E-Waste & E-Recycling Webinar

July 28, 2009

CAROLYN PHILLIPS: All right. Welcome everyone.

We're very excited that you're with us this afternoon. We

know your time is really valuable, and we appreciate you

seeing this webinar as a good way to spend your time.

This webinar will be on our website, the

passitoncenter.org website, in an archive. We've got all

of our webinars archived up there.

And I was just talking with Yvette about how many

hits we're getting to that website, and so many people are

actually listening to these. Feel free to do that. If you

would like to listen to this webinar again or pass it on to

a colleague, feel free to do that.

Kimberly Griffin, who is our transcriptionist, is

on with us. And she is able to get these up pretty

quickly, within two to three weeks.

And we appreciate you, Kimberly, so much for doing


The name of this webinar is E-Waste and

E-Recycling. And I'm going to be doing a very small part

of the presentation. Jessica Brodey, who is working with

us with the Pass It On Center will be doing part of the

presentation also.

We're very happy to have Yvette Marrin, executive

director -- president, actually, of the National Cristina

Foundation, with us.

And also Jason from the National Center for

Electronics Recycling is going to introduce us to his


So I'm really glad that all of you are with us, and

I'm glad that you're here with us today.

I'm going to just give you a short orientation to

the webinar room itself so that everybody knows how this


Over to the right is our public-chat area. If

you've been watching this, then you're seeing that a lot of

the -- you know, the information that you -- type in what

you want to type in, and then all the public chat keeps

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If you look right below the public-chat box,

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Feel free to enter questions into that box. And we'll try

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Down below that you'll see some icons. There's a

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is the follow-me. It's the icon for follow-me. I'm

actually doing that right now. There's also some other

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And then if you look down below, you'll see all the

people that are online with us. And it looks like we've

got 21 folks so far, and that's great. 22. Just changed.

And then down below there's the speaker and then

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can actually turn that off.

Several folks actually are recording this, I see.

And so feel free to record it.

Okay. And I'm going to go ahead and refresh the

slide, and we'll get started with our presentation.

E-waste and e-recycling is definitely one of the

topics that folks have been interested in. When we first

were developing our agenda for the things that we were

going to tackle with our national task force, e-waste

definitely was on top of the list. And so we are working

through that list, as you know, and have got a lot of good

feedback from y'all.

We are actually going to have this as part of our

series of talks about e-waste and e-recycling so that more

folks that, as you're growing your program and growing in

this field, that you can actually do this in a more

responsible way, make you aware of some of the laws and

policies you should be considering and some of the

resources that are actually out there.

As I said, we see this as a series. We're going to

continue to grow in this topic. We are planning -- we are

going to be at ATIA in Chicago, and we're not going to do a

session there. We are excited about going to ATIA in

Chicago this October.

But in January, one of the sessions that we're

going to be really focusing on is going to be on this topic

of e-waste and e-recycling.

So if you are going to be at ATIA, which we hope

you will, we're planning on doing our strand again and also

a preconference on how to start a computer reuse program.

We will have this as one of our topics. So we encourage

you to join us there at ATIA in January.

We also hope that you will join us in Atlanta in

September, September 15th through the 17th. This topic

will also be discussed there at our conference. It's going

to be the National AT Reuse Conference in Atlanta. That's

September 15th through the 17th. So mark your calendar.

Basically, e-waste and e-recycling, it's not just

something that we need to pay attention to because it's a

good thing to pay attention to and, you know, it's great

for the environment and all of that. It's something that

we have to -- we absolutely have to start paying more

attention to and making sure that we're operating in a very

green way, in a very friendly way to the earth. And so

you're going to get some ideas from this presentation.

Yvette Marrin, as I said, the president of the

National Cristina Foundation, is going to start us off on

this topic and share some ideas with us and some of her

concepts around this.

And then Jessica Brodey is going to take us looking

more at policies that are out there and also raise our

awareness about things that we need to be thinking about

when it comes to laws, legislation, different things that

are happening on a national level.

And Jason is going to introduce us, as I said, to

his organization and some of the work that he's doing and

also share some resources with us. So we'll be exploring

his website, the National Center For Electronics Recycling.

Then we'll have some question-and-answer time, and

then we'll wrap up.

So without further ado, I'm going to go ahead and

turn this on over to Yvette.

Welcome, Yvette. Thank you so much. As I said in

the past, I've learned so much from you and from your

organization and am just thrilled that you are going to be

with us today.

