsored the amendment.The amendment instructs the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to prioritize funding to develop a national recycling strategy to ensure the long-term economic and environmental viability of local recycling programs. “After learning about the rising costs and challenges of maintaining local recycling programs in southeast Michigan, I have been working to bring attention to the recycling crisis that is unfolding in communities around the country,” Stevens says. “Our federal government cannot ignore this issue. Plastic use is skyrocketing, and our domestic recycling infrastructure is unequipped to keep up, especially in light of China’s new policy to ban the import of most postconsumer recyclable materials, including plastics, which the U.S. and other developing countries have been shipping there for the past 25 years. I look forward to working with the EPA and other federal agencies to create a national strategy to ensure long-term…

Carolina Recycling Association

Review of Public Comments on R2v3 Begins

Close to 500 comments were submitted to SERI on the proposed changes to the R2 Standard.  The public comment period has now closed and the process of reviewing the comments has begun.  The largest category of comments received was in regard to data security requirements which accounted for 20% of the comments submitted, followed by the R2 Equipment Categorization document (REC) and the downstream recycling chain.   

SERI’s R2 Director, Sean De Vries, is compiling the feedback received in preparation of the upcoming meeting of the R2 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).   The TAC will be meeting in Austin, Texas on June 19 & 20 to begin its review.  This meeting will be open to the public for those that are interested in observing the process.  Any members of the public interested in attending the TAC meeting, must pre-register with SERI by June 12.  CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

The TAC will review all comments submitted and based on the information suggested, determine if any changes to the proposed R2v3 standard are needed.  Where changes are deemed necessary, the TAC will draft revised language, which will subsequently be posted for public review and comment.  After considering all comments, a summary of all comments received, and the corresponding actions taken on each, will be published on the SERI website.

Transition plans for companies to upgrade to the final R2v3 Standard are being developed and will be published soon.   Multiple auditor training sessions are also being prepared to coincide with the release of the new R2v3 Standard.

 

 

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SERI – Sustainable Electronics Recycling International

New Hampshire Excludes Wheelabrator from Biomass Subsidies

Activists claim the waste-to-energy facility “releases too many pollutants,” causing state legislators to exclude the plant from a biomass subsidies bill.
Waste360 – Waste and recycling information, events, commerce and education

Walmart Releases ESG Report Showing 28% of Its Electricity Needs are Supplied by Renewable Energy

Walmart Inc. recently issued its inaugural Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report, which details the company’s goals, progress and achievements for fiscal year 2019 toward its commitment to increase economic opportunity for associates and local communities, build sustainability in supply chains and activate climate change initiatives.

The post Walmart Releases ESG Report Showing 28% of Its Electricity Needs are Supplied by Renewable Energy appeared first on Environmental Leader.

Environmental Leader

Reaching out to policy makers and new industry sectors

Reverse Logistics Association Conference – SERI presented a 90-minute workshop on “R2 Certification:  A Powerful Partner for the Reverse Logistics Industry.”  The session highlighted legal obligations and compliance issues that are unique to managing returned electronic products – beginning with a product’s first use.  R2 certification requires effective data sanitization, proper testing and documentation, and tracking throughout the reverse logistics supply chain.  This reduces the risks associated with warrantee returns, trade-ins, and other returned products, making R2 a powerful tool for ensuring compliance and accountability.

India International E-waste Conference –  SERI’s Executive Director recently traveled to Bangalore India to participate in the first India International E-Waste 2019 Conference (www.e-scrapindia.com).  This was a great opportunity to learn about the issues facing electronics recycling in India and to discuss how R2 Certification can accelerate change in India.  There are currently 20 R2 Certified facilities in India, with 25 more currently in progress.   SERI recognizes the challenges of building sustainable recycling infrastructure in India and looks forward to opportunities to educate about best practices in both formal and informal recycling of electronics. 

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SERI – Sustainable Electronics Recycling International

When customer requirements conflict with R2 requirements

Some R2 Certified facilities have recently found themselves with a difficult choice:  follow the R2 Standard requirements and lose a customer or drop R2 Certification to keep a customer contract.  Facilities that are certified to the R2 Standard are responsible for the proper management and disposition of all untested or non-working electronics that pass through their control — throughout the entire reuse-recycling chain.  The R2 Standard requires that all vendors in the downstream chain must be verified prior to receiving untested or non-working electronics from an R2 certified facility to ensure the downstream vendor(s) meet the necessary R2 Provisions (3.a.2, 5.e, 6.c.3, 8.h).   The conflict arises when a customer requires an R2 Certified facility to return or send untested or broken electronics to an unverified downstream vendor. 

Full reuse and recycling of electronics requires a network of specialized vendors.  One of the core tenants of R2 is controlling the disposition of non-working electronics throughout the entire network of downstream processors and vendors.  This begins the moment the equipment enters the R2 Certified channel and continues throughout the flow of processing — whether the electronics are fully processed in the R2 Certified facility or by other vendors further down the reuse-recycling chain.  The R2 Standard has no provision to allow for customer requirements to override these downstream vendor due diligence requirements.

Conflicts between customer requirements and R2 requirements typically occur in returns processing, warranty repairs, and trade-in programs.  The customer will contract with an R2 Certified facility to service electronics that the customer continues to own.   In some cases, the customer requires the R2 facility to return non-functional equipment (usually called BER for Beyond Economic Repair) to them or to send it to a downstream vendor of the customer’s choice that may or may not conform to the R2 downstream vendor requirements. 

