As the electronic stream has evolved, funding models underpinning some state e-scrap programs have been thrown out of whack. NCER Executive Director, Jason Linnell, offers up the latest data on the issue and explains how states are trying to craft solutions in this article that originally appeared in the Fall 2018 issue of E-Scrap News.
In October 2018, the Electronics Recycling Coordination Clearinghouse (ERCC) held its annual member meeting and pre-conference workshop during the E-Scrap Conference in New Orleans, LA. Over 40 ERCC members attended the meeting with additional members listening in online. In the afternoon, ERCC held an open workshop with over 75 attendees entitled “Emerging Issues with State Electronics Recycling Laws.”
During the member meeting, a variety of current and future projects were discussed. One major project that will take shape after the first of the year will be ERCC’s Compliance Calendar website. The vision for this site originally sprung from conversation among member states and affiliate members and is an attempt to house a comprehensive resource on requirements under the state electronics recycling laws for all industry stakeholders. Other topics discussed at the member meeting were as follows:
- CRT Issues – Abandonment Cases, Markets, CT’s Tracking
- Market Share – Overview and Suggestions for Future
- Feedback on ERCC Activities /Priorities for 2018-19/ Potential for New Projects
The afternoon workshop on “Emerging Issues with State Electronics Recycling Laws” first featured a discussion on Product Scope Issues Under State Laws with Dana Lawson from NJ DEP moderating and speaker Anne Peters from Gracestone. Discussion then turned to lightweighting with a discussion on the Illinois Convenience Model. Moderator here was Jason Linnell (NCER). Speakers were Brandon Seegmiller from HP, Jason Linnell from NCER and Blake Bennett from the OR DEP. After a short break, discussion resumed with an update on Eco-Fees with Lynn Rubinstein (NERC) moderating and Walter Alcorn, CTA and Garth Hickle, Consultant as speakers. The final discussion before wrap-up was on Market Issues Impacting State Programs (specifically plastics and batteries). All in all, both the ERCC annual member meeting and the workshop experienced robust participation and provided multiple take-aways that will help ERCC with direction into 2019.
During the main E-Scrap agenda, NCER Executive Director, Jason Linnell, also spoke during Plenary Session II. His topic was “Hot Button Issues In 2018”. In this informative plenary session, attendees heard high-level speakers cover the latest trends that are shaping profitability and growth in electronics recovery right now. Topics covered included progress in tracking, an overview of the repair landscape, and an update on what to watch in the state programs. Moderator was Beth Johnson with Dell and panelists in addition to Jason included Jim Puckett from the Basel Action Network and Kyle Wiens from iFixit.
Jason’s presentation from this plenary session can be downloaded HERE.
The E-Scrap Conference will resume in 2019 in Orlando, Florida September 23rd through 25th.
NCER Executive Director, Jason Linnell, was interviewed in a recent article published by Popular Science. You can see the article HERE!
On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, Executive Director Jason Linnell Was Featured As One of Several Expert Voices in the Electronics Recycling Industry During A Senate Recycling Caucus
“The U.S. electronics recycling industry has shown tremendous growth over the past 10 years. This maturing segment of the scrap recycling industry provides a boost of approximately $20.6 billion, including exports of $1.45 billion, to the U.S. economy (up from less than $1 billion in 2002) and employs more than 45,000 full time employees (up from 6,000 in 2002). In 2011, the U.S. electronics recycling industry processed more than 4.4 million tons of used and end-of-life electronics equipment.” – The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries
Opening Remarks Were Given By: Recycling Caucus Chairs, Senator Tom Carper and Senator John Boozman
Moderator: George Hinkle, President, ARCOA Group
- Walter Alcorn, Vice President, Environmental Affairs and Industry Sustainability, Consumer Technology Association
- Callie Babbitt, Associate Professor at the Golisano Institute for Sustainability, Rochester Institute of Technology
- Sarah Cade, Co-founder, E-Reuse Services
- Jason Linnell, Executive Director, National Center for Electronics Recycling
- Christina Meskers, Senior Program Manager, Precompetitive Research, Umicore
In September, the Electronics Recycling Coordination Clearinghouse (ERCC) held its annual member meeting and pre-conference workshop during the E-Scrap Conference in Orlando, Florida on September 18th. Over 40 ERCC members attended the meeting with additional members listening in online. In the afternoon, ERCC held an open workshop with over 75 attendees entitled “Eco-Fees and CRTs: The Past and Possible Future of State Electronics Recycling Programs.”