So Yvette Marrin.

Okay. It looks like Yvette -- did Yvette lose her


YVETTE MARRIN: I'm here. Are you doing the slide

changes, or am I? Okay. Let me see if this is -- no.

Carolyn, you have to change the slides as I ask you to. We

had agreed upon that, I believe. So sorry for that.

Next slide, please, Carolyn.

Hello? The other way. It's not going. There we


Some of you may notice on the lower left it says

"Machines you can write off; people you can't."

This is our work that we've been doing for the past

25 years. When we came first on the scene, the subject of

reuse was a topic that people just did not talk about. We

didn't even have terminology for that term.

"Utilization" was the term we had to use at the

beginning, and then the lexicon moved us to a shorter way

of saying it: Reuse.

What we do is we work nationally across the United

States and in other parts of the world working to make sure

that no computer that comes out of its first place of use

is wasted if it can make a difference in someone's life.

Next slide, please.

Clearly I'm reiterating again on this slide that

the fact of the matter is that our primary motivation

traditionally has always been to advance training agendas

and providing hope to people who might not otherwise have

access to computers.

But as you know, everyone, you have to be

responsible about what happens across the lifecycle of the

computer. If you are distributing it, you must, as all of

us must do, consider the environmental implications of our


Next slide, please.

So what is a shared responsibility? I state a few

things here. All of us cannot do this alone. Computers or

any other electronics or other devices, as they come out of

their first place of use, cannot be wasted.

But then what? What are the environmentally

friendly ways to assure us that machines will not end up in


In the next three years or so, it is seen that

there will be over 400 million computers, if you think

about it, that are coming out of their first place of use.

There are cell phones. More than 75 percent of all

computers that are sold very often remain stockpiled in

closets and warehouses, places where they're doing no one

any good and are just accumulating.

Next slide.

Today "Reduce, reuse, and recycle" is a mantra that

is stated by many organizations who are advocating for

responsible disposal. But those are words. What do they

really mean?

If you think about "reduce," reduce is waste

prevention. It is looking at the practice of designing,

manufacturing, purchasing, reusing materials -- for

example, in their products, in their packaging areas -- in

ways that they can reduce the amount of toxicity of trash

that is created.

In other words, from the beginning of the

lifecycle, as you're manufacturing the machines or the

devices or whatever you are making, try to incorporate

within the manufacturing cycle the products that can do the

least harm in terms of toxicity of the environment when

they are disposed of through waste-collection processes.

Not so simple, however. That's why we need to

consider where are we up to in that whole cycle.

Responsible reuse takes into consideration the

specific stage in the lifecycle of technology that is

coming out of its first place of use and evaluates what is

the most appropriate disposition for such technology.

Again, what does that mean?

There have been estimates that, if you use a

computer and a monitor, instead of just recycling it at the

end of its useful life to you, let's say three or four

years -- business used to have a three-year lifecycle. Now

it's four or five years because of the economic downturn.

If you reuse it for an extra few years, for

example, let's say an extra three or four years, you're

saving 32 tons of air pollution, 30 pounds of waste, and

maybe 7,000 total watts of electricity.

Someone once said that, if a company reuses a

hundred PCs instead of recycling them, that is the

equivalent of taking 48 cars off the road for a year.

So again, we're looking at carbon footprints. And

reducing that through reuse is part of the responsibility

cycle that we all share as we use products.

Please next slide.

Recycling. Here's the challenging one. When

computers or other electronics reach the end of their

lifecycle, we are confronted with the challenge of

disposing of these products as they become e-waste, a term

that you've heard a lot about. But what does that really


And here is a very big challenge. Many people have

seen the films that are coming out of China or other places

where the rivers are totally filled with toxic wastes;

communities are ill; people are dying from the chemicals

they're exposed to.

And the world is getting tired of being our garbage

pail. And so much is still shipped abroad.

So when computers or other electronics reach the

end of their lifecycle, why are we struggling with that?

Let's look and see what is e-waste. Let's look inside a


Can we go to the next slide, please.

Okay. Here's a room. Nice, friendly monitors.

They look how we worked. We used them for years.

Wonderful tools, but what's inside?

Next slide.

I could read you the list, but you can see by

looking at it that there are all kinds of chemicals, all

kinds of corrosives or materials. Mercury you know.

People tell you don't eat fish. Well, look. They're in

switches and housing.

And people are affected by that. They get sick.

