By Paul Ploumis (ScrapMonster Author)
September 29, 2016 08:49:13 PM
SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): The E-Scrap 2016 Conference held recently in New Orleans has stated that value of e-scrap commodity streams are likely to be badly impacted by smaller size of consumer electronics. This in turn may affect the profit margins of companies handling recovery of materials from discarded electronics.
The Conference held a panel titled “Rising Revenues in Reuse and Repair”, which was attended by Tyler Shegerian of Electronics Recyclers International (ERI), Willie Cade of PC Builders & Recyclers and Joe Morrow of Belmont Trading. The panel discussion held on September 21st was moderated by Kyle Wiens of iFixit.
The panelists noted that the manufacturing side continues to evolve with more and smaller devices being introduced to the stream. Most of the consumer electronics are getting smaller. The companies who deal with recycling of electronic scrap and recovery of valuable materials from them are likely to see their profits hit, mainly due to the sharp drop in recovery volumes combined with the falling e-scrap values. According to them, the industry must focus on various ways to move forward in the midst of challenges. They demonstrated various methods by which entities could fix the incoming material stream so as to maximize their profits. Meantime, the speakers also emphasized on the need for giving top priority to environmental safety. The recyclers must also focus on offering protection and security of digital data, they said.
Eminent industry professionals attended the opening panel discussion held earlier during the day. The panelists included Steve Skurnac of Sims Recycling Solutions (SRS), Billy Johnson of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Adam Dumes of Cohen Electronics, and Craig Boswell of HOBI International. The panel discussion centered on evolving enterprise and consumer IT material streams and was moderated by Jeff Sacre of non-profit trade association CHWMEG.
The panel discussion covered various topics including challenges in the shifting stream of material heading into e-scrap facilities. The tremendous growth of wearable electronics market causes big challenge to e-scrap industry. The advanced electronic components in these devices have led to significant size reduction. However, the labor costs involved with their recovery too has gone high.
A second tough hurdle faced by e-scrap processors is the tight export regulations prevailing in the country. Off late, there has been allegation that electronic scrap is being exported in large quantities to overseas destinations, mainly to countries in Asia. The panelists noted that the federal government needs to announce proper financing system to provide economic incentives to e-scrap processors in order to encourage domestic processing of these goods.
The 14th annual E-scrap 2016 Conference held at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans September 20-22 attracted industry professionals from across the globe. More than 1,200 people from 48 states, seven provinces and 34 countries attended the event. The event provided extensive and detailed industry assessments by leading experts in the field of electronics recycling. Over 125 companies in the industry showcased their products and services in the trade show.
E-Scrap 2017 will be held Sept. 18-20 in Orlando, Florida.