Sustainable Electronics Recycling (SERI) released the first major update of the R2 standard since 2013 in July 2020, providing a list of new standards for IT asset disposition enterprises. Following the scope and EH&S management system updates, next on the list are legal requirements, tracking throughput, and sorting, categorization, and processing.
Among the many problems resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, China’s power grid is high on the list of global issues. Factories have been forced to shut down due to skyrocketing energy prices and high demand. Now that more countries are reopening after the COVID lockdowns, demand for China’s export factories has increased, leading the country into a power grid crisis just before the busy holiday season. Power outages have been reported across the country, along with several blackouts, causing factories to slow or shut down completely, not only slowing the country’s economy further, but potentially disrupting global supply chains as well. Though the shortage has become a country-wide issue, the bulk of the affected area has been eastern China, where the majority of the population lives and works.
The IT asset disposition industry is widely known in the recycling world for the safe, and environmentally friendly disposal of electronic waste. However, many people may not be aware of the industry, and in addition, some electronic scrap facilities focus only on reuse and refurbishment of electronics, especially in the state of Texas. “The Recycling Market Development Plan,” required by Senate Bill 649, was recently published by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and found that the capacity for e-scrap processing exceeds the amount of e-scrap collected for recycling. When compared with the amount of e-scrap the state disposed of in 2019, this may seem strange. The report states that 35.1 million pounds of e-scrap were recycled, while 531.4 million pounds were processed for disposal.
Today marks the fourth annual International E-Waste Day, developed by the WEEE Forum to raise awareness about the proper disposal of e-waste, and highlight the importance of recycling electronics, with an overall goal of raising re-use, recovery and recycling rates. As recently as 2019, a total of 53.6 million metric tonnes of electronic waste was generated, and only 17.4% was collected and properly recycled. E-waste is not as easily disposed of as regular waste, tossing your old cell phone, computer or tablet into the waste bin will do more harm than good, and may even be dangerous in some cases.