And what kind of responsibility do we have for all these

things that, when they go into the environment, what


Let's look at the next slide.

If it is not properly disposed of, it poisons

people, food, land, air, and water. This dump is an


And you see that there are three people in the

front of that image, and they are going through the stock

of stuff that was left there and trying to pull out stuff

that they think, you know, needs to be taken apart because

they're useful in some fashion to the people who are

looking for those parts.

But notice what the people are not doing. They are

not wearing hazmat suits. They are not protected from the

substances that they're touching or breathing or inhaling

in a way that is making them ill.

These images are seen in many parts of the world

today. Nigeria is one place. Other countries are getting

huge amounts of it. Africa has been a particular -- as was

China -- dumping ground for a lot of the stuff that America

did not want to have.

And recyclers will say, "Oh, we can get rid of that

for you. Just give us your stuff. We will dispose of it.

We'll take care of it for you." Well, that's one of the

ways that it had been disposed of.

Let's go on, please. Next slide.

So when you look at the waste stream that is

emerging from the computers and electronic devices, think

about some facts here.

Estimates say that over 100,000 personal computers

are disposed of every day in the United States. I can tell

you that one number that I saw the other day was actually

112,000. But I thought you'd remember 100,000 as a number

above which -- if that's happening every day, what is

happening with these items?

And of course, as I pointed out, millions of tons

of scrap end up in landfills or are sent abroad.

And I state a very basic warning: Dropping

electronic items at a recycler does not guarantee that they

will be disposed of properly. It is a very serious


Let's go on. Next slide.

We at the National Cristina Foundation decided to

put together a graphic that would demonstrate the critical

stages in the lifecycle of computers and other electronics.

I talked before about the design stage. And in

fact, some of our colleagues in the industry are saving

parts of the computers that are coming out of use and

reusing them again even as they are looking at how to

construct and design new product.

And obviously they're also looking at what are they

creating these computers out of, and how can those products

have few hazardous chemicals in them, and how they can

actually degrade better if they land up needing to be

disposed of.

And of course we're trying to discourage that any

of what is designed in landfills. We hope that it is

disposed of differently. But we haven't gotten to that

point yet. We're looking at design.

First place of use. Well, that's easy. A consumer

buys a computer. A business, a corporation gets a pile of

them to use in their work.

Consumers hold onto them a little bit longer than

do corporations. Up till the economic downturn,

corporations were buying new product at the end of three

years. They would refresh their computers that were in

their environment.

Consumers generally would hold onto them two years

longer. And also many consumers would -- within their own

family or in their neighborhood, they would often find a

place to literally pass it on.

Many other consumers hid their used computers in

the closets in their homes or left them on a corner for the

sanitation trucks to pick up or just dumped them along the

roadside. I have seen that as well.

One of the companies we work with found, by the

way, a computer that they had -- they had a tag from that

computer so they could identify it from their corporation,

and that was found in China, and they were extremely


So reuse becomes a critical next stage to enable us

to consider how to prolong the use of the technology

perhaps for a number of reasons.

First of all, as we said, machines you can write

off; people you can't. When we started our work at the

National Cristina Foundation, I can tell you that I was

almost alone in the wilderness wandering. And people would

say, "What are you going to do with those machines?"

They thought I was the crazy lady. And maybe I

was, but I wasn't going to give up on wasting machines that

had used up just a portion of their working life and had at

least, at least 40 percent of their working life left in

them and, in that time frame, could make a difference for

people in training, in quality of life, in communication,

all kinds of ways.

And we spent a number of years -- we've been around

for 25 years now -- a number of years showing the benefits

of what a previously used computer could make in a person's

life. Linking life to its promise.

Well, there comes a day when even that computer

that is being reused effectively and giving time to the

industry to come up with more efficient ways of

manufacture, prolonging the time when -- time for the

manufacturing process, which also uses energy, you know,

can enable them to save that time for the purpose of,

again, reserving and not wasting electricity and the power

and all kinds of things that go into manufacture.

The machine it's dead. It's lost its useful life.

It's time to recycle. Recycling for us was a real

challenge. As we looked across the environment around the

country, it became very clear that there were some


I'd like to go on to the next slide because you

will see material recovery there, and I've outlined that

for you because they are there to remind you that there is

an important element that ties all these conceptual areas

together: the design, the use, the reuse, the recycling,

end-of-life management.

