Posts Tagged ‘e-waste’

CEO & Business Leaders Summit 2015

Posted by GlobalPSC at 9:33 pm, November 24th, 2015Comments1

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GlobalPSC CEO Russ Martin was invited to participate again this year in the CEO & Business Leaders Summit in Sydney, Australia. The Summit is a gathering of a global alliance of CEOs, senior executives and experts involved in creating advanced and sustainable projects worldwide. Speakers at the event are shown above and their roles are highlighted here.

Russ’s presentation on global projects and initiatives highlighted some of challenges of managing various wastes, especially for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).  The GlobalPSC’s collaboration with the SMaRT Centre at the University of New South Wales and proposed research on global WEEE models were also addressed. The presentation is available to GlobalPSC members in the Knowledge Base. Other speakers highlighted a range of challenges including changing resource and economic needs in China and South East Asia, opportunities for the circular economy and development of smart cities, sustainable financing, G20 discussions and emerging technologies with an emphasis on medical technologies.

 

R2 Pilot Expansion in Latin America

Posted by GlobalPSC at 9:57 pm, August 25th, 2015Comments1

SERI‘s Latin America pilot project has shifted to helping participating recyclers learn and implement the requirements in the R2 Standard, following Spanish and Portuguese translations of the R2 Standard.

Now SERI and project partners Greeneye Partners, DIRECTV, Oracle, Sims Recycling Solutions and Arrow Electronics have announced that Greeneye Partners has completed site visits for the recycling facilities participating in the project,and performed a gap analysis for facilities in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Ecuador. R2 implementation training is also being offered to facility managers and environmental, health, and safety representatives.

“Stakeholders throughout electronics recycling community have recognized the need for more responsible, safe, and sustainable management of used electronics in Central and South America. By working with our partners to increase the number of responsible recycling options, SERI hopes to set a positive example others can build on. There is still much work to be done, but  this project represents an important first step in improving the overall quality of electronics recycling in the region”, Henry Leineweber, Program Director for SERI, told the GlobalPSC.

Progress to date has been encouraging, though many challenges remain such as communicating the importance of responsible recycling and the need for R2 certification in the region.  Developing cost-effective infrastructure to support certification, including local consultants and auditors, translated versions of EHSMS plans and documents, and acceptable end-markets for materials will also prove essential.

e-Waste Product Stewardship for New Zealand Report

Posted by GlobalPSC at 4:30 pm, August 24th, 2015Comments2

The final report to develop an e-waste product stewardship framework for the New Zealand Ministry for Environment is now available.

 

Celebrating Five Years of Industry-led Electronics Recycling in Prince Edward Island

Posted by GlobalPSC at 12:26 pm, August 3rd, 2015Comments1

The Electronic Products Recycling Association (EPRA) recently celebrated five years of coverage on Canada’s Prince Edward Island (PEI).

In that five years, EPRA has collected and recycled more than 3,000 metric tonnes of unwanted electronics in the province. “That’s approximately 465,000 TVs, computers, printers and a myriad of other electronic devices diverted from landfill and illegal export,” said Cliff Hacking, President and CEO of EPRA. “Not only are these products being recycled responsibly, but they also yield a host of valuable materials such as steel, copper, silver, palladium and glass that is put back into the manufacturing supply chain,” said Hacking.

L-R: Gerard MacLellan, Executive Director of EPRA Atlantic Canada; Cliff Hacking – President and CEO of EPRA; The Hon Robert Mitchell, Minister of Communities, Land and Environment (PEI); Gerry Moore, CEO of Island Waste Management

EPRA is a not-for-profit, industry-led organisation that works in partnership with manufacturers, retailers, municipal governments and consumers to ensure end-of-life electronics are diverted from landfills and recycled in an efficient and environmentally responsible manner. “It’s a strong partnership model that’s seen success here in Prince Edward Island and across the country,” said Hacking.

This view was supported by Minister Mitchell, saying “Islanders can and should be proud of what’s been achieved here over the last five years” and “(t)his level of commitment to responsibly recycling electronics is a true reflection of their belief in being responsible stewards of our beautiful province.”
 The Minister commended EPRA PEI and more than 300 participating retailers, manufacturers, distributors and suppliers of regulated electronics in the province for making the program a success.

EPRA’s success in PEI is attributed primarily to 80% program awareness in the province and to convenient access to collection depots, with 99% of the population within 30 kilometres of an EPRA drop-off depot.

 

São Paulo Brazil Introduces Reverse Logistics Requirements for Products and Packaging

Posted by GlobalPSC at 6:34 pm, July 31st, 2015Comments1

São Paulo Brazil’s Department of the Environment has introduced obligations on manufacturers, importers, distributors and traders for reverse logistics systems for a range of products and packaging (with some specified exemptions). Specified products include:

  • used lubricating oil
  • edible oil
  • automotive oil filters
  • automotive batteries
  • portable batteries and batteries
  • electronic products and components
  • fluorescent, sodium vapor, mercury and mixed lights
  • scrap tires
  • expired or unused medicines

The GlobalPSC is in the process of seeking clarification of several key provisions and will advise accordingly.