During the member meeting, a variety of current and future projects were discussed. One major project that will take shape after the first of the year will be ERCC’s Compliance Calendar website. The vision for this site originally sprung from conversation among member states and affiliate members and is an attempt to house a comprehensive resource on requirements under the state electronics recycling laws for all industry stakeholders. Other major topics discussed included market share data for recycling responsibility, the importance of retailer outreach and engagement, and best practices for tracking and sharing data on state mandated recycling programs. The final topic features presentations by Sarah Murray of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Amanda Cotton of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency on the use of data management software and other best practices. The members also heard an overview from Walter Alcorn of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) on the last data showing that a downward trend continuing of 28% of US households still using or storing at least one Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) TV in their home, and 17% of households with at least one CRT monitor.
The workshop on “Eco-Fees and CRTs” featured small group working sessions after two quick panel discussions to set up the major issues. Participants were assigned tables with a balance of stakeholder type represented at each (government, manufacturer, recycler, etc.). Each table was tasked with discussion questions such as: 1) what are the potential benefits and drawbacks of eco-fee approaches for the US? 2) What questions would need to be addressed for using them at the state and federal level? 3) Is this different for a state with or without laws? 4) What are best practices for tracking and overseeing recyclers who manage CRTs and CRT glass? 5) What new ideas might help all stakeholders in the future? 6) How can ERCC help to create best practices for tracking CRT glass? 7) What do we do when there is a problem? Some of the challenges communicated about eco-fees during the group discussions were deciding how the fees would be determined and who would collect them, how a recycler would be chosen and how we could ensure that devices are actually recycled. On the positive side, participants noted that eco-fees might be able to drive good environmental performance, could be a valuable educational tool, might drive down competition, would offer a potentially better auditing process, and might simplify compliance. On the topic of CRTs and CRT glass, most groups agreed that financial assurance and downstream tracking was a concern and required consistency. Some thought it was important that a facility could declare a maximum capacity, and felt that regular inspections to monitor capacity concerns should be built-in. The need for trained auditors and enforcement were also mentioned as keys to a more competent system. All in all, both the annual member meeting and the workshop experienced robust participation and provided multiple take-aways that will help ERCC with direction into 2018. Please contact Jason Linnell if you have any questions.
NCER Executive Director Speaks During Plenary Session II At
E-Scrap – Topic: What’s Trending Now
Moderator: Corey Dehmey, SERI
– Bob Johnson, National Association for Information Destruction
– Jason Linnell, NCER
– Sarah Downes, ProSUM
– David Daoud, Compliance Standards
Jason’s presentation can be downloaded HERE.
Photo Credits: Brian Adams
Recent CEC Study on Exports of Used Electronics from North America
NCER participated in the final phase of research with MIT for a study recently published by the NAFTA Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) on the transboundary and domestic flows of used electronics in North America.
The full CEC press release is available at:
Read the study here:
Looking Back and Planning Forward: Progress Under State Laws and the Challenge of the Changing E-Scrap Pile
Tuesday, September 20 / 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Free for ERCC Members / $75 for non-ERCC Members / Registration required
This workshop, hosted by the Electronics Recycling Coordination Clearinghouse (ERCC), will discuss the latest successes and challenges under the implementation of the 25 state electronics recycling laws (and now DC). Workshop participants will hear about the latest updates to the laws from this year, such as those in Minnesota, and discuss what lessons can be drawn from them. The workshop will also address how these programs will need to adapt to the changing mix of product types that are expected in the recycling stream over the next several years. ERCC welcomes all participants to attend in order to bring their observations to this lively discussion.