And that is product stewardship that looks

carefully at the issues of e-waste across the entire


I can tell you that, when we first started working

with Dell computer in the year 2000 -- we're their donation

partner. If you go online on their website, for example,

you will see us there. And we worked both in the consumer

side of Dell -- people who get rid of their computers

contact us online because we have an online donation

system -- as well as in their large businesses. We work

with large business also helping them make sure that

equipment is properly reused.

And at the same time, there is a trend today that

is very important. Corporations are very concerned about

that their data is not in any way compromised. So they

want it properly cleaned off their machines.

They also want to be able to capture some of the

technology that is coming out of their environment and

resell it so they can get some value for this stuff and pay

perhaps for the cost of disposing of it or making it

possible for them, in fact, to participate in donations.

So we have given a number of companies the option

of thinking with their customers about the concept of you

can sell it, you can scrap it, and you can donate it for


Recycling has now become a little bit more complex

as people are concerned about data and about what is

happening with machines.

So the e-cycler, the recycler, has come into the

process to enable companies and the public to look at their

options and hope that, by recycling their machines, they

would be properly disposed of.

End-of-life management is part of the process of

disposal. People think that, when you go into recycling,

that's the end of the process. Well, what do you do with

the shredded items? What do you do with the parts that are

perhaps also not working anymore and need to be disposed


If it goes into a shredder today, there's a cost to

that. The economic downturn has created some extra

challenges for corporations because recyclers for a while

were just getting three cents on the pound for their scrap.

When we started working with one end-of-life

management company, they were making a profit on the stuff

that they were shredding, and so they were willing to not

charge but actually pay groups and pay corporations for

some of the scrap that they were receiving.

But end-of-life management means you are not only

breaking it down and shredding it and demanufacturing it

and making the component parts -- maybe some of it useful

for reuse, it is literally turning the machine scrap into

the component elements that then can be returned into the

manufacturing process to make chairs, plastic chairs, to

make all kinds of other product.

I remember one company coming into our office in a

meeting, and they brought four tiny little bags, and they

said, "Do you know what's in here? This is a bag of

copper, for example, and we got that out of what we had

salvaged from the scrap using some special machinery that

we were able to break it down into its base elements."

Next slide, please.

Now, everyone expects the Environmental Protection

Agency to be a good product steward group. After all,

they're the Environmental Protection Agency. And yes, they

do promote things like reuse as the first option before

recycling as a way of reducing manufacturing costs. And

they do promote another initiative they call EPeat because

they believe that improving equipment designs that address

the reconcilability would allow for more environmentally

friendly disposal practices.

But they still -- let's go on to the next one.

They still, as the Environmental Protection Agency,

don't have the authority -- they can recommend, but they

don't have the authority to force people to comply.

And thus, the development of groups like BAN, Basel

Action Network, which was an outgrowth of the UN's Basel

Convention and asks U.S. Recycler -- at this point a gym

act BAN has now been exploring e-Stewards as a certified

way of the standards that should be verified to make sure

that people are complying to appropriate ways of disposal.

And yet that is a challenge and a controversy. One

of the recyclers that we work with has said they are

working with BAN to educate them further so that --

initially they were just talking about don't send the stuff

overseas, no exporting of hazardous e-waste. But there are

other factors that now need to be considered, of course.

Don't send solid waste to landfills or

incinerators. Environmental management system in place

that abides by regulations.

You'll hear a lot more about regulations from

Jessica. And I'm sure Jason will have things to say about

that as well.

Rules governing working conditions. No prison

laboring. Proper protective gear.

I remember sitting one day at a meeting in a

nameless location -- let's put it this way -- where there

was someone who was running the prison labor system for

recycling of equipment, and people were complaining

bitterly to him saying, "Hey, they're not adequately

protected in what they're wearing. You are exploiting

these people." You know, 20 cents an hour so forth. And

the recyclers hated it because they were undercutting what

they were charging for it, much higher prices.

So that has become a real issue, and some of the

corporations now say, "Okay. No prison labor." They don't

want to get into the fight. I was at one company once

where they were picketing them against this kind of thing

to make them stop.

Next slide, please. Next slide. Thanks.

You will hear from Jessica about the regulatory

practices regarding the disposal of e-waste. The trend

today -- and I'll just make one statement about it --

mandating producer responsibility for taking back equipment

that business and individuals no longer want. Very

interesting requirement.

My colleagues in Europe who have to follow the

WEEE -- which I'll have a slide about in a moment -- tell

me that they pay up front -- I think they do that in

California as well, just to give you an example -- for the

disposal ultimately of that equipment that they're buying

brand new, but they pay in advance, and that helps

supplement what the manufacturer has to support in the

responsibility for taking back equipment that they create.