 

Guest Blog – E-waste Targets Must Go Up

Posted by GlobalPSC at 2:41 pm, May 14th, 2015Comments1

john_gertsakisThe Global Product Stewardship Council periodically invites thought leaders on product stewardship and producer responsibility to contribute guest blogs. Our guest blogger for this post is John Gertsakis, Chief Sustainability Officer for Infoactiv. John is also a member of the GlobalPSC Advisory Group

 

Clear and logical support grows for increased recycling targets under Australia’s National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme (NTCRS).

Australia’s electronics recycling scheme is currently subject to an Operational Review by the Australian Government, and many stakeholders, including the Waste Management Association of Australia, are expecting the recycling targets to be sharply increased.

Anything other than a significant increase will continue to exacerbate stockpile creation, questionable recycling practices, and the appalling situation of Co-regulatory Arrangements (industry programs) terminating or minimising collection and recycling services to local councils across urban and regional Australia.

The NTCRS has achieved significant collection and recycling outcomes in a product category that was in urgent need of industry-wide Product Stewardship attention and industry support. The Product Stewardship Act and the subordinate regulations represent landmark policy reform aimed at applying the principles of Extended Producer Responsibility to unwanted, obsolete and end-of-life electronics. Infoactiv remains very supportive of the NTCRS and its achievements to date.

The majority of participating stakeholders wish to see the NTCRS expand and thrive as it continues to deliver measurable environmental, social and economic benefits. However the continuation of ‘easy-to reach’ recycling targets does nothing to demonstrate genuine CSR goals, nor do low targets address the vast volume of television and computer waste that continues to flood into landfills in all States and Territories.

We receive several calls each week from frustrated local councils that have had their collection and recycling service withdrawn by industry Arrangements under the NTCRS. And ‘frustrated’ is the polite translation of how they express their views. These are not isolated instances but a steady stream of municipalities who are now having to bear the cost burden of industry not recycling the very products that they produce and place on the market.

Most importantly, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for the Environment is perfectly placed to significantly increase the enforceable targets under the NTCRS and swiftly deal with several issues that require prompt and decisive attention.

Low-level target increases will continue to aggravate key issues at a time when the scheme needs proactive adjustment by the Australian Government. More information about the Government’s Operational Review that is currently underway can be found here.

Ongoing research and data collection by Planet Ark underscores the importance of the NTCRS given the number of public enquiries received every week wanting information about where and how to recycle unwanted televisions, computers and IT peripherals. Consumers, householders, small business and the wider public have clear expectations that manufacturers and brands in particular must play a greater role in managing the total product life cycle of their product beyond the point of sale and warranties. This merely reflects current activity in many other OECD countries.

In summary, Infoactiv believes that the NTCRS is a fundamentally sound and innovative scheme that addresses a significant and growing resource recovery imperative related to the consumption and disposal of television and IT equipment. The Department of the Environment is to be commended for its efforts in successfully launching and administering the NTCRS since inception in 2011.

Additional detail about our 10 point plan to adjust and improve the NTCRS can be found here.

We also recognise that any new, nationwide initiative such as the NTCRS will experience establishment phase glitches and minor hurdles, which only serve to inform the scheme’s long-term performance and success.

The Environment Minister’s option is very clear; sharply increase the enforceable collection targets, and do it swiftly. This will not only meet community expectation, it will also address the genuine needs of local councils nationwide, especially those that have been ignore by industry.

Most importantly, and often overlooked, is the unequivocal fact that a target increase under the NTCRS will further maximise resource recovery levels and better manage hazardous substances that are otherwise ending up in Australian landfills.

Losing such scarce and non-renewable resources at a time when the solution is available, obvious and uncomplicated would reflect poorly on the necessary policy reforms that are urgently required.

As always, greater public discussion about the NTCRS and how to achieve positive outcomes is welcome and encouraged.

The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Global Product Stewardship Council. 

John Gertsakis is a sustainability practitioner with over 20 years experience as an industry adviser, consultant and research academic. He works on a range of issues including Product Stewardship for electronics and EPR strategy, regulatory analysis, government relations and environmental communications. Through his current position as Chief Sustainability Officer with Infoactiv, John’s work is focused on strategic business development and the design of new stewardship solutions for manufactured durables.

John served as Executive Director of Product Stewardship Australia from 2006 – 2011, representing global consumer electronics brands and OEMs. He was deeply involved as a key advocate of the Product Stewardship Act 2011 and sat on the Implementation Working Group for the NTCRS. He authored Australia’s first report on e-waste product stewardship in 1995 titled: Short Circuiting Waste from Electronic Products. He was also the co-author and editor of Return to Sender: An Introduction to Extended Producer Responsibility (1997). John is also Vice President of the Australian Battery Recycling Initiative, and an Honorary Fellow of the Design Institute of Australia.

 

Consultation on New Zealand e-Waste Product Stewardship Draft Report

Posted by GlobalPSC at 12:40 pm, May 14th, 2015Comments0

The team developing an e-waste product stewardship framework for New Zealand has released a Draft Report to stakeholders for comment.

The report contains domestic and international issues for managing e-waste, stakeholder input, data analysis, options considered and a recommended framework.

