As one of the largest shows for the electronics scrap industry, the 14th annual E-Scrap 2016 Conference gathered industry professionals from across the globe to meet and discuss e-recycling industry issues, topics and trends. Located at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans, the conference was held September 20-22.
Attendees were provided with a taste of the show before entering the exhibit hall with a prominent display of Sims Recycling Solutions’ (SRS) on-site hard drive destruction service vehicle parked outside of the building. Otherwise inside the exhibit hall SRS staff volunteered to assist Resource Recycling in the collection of pledge forms to raise funds for Together Baton Rouge, an organization created to provide flood relief and assistance to the Baton Rouge community.
Amongst the humidity, the New Orleans energy exerted at the conference created the perfect setting for education and collaboration within the industry. Here is an outline of some key takeaways from the conference.
- Smaller format items, such as watches, may introduce challenges – The opening panel discussion, which included Steve Skurnac of SRS, touched on the challenges the industry will face with smaller format items, such as watches, and associated costs for the disposal of these items.
- Data security concerns aren’t going anywhere – As data security concerns continue to rise, downstream due diligence will become more important than ever.
- The industry is pushing for a U.S. federal e-recycling law – Discussions were made to put more emphasis on establishing federal collection and disposal regulations to replace the existing U.S. state-by-state programs.
- There is still no unanimous agreement on how to manage CRT glass disposition – CRT glass has been an ongoing topic of discussion as only limited and high-cost solutions exist. Arguments were made questioning why they should ship this material overseas when local solutions remain. Others countered with their disapproval of landfills being a current local solution. Regardless, the costly solutions that do exist leave many recyclers and/or OEMs in search of alternative routes.
- Some regions are struggling with producer responsibility laws – Ontario, Canada is currently changing their law surrounding producer responsibility. Similarly in other regions, recyclers are experiencing troubles in financing their processes to maintain compliance with applicable laws and certification standards.
- Newer Light-Weight products continue to create a disconnect in manufacturer obligations – Weights of the items collected for recycling are much heavier than the light-weight material going out into the market today, causing issues with current manufacturer collection obligations.
- Commodity-based business models are no longer sustainable – Commodity values have been low and tend to fluctuate often and dramatically. Driving business focused around commodity prices has hurt many in the industry.
Click here for more details regarding the Opening Panel Discussion at E-Scrap 2016.