Next slide, please.

Here's a brief statement about the WEEE, Waste

Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive. That's been

in place about ten years now. I remember when it was

enacted in the European Union. And gradually more and more

countries assumed that.

The problem is that -- not very different from the

United States -- each country has a slightly different way

of doing it, and it's -- they're finding it a bit hard to

regulate. That's a challenge. And I'm sure Jessica will

address that for the United States as well.

Again, you notice producers are held responsible

for financing the collection, treatment, recovery, and

disposal of electronics.

Next slide, please.

Okay. Here's a hard question. Easy to ask;

difficult to prove. How do you verify a responsible


Here are some questions that you need to hold them

to: Do they have records about how they're processing this

in a responsible way? Do they ship any waste overseas? Do

they follow EPA guidelines? Are vendors following state

and local regulations? What are safety practices for


On our website, www.cristina.org, when you go into

that area, you will find an area called "E-Waste Disposal."

And one of the lists that we have in that area are ten

items that were developed by one of the big recycling

corporations, and they're very good questions to ask a

recycler to help them -- to help you verify if they're

legitimate and if they're really doing some of these


But let me warn you. Warnings hold up here very

well. The warning is, they might say to you, "We do not

export," but downstream, one of the groups that they give

it to who said they don't, it's hard to prove when they

don't follow what they say they are dedicated to doing.

It's a very difficult environment. And I have to

salute Jason for fighting in that environment because being

an advocate about recycling is not an easy place.

Next slide, please. Next one. Hello?

Here are some of the challenges, as I mentioned. I

want to go down to the last item on this slide with

reference to what's going on.

The EPA has an R2 initiative. R2 stands for

responsible recycling practices. And in that particular

regard, they are -- they are working to develop practices

that hold electronics recyclers to strict standards. And

some believe that these guidelines will form the

cornerstone of upcoming legislation for the recycling


Some of my colleagues who are -- they classify

themselves as responsible recyclers -- are a little bit

disappointed right now in the R2 because they've watered

down some of their statements. They had worked on the

committee for several years and actually were feeling very

discouraged when those items were watered down.

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, ISRI,

is the voice, they say, of the recycling industry. And

they want to incorporate these practices in a recycling

industries standards certification program. That is still

in the works, and we will hear more about that. And that's

one of the reasons I suggested to Carolyn we need another

webinar to go into some of those issues. There is a lot to

think about.

Let's -- since I only have a few moments left, I

would like to go to the next slide, please.

Here is some places where you can locate a

responsible recycler because somebody has taken the time to

look more closely into their functioning.

However, the Electronic Industries Alliance, the

third one -- the second one on the list, you know, they

have a map around the country. I'm not sure every single

one of those was properly vetted.

I know that Jason has suggested a few, and we put

up his site for you to look at some of the issues that he

has put up on his site.

If you go up on our site, we also have places that

you can go to in the e-waste disposal area on

cristina.org -- no H in Cristina -- to look at some

recommended places. But not all of these can be confirmed.

Even Basel Action Network, though there is a

validation process and they have third-party recyclers

looking at the process and helping to determine by their

own questions that they will ask in their own interviews of

recyclers, that's as close as I guess one can get right now

in some of this search for who is a responsible recycler.

Next slide, please. Next one. Okay.

This is a further description about EP -- EEP. I

won't stop and talk about it anymore. You can see that

either on EPA's site or Epeat.net.

Next slide.

And I provided some more website links. I believe

that EPA has two pretty good pages on their big website,

and these are -- one of them is a link to the reuse

recommendations they make. The other is to the recycling

recommendations they make.

You will also see Rethink, which is on eBay's site,

some of their efforts. We were one of the groups that

helped them start that program.

National recycling coalition. Again, a group that

looks at issues, as does Electronic Takeback Coalition.

These are worth your review.

ISRI, the Institute for Scrap Recycling Industries

that I talked about before that is working on certification

issues, they are a group that -- there have been -- some

recyclers feel that there is, for example, some credential

bashing war that they're having with BAN and -- but the

fact of the matter is perhaps some of their information

might be a little misleading, but at least they have useful

information on their site.

And I guess the caution that I'd like to give you

at this moment in time is this is a new world we're in, the

world of taking care of planet earth in a big way. Not in

a little way. Not as an afterthought.