Stakeholders are invited to email written comments on the #eWasteNZ Draft Report to ewasteNZ@slrconsulting.com by Friday 22 May 2015 in order to help inform a final version that will be submitted to the Ministry for the Environment for consideration. If any difficulties accessing the document arise, a PDF version is available by emailing ewasteNZ@slrconsulting.com.

 

GlobalPSC Member – National E-Waste Alliance

Posted by GlobalPSC at 8:47 am, January 30th, 2015Comments0

Conceived in 2009 and incorporated in 2012, the National E-Waste Alliance (NEWA) exists to better enable Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs) to create financially viable, sustainable EWaste recycling businesses – and provide ongoing employment opportunities to their disabled staff.

While the emergence of EWaste recycling has provided many new employment opportunities for ADE’s, the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme presents a range of management challenges for many of these small social enterprises such as compliance and reporting, procurement, logistics, cost analysis, productivity and training.

NEWA helps ADE’s navigate accreditation requirements and regulations surrounding the EWaste sector, such as the Product Stewardship Act 2011.

With collective decades of experience in the EWaste and Recycling Sectors, NEWA has proven effective in facilitating the ADE’s practical day-to-day operations in a collaborative manner so that each site is fully optimized for commercial success in a way that recognizes the core values of the enterprise – the gainful employment of people with disability.

 

Guest Blog – Good Year for R2

Posted by GlobalPSC at 2:58 pm, January 13th, 2015Comments0

The Global Product Stewardship Council periodically invites thought leaders on product stewardship and producer responsibility to contribute guest blogs. Our guest blogger for this post is John Lingelbach, Executive Director of SERI.

It has been a big year for the R2 program. Much has been accomplished – especially for a program in only its fourth year and which employs just four people. Over the past year, one of the most significant accomplishments has been the organizational transition from R2 Solutions to SERI.

We made this change so we could engage in a broader set of activities that are in line with our mission of promoting safe and sustainable electronics reuse and recycling throughout the world – particularly in Asia, Latin America, India, and Africa, where access to safe repair and recycling facilities has not kept pace with the rapidly expanding use of electronics.

One of the ways that we can expedite the work that needs to be done is to work collaboratively with others who share SERI’s goals. To that end, we established the R2 Leader program. In just a few short months, over a dozen corporations and organizations have joined. As part of the program each R2 Leader has identified steps they will take to promote safe and sustainable electronics reuse and recycling somewhere in the world. It is encouraging to see the energy and resources going into some of these efforts. For example, DirecTV is providing training in a number of Latin American countries. Other Leaders, such as Xerox and Goodwill, have taken steps to support and expand the collection of used electronics. A number of other projects in early stages of development will improve the electronics reuse and recycling landscape in various regions of the world.

On another front, we have just completed the transition from the original R2:2008 Standard to R2:2013. The new version of the Standard has a deep emphasis on quality and consistency, with new environmental health and safety planning, record keeping and documentation review requirements. Nearly 90% of all R2:2008 certified facilities upgraded to R2:2013.

Perhaps the most important SERI initiative this year is the development and initial implementation of SERI’s R2 Quality Program. Nothing is more critical to SERI’s work than the integrity of the R2 program, and nothing presents a greater set of challenges. Promoting consistency within the auditing community, and a solid understanding among facilities getting certified, is essential. Identifying and removing any bad actors is even more important. SERI is absolutely committed to doing everything in its means to maintain and enhance the overall quality of the R2 program.

2014 was a pivotal and transformative year for SERI and for the R2 Standard. Spring boarding from the momentum of the past year, SERI is well positioned to make considerable progress in advancing the cause of safe and sustainable repair and recycling around the world in the upcoming year as well as years to come.

The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Global Product Stewardship Council.

John Lingelbach is the Executive Director of SERI – Sustainable Electronics Recycling International, formerly known as R2 Solutions. SERI is the nonprofit organization that administers and educates people about the R2 Standard and Certification Program. Mr. Lingelbach has served as Executive Director, as well as on the organization’s Board of Directors, since its inception, and previously in these capacities for R2 Solutions since its inception in 2010. From 2006 to 2009, he managed the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s development of the R2 Standard. Mr. Lingelbach is an attorney from the United States who has focused throughout his professional career on matters relating to innovations in environmental law and policy. Mr. Lingelbach received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Virginia School of law.

 

Australia Conducts Operational Review of National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme

Posted by GlobalPSC at 12:52 pm, December 2nd, 2014Comments2

Australia is conducting an operational review of its National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme (the scheme). Australia’s Minister for the Environment, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, announced the scheme’s review on 22 September 2014. A fact sheet and discussion paper on the review are now available. The Department of the Environment has invited submissions on the operational review by 6 February 2015.

The scheme was established nearly three years ago to achieve the following key objectives:

  • Recycle televisions and computers rather than landfill them.
  • Build on existing e-waste management activities across Australia, including ongoing activities by private and charitable recyclers and state and local government efforts.
  • Implement a progressively higher annual recycling target to increase television and computer recycling to 80 per cent within 10 years.
  • To incentivise investment, increase capacity and create employment within the recycling industry in Australia.
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