Company decision makers are often the drivers of policies that require using R2 service providers, but other departments within the company sometimes impose requirements that prevent R2 providers from exercising the necessary control and due diligence over the downstream chain.  While the customer should be able to decide what to do with the BER equipment they own, the R2 Certified facility also has a responsibility to ensure BER equipment is directed to a downstream recycling chain that conforms with the R2 downstream vendor requirements.   Consequently, this situation can result in a non-conforming activity which may jeopardize the R2 facility’s certification.

The R2 Consensus Body (the stakeholder group with authority to change the R2 Standard) has considered this conflict in great depth for more than a year, looking for a way to balance the customer’s wishes with the R2 provider’s responsibility to ensure responsible control of BER electronics through the entire recycling chain.  They have proposed a possible compromise in the next version of the R2 Standard that will still ensure due diligence for each downstream vendor.   If a customer requests the return of BER equipment or directs where their R2 certified provider is to send the equipment, as long as the next processor is R2 certified, that will satisfy R2 due diligence and tracking requirements.  Due diligence is still required for each vendor in the recycling chain, but each R2 Certified service provider can stop tracking the flow of equipment when it reaches the next R2 Certified downstream vendor.  In order to maintain transparency and accountability of the recycling chain, R2 Certified facilities will be required to register their recycling chains with SERI to the first R2 Certified downstream vendor, or to the final processor when using a downstream vendor that is not R2 certified. 

This trade-off will not resolve all conflicts and it will still require the cooperation of customers.  There may still be occasional customers with requirements that conflict with R2 requirements.  In such cases, facilities must keep in mind that R2 Certification is facility based, not process based, and exceptions cannot be made for specific customers or processes.    Due diligence is required for all streams of untested or non-functioning electronics—regardless of the product type or customer requirement to the contrary.  Due diligence of downstream vendors is essential to mitigate the risks of legal non-compliance, data breaches, and pollution liability in the downstream vendor network.  Eliminating the due diligence to satisfy customer requirements is not a solution that the R2 Consensus Body supports. 

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SERI – Sustainable Electronics Recycling International

Frequently Asked Questions about R2 Licenses, Certificates and Website Directory

Q.  Our facility moved last month – why isn’t my new address listed on SERI’s R2 Recycler Directory?

A.  A new address cannot be listed on the website until SERI has received a revised certificate from the certifying body showing the new address.  Be sure to contact your certifying body as soon as a move is planned to expedite the process of securing a revised R2 certificate, and updating your listing on the directory. 

Q.  Can you change the address and/or company name on my R2 license?

A.  An address or name change requires a new license application.  After the new license application has been submitted, contact SERI so that any remaining time on your old license can be transferred to your new license.  Your annual renewal date will remain unchanged (unless there is a gap in certification, in which case, a new renewal date will be based on your recertification date.)

Q.  Our auditor was here last week and we passed our audit.  Why aren’t we listed on the R2 Recycler Directory yet?

A.  It takes time for the auditor to prepare his or her audit report, present it to the Certifying Body’s review committee, and for the final approval and certificate to be issued.  At a minimum, you should expect four weeks before the certificate is issued, and in some cases, it can take significantly longer.  Check with your certifying body to get an estimate on when they will issue your R2 certificate.   As soon as SERI receives a copy of the final certificate, we will update the R2 Recycler Directory on our website.

 Q.  My downstream vendor provided a copy of their R2 certificate, but their facility is not listed on the R2 Recycler Directory.  Why is that?

A.  If a certificate is expired, suspended or revoked, it will be removed from the R2 Recycler Directory.  Also, if a facility has moved, the new address will not be added to the website until a revised certificate has been issued by the certifying body.  This ensures that the certifying body has reviewed any changes in operation at the new facility before it is listed on the R2 Recycler Directory.   To view the weekly list of recent changes in R2 status, visit the Certification Changes page on the SERI website.

 

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SERI – Sustainable Electronics Recycling International

Beware of fraudulent R2 Certificates

When doing due diligence on R2 certified recycling partners, it is a good practice to ask for a copy of their R2 certificate and verify it with the SERI database of R2 certified facilities.  In the most recent incident of a fraudulent certificate, Secure Recycling LLC in Norcross, GA, presented an “R2 certificate” with altered facility name, date, and certificate number as part of their bid for a local government contract.  Fortunately, the agency verified the certificate with the SERI database and found that it wasn’t authentic.

There have also been instances of certifying bodies that are not SERI approved and ANAB accredited issuing invalid R2 certificates to recycling facilities.  Upon further investigation, those facilities had not implemented some of the most fundamental requirements of the R2 standard – putting their partners and customers at risk.  These cases were brought to the attention of SERI through the due diligence process of R2 certified recyclers as well as users of recycling services. 

There are also cases of non-R2 certified companies wrongfully using the R2 logo and claiming (or implying) R2 certification.  Your help in identifying those companies to SERI is appreciated so that we can contact them, and if necessary, list them on the NOT-Certified list on our website.

Make sure you are checking the validity of R2 certificates of your prospective downstream vendors – and competitors – and report improper claims or fraudulent certificates to SERI.  R2 certified companies have invested significant time, effort and cost to achieve certification.  Vigilance and due diligence will help to protect that investment and the integrity of the R2 Standard.  

 

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Samsung aims to ‘minimize environmental impact’ of Note 7 recall, though light on details

Facing criticism over the consequences of 4.3 million recalled phones, Samsung has issued a new statement on its disposal plan.

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