And in that world we all have a joint

responsibility. We should be looking at these various

sites. We should be thinking about questions that we

should be saying, whether we are using electronics or

durable medical goods. It applies equally.

What's going to happen with this stuff when nobody

wants it any more? Where is it going to go? How will it

be disposed of safely? Not just for the people but for our


There's just so much the ocean can take. There's

only so much mountains can take. Landfills are filling up

and closing. China doesn't want the junk anymore. Neither

does Africa. What is going to happen with it?

We all need to be advocates. If we are in reuse,

you're in the territory that you have the responsibility --

I have it; you have it; we have it -- to look at this and

come to some collective solutions that will make a

difference for all the stuff that we are working on


We want to help people. And helping people means

also helping the world.

And I know that we will continue this conversation

at other webinars because the discussions are really just

becoming very visible everywhere. And why? Because it's

affecting us all.

Thanks, Carolyn.

CAROLYN PHILLIPS: Thank you so much.

I'm going to go ahead and load Jessica's


Do any of you have any questions that you would

like to ask Yvette at this time? If so, please either type

them in to the public-chat area -- and Yvette, you'll be

looking in that area, I know -- or raise your hand.

Okay. Thank you so much, Yvette. We do appreciate

you joining us today. And I know you'll stay on so, as

folks think about this more and consider all of this, that

they can ask you questions.

That was a very good presentation. So thanks


Jessica Brodey is up next. She is actually part of

the Pass It On Center team. She does outstanding work with

us looking at policy and liability and considering all of

those issues that we need to think of when we're

considering any number of areas that we're working on with

our AT reuse programs.

So she's actually attended several of the

conferences looking at e-waste and e-recycling and has

followed this pretty darn closely.

Jessica, thank you for joining us, as always. And

you can take it away.

JESSICA BRODEY: Let's go ahead and go to that next

slide already.

Thank you everyone for letting me come join the

webinar series today.

What I'm going to do is go over the background and

talk a little bit more about the landscape with respect to

e-waste and the laws.

The first ... (audio skip) ... what e-waste is; I'm

going to talk about the e-waste laws; and I'm going to

explain why this matters to our program.

Next slide, please.

And I'm going to talk a little bit about developing

your own e-waste policies and procedures with respect to

your projects.

First of all, e-waste is the informal name for

electronic products at the end of their useful life that

are discarded into our nation's waste stream.

It can include computers, TVs, VCRs, stereos,

copiers, fax machines. It's pretty much any type of an

electronic product that you're thinking about that ends up

being disposed of.

Next slide, please.

E-waste is just sort of this new fancy term to kind

of help us address this entire category in one fell swoop.

According to the Consumer Electronics Association,

Americans own approximately 24 electronic products per

household. When you think about that, that's a pretty

significant number.

Much of the e-waste can be refurbished or recycled

or reutilized. Instead, most of our e-waste is just simply


If you think about the number of people that are

done with cell phones and they trash them. Or they've

finished up with their PDAs when they break. They throw

them away. Or frankly, remote controls, things like that,

they just go straight to the recycling bin -- to the trash

bin rather than seeking out a place where we can reutilize

or recycle these.

At present, e-waste comes to 2 percent of the

municipal solid waste stream, but that percentage is

increasing annually. As more and more individuals are sort

of getting electronics and they're disposing of them, that

number is going to continue to climb.

Next slide, please.

In 2007, Americans disposed of approximately two

and a half million tons of e-waste. So when you start to

look at it in the absolute number, that's pretty

significant. Two and a half million tons is fairly


E-waste items can be dangerous to the environment

when thrown into a landfill. There's lead. There's

mercury. There's flame retardants. There's cadmium.

If you could go to the next slide, please.

The cost to the states to manage the landfills for

disposing of e-waste is exorbitant. In response to a lot

of the rapid increase in e-waste, many of our nation's --

many of our states are starting to enact e-waste laws.

E-waste laws regulate the disposal of e-waste in

landfills. That's what we're talking about when we talk

about the e-waste regulatory landscape. It's all the

different laws that pertain to how we can get rid of


Most of these laws currently address TVs, computer

monitors, and laptop computer screens over four inches.

And there are a couple of key approaches for how these laws

are trying to address the problems.

First, there's disposal bans. Some of them are

just flat-out bans on getting rid of certain things.

Others deal with fees for disposing of e-waste in the


So if you're going to take something to a dumping

ground, to a landfill, there's a fee involved in dropping

it off there.

