Posted on 10/06/2013 in category General

Workshop on E-Scrap:

Workshop heralds new BIR Electronic Scrap Committee

Brussels, 10 June 2013

At the BIR’s latest Convention, a workshop on electronic scrap (e-scrap) was organised as a forerunner to the formation of the world recycling organisation’s new Electronic Scrap Committee, which will operate under the auspices of the BIR Non-Ferrous Metals Division and will be chaired by Phär Oscár of Stena Metall in Sweden who has more than 20 years’ experience in this field.

Speaking in Shanghai, Mr Oscár said that the BIR committee would raise the profile of e-scrap, which he described as a “rather complicated” mix of metals, plastics, glass and even wood, as well as some hazardous materials. Although he had members in mind for the new committee, he also asked other potential participants to contact him to actively contribute to the new E- Scrap Committee.

BIR’s Environmental & Technical Director Ross Bartley pointed to some of the ways in which the new committee might “add value” - for example, through identifying best practice and policies “that actually work” with regard to e-scrap, as well as through helping companies and authorities assess the various and many certification standards and programmes in use nationally and globally. The Chairman Phär Oscár agreed that the committee could examine the various standards applying to e-scrap and help educate the industry and authorities about them.

Ms Robin Wiener, President of the US Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), applauded the formation of the new BIR committee given that e-scrap was “an issue that is not going away” and that “export bans are not going to resolve the underlying problem”. ISRI believed that there should be a ban on exports of used electronic products (UEPs) destined for landfill or incineration, but no restrictions on exports of commodity-grade scrap and fully-tested, working UEPs for reuse, she explained.

Also at the workshop in Shanghai, Professor Jinhui Li of Tsinghua University delivered a status report on electronics recycling in China, confirming that 100m units of e-scrap had been collected since new regulations were introduced in 2011. And an electronics producer perspective was provided by Patrick Lin of Wistron Corporation Taiwan who outlined his company’s mission to provide clients with “cradle-to-cradle” closed-loop solutions.