U.S. consumers are estimated to have purchased more than 1 billion devices in 2015 with over 3.8 billion devices in use or storied in households.
Every year, new electronic cycles increase, leaving both a large amount of consumer electronics needing to be recycled and an exciting opportunity to enable electronic material reuse and materials recovery. Reuse, refurbishment, and recycling activities capture the value of the devices and their components, protect human health and the environment by executing responsible used device management, and conserve the resources embedded in the devices so they are available tomorrow for new uses. Continue reading “New Release! The Electronics Recycling Landscape Report”
The Electronics Recycling Coordination Clearinghouse (ERCC) has released the first study comparing state-level consumer awareness levels of electronics recycling programs as well as other important consumer preferences. Previous surveys of consumer awareness on electronics recycling have focused on a nationwide rate or on a single state. ERCC undertook the surveys in order to establish an additional measure of performance for electronics recycling programs, and to compare rates of awareness of electronics recycling options among states as well as ask other important questions. After developing a survey script with 10 standard questions on awareness, collection preference, barriers to recycling and other topics, ERCC surveyed member states who stepped forward to fund their survey costs, as well as other member and non-member states made possible by affiliate member contributions.
In all, ERCC surveyed 6 states WITHOUT electronics recycling laws and 6 states WITH electronics recycling laws at varying levels of confidence. To carry out the surveys, ERCC contracted with Service 800, a company with 20 years of experience in the design and execution of customer satisfaction measurement surveys.
A list of the states participating in the survey were as follows:
- New York
The consumer awareness surveys accumulated information on the following key topic areas:
- Consumers’ knowledge of electronics recycling opportunities
- How consumers handle electronics at end of life
- Barriers to recycling used/unwanted electronics
- Consumers’ knowledge of landfill bans
To read the Consumer Awareness Survey summary report in its entirety, you can find it HERE. For more information on ERCC, please see www.ecycleclearinghouse.org
The ERCC held a workshop at E-Scrap 2015 in Orlando, FL on Tuesday, September 1st.
This workshop, hosted by the Electronics Recycling Coordination Clearinghouse (ERCC), discussed recent trends of increasing calls for modifications to legislated state electronics recycling programs. Many state programs are holding stakeholder discussions and contemplating legislative changes to address challenges in implementation. Workshop attendees heard from a panel of manufacturers about their views on what is working and where programs should head. They also worked in small groups to develop constructive next steps and a common understanding of the issues.
The agenda was as follows:
1:00 – 1:15 PM – Introductions and Overview
ERCC Background; Summary and results of 2014 workshop; Goals for the workshop
1:15 – 2:15 PM – Q&A Session with Manufacturers: What’s Working/What’s Not with State Laws? What is the preferred role for the manufacturer?
2:15 – 2:45 PM – Small Group Sessions. Reactions to manufacturer suggestions and survey questions; What challenges are faced by other stakeholders?; What are potential solutions to the overlapping challenges?
2:45 – 3:00 PM – Break
3:00 – 3:30 PM – Report from Small Groups – Any ideas from more than one group overlap? How feasible are they?
3:30 – 4:00 PM – Areas of Agreement/ Potential ERCC Action
Notes from Workshop:
- State Targets
- Manufacturer Enforcement
- Verification of recycling costs
- Sales Data (state vs. national vs. 3rd party data)
- Communications Channels can be cumbersome
- Definitions: Manufacturers and States working together. Set unified calendars. Product scope uniformity.
- Sales Data: set up a dispute resolution regime.
- Verification: Create templates for downstream verifications.
- Industry needs to unify and become clear unifying leader in efforts, followed by states.
- Map out which states have more flexibility to make changes vs. those who require legislative fixes.