Other ... (audio skip) ... a recycling fee to the

consumers when you buy your product in the first instance.

So, for example, I think that California is one of

these. When you go to buy a new computer or you go to buy

a television set, there's a fee that you pay right up front

when you're purchasing the computer that goes towards

dealing with the computers that end up in the landfills on

the other end.

Another approach that's been taken is to apportion

some of the costing of these items in the landfills to the


And those are sort of the key approaches that we've

seen so far.

The next slide, please.

The National Center For Electronics Recycling

maintains a list of all the current e-waste laws on their


And we have Jason, who is sitting on the call today

and will get a chance to introduce himself and talk to you

guys a little bit more about NCER.

But I have to say I found them an incredible

resource for really trying to find and gather information

that is up-to-date about what is happening in the different


This is a graphic that came from the NCER website,

and it shows a map of states with e-waste laws.

The orange states are the producer-responsibility

laws. Those ... (audio skip) ... that we talked about with

the manufacturers being assessed a share -- a portion of

responsibility for what ends up in the landfill.

The green states have the fees. That's what I

mentioned about California.

Purple states have landfill-disposal fees. That's

when you get charged a fee for dropping them off.

And then Rhode Island -- then the one blue state

that's up there, we have states that are the disposal bans

where there's no e-waste laws -- sorry -- where there's --

with a disposal ban; so you're just not allowed to dispose

of particular things into the landfills.

Next slide, please.

Again, as I mentioned previously, there are

currently 22 states with e-waste laws, and here is a rough

list of them at present. And I'm sure Jason can talk a

little bit more about this later, but there are other

states where there are laws in processes, and we do expect

to see more happening over the next couple of years.

Some states are going back and modifying existing

laws and augmenting them. Other states are changing the

way that they're doing things. And other states are just

starting to introduce legislation to kind of explore what

they want to do with respect to e-waste.

I also think, with the change of administration and

legislation -- and legislative bodies at the federal level,

we are likely to see some of these issues discussed at a

federal level as well in the future.

Next slide, please.

It's a good idea to look over this list and see if

you can get a sense of where your state falls in the scheme

of things.

The federal regulations that exist. In August

2005, EPA finalized the mercury-containing equipment

component of the original proposed rule.

In July 2006, EPA has also finalized a regulation

governing the waste management requirements for Cathode Ray

Tubes, CRTs, that was originally proposed in 2002. The CRT

rule became effective in January of 2007.

Next slide, please.

We had talked a little bit before about some

international laws. The BAN Amendment to the Basel

Convention prevents the Organizations for Economic

Cooperation and Development, OECD countries, the European

Union and Liechtenstein from exporting e-waste to non-OECD


So the list of OECD countries is here: Australia,

Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland,

France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy,

Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand,

Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, South Korea,

Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, United


Now, what's important about this list is really to

pay attention to who's not on this list. Most of the

countries that we typically see for disposal -- a lot of

the Asian countries, South America, Africa -- they're not

on this list.

So we are not supposed to be taking waste from our

country and sending them -- exporting them out to these

other countries at all. And that's one of the these things

to kind of keep track of as we are moving forward and

trying to look at responsible recyclers and responsible

places to dispose of your waste.

You can start to ask questions about where it is

that the waste goes when it goes to them. Do they send it

out to other countries? What other countries are they

complying with these?

Next slide, please.

We've had several states that have sort of run into

these problems. I know that Kansas was unfortunately in

the midst of a little scandal when they later found out

that some of their e-waste was being disposed of in a way

that they were not very pleased with. And they had to go

ahead and investigate and really find out more information

to make sure that the recyclers that they were using were

doing things properly. It can lead to embarrassment when

there is a problem.

Many of you may be asking, Why do I care about all

of this reutilization and all of these laws? How do they

affect me?

There are many reasons AT reutilization programs

should care about e-waste.

The first reason really is social responsibility.

Reusing and recycling these materials from end-of-life

electronics conserves our natural resources and avoids air

and water pollution.

Much of what we do does kind of hinge on social

responsibility. We are trying to help people get access to

different technologies. And as such, we also want to do

good things for our environment surroundings as part of

that process of doing good for people.

We want to support our community. Donating old

electronics supports schools, low-income families,

nonprofits, and dovetails very nicely with the mission of

AT reutilization programs.

There's also a legal responsibility, which is why

we're talking about so many of these laws.

Many AT reutilization programs dispose of e-waste

during the course of their activities. It really is

important that you abide by all existing state, federal,

and international laws when you are engaging in these


It is also important to note that producer

responsibility laws could pose a possible liability concern

to AT reutilization programs.

And I raise this because many programs that

reutilize computers or other assistive technology devices

that constitute electronic devices in the past have sort of

taken off the labels -- the original labels from the

manufacturers and slapped on their own labels.

And it is important to be aware that, if your

products with your labels on it and no evidence of any

other original manufacturer ends up in a landfill and it's

at a -- efficiently significant percentage, some of these

states could reach out to you and try to assess liability

under their reutilization -- under their e-waste laws for

your e-waste product ending up in their landfill.

Now, I would say that the likelihood of this

happening is relatively low, but it is important that all

of us take steps to prevent any confusion as to what is

really our program's responsibility versus the original

manufacturer's responsibility.

And again, I think that the BAN Amendment to the

Basel Convention, it's really important for us to pay

attention to.

One of the things that we hope to accomplish

through the BAN Amendment is to not over-pollute and injure

third-world countries and nations.

And again this goes back to the social

responsibility element. What can we do to make sure we are

being responsible as we are disposing of our own e-waste?

Next slide, please.

It would be so easy for us sometimes to not really

stop and think about what is happening to our e-waste.

We're just ... (audio skip) ... we're doing good things.

We're reutilizing equipment. We're sending it to people,

and we've got this other stuff to get rid of. Great. We

brought in a reutilizer, a recycler to take care of this

stuff; and now we've done our job. But it does matter what

happens downstream.

One of the next things that I think is important to

think about in this context is e-waste policies and

procedures for your organization. I think it's critical

for your organization to determine your policies and

procedures for disposing of electronic equipment.

I think one of the top things you should be looking

at are your downstream providers. I would recommend that

you identify a list of responsible recyclers that you feel

comfortable using.

You should check with your state agencies that deal

with recycling, such as the state Environmental Protection

Agency, Department of National Resources, Department of

Environmental Quality, or Department of Commerce. Check

with your local municipalities or solid waste districts to

learn if they have electronics collections programs or


I've got some of the same sites that we've seen

before, the links ... (audio skip) ... Consumer Electronics

Association, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industry's

Recycling Operation Standards. There's lots of resources

that you can go to here.

There's also some certifications programs for

recyclers. So it may be good to look at your recyclers and

talk to them and figure out if they're using any of these

certification programs. Is that how they can explain

whether they have properly followed all the things that

they should be following to make sure that they are

responsibly ... (audio skip) ... e-waste.

There's the EPA voluntary guidelines that are out

there. There's also an EPA recycling audit tool. So it's

one way to sort of give you a checklist for selecting

electronic recycling services and to really ask them

questions for your end-of-life recyclers and if they're

doing a sufficient job.

Next slide, please.

Just my contact information.

That's kind of a quick little dusting, if you will,

of the different laws that are out there. Again, more is

happening right now on a state level, so it does vary from

state to state.

And there's a lot that's happening internationally.

And while most of our programs operate locally on a state

level, that doesn't mean that we do not have some kind of

interaction or impact with what's happening


And what we're asking a lot of the projects to do

is to think about how your activities are having an impact

on e-waste on an international level; what's happening with

your end-of-life recyclers; what is happening once the

products leave your office and your hands.

And as our laws develop and as the United States

Government starts to get more involved and we see a bit

more uniformity happening throughout the states, this

becomes an easier field to navigate. But right now there

really are some good practices that we can engage in. And

it really does start with looking at the people that you

are using to help you along the way in disposing of


So thank you very much for your time. I'll pass

this back to Carolyn.

CAROLYN PHILLIPS: Thank you so much, Jessica.

Really appreciate that.

And does anyone have any questions for Jessica at

this time?

It's really helpful to go over why this is

something we need to consider. I think all of us know, but

it's nice to actually have language around that. So that's

very helpful.

It looks like perhaps someone is going to ask a

question, type it in. It looks like Sarah might.

And the question is, "Can the PowerPoint be sent to


Absolutely, Sarah. And anyone else, if you just

send me an e-mail, I'll be happy to send that on to you.

And I totally understand it, Sarah. So that's no

problem at all.

Jessica, I was wondering if you had any other

thoughts as far as maybe -- I've looked at some of the

e-waste laws and compared some of them, and I know you've

done that also.

Are there any states that you feel like really are

held up as an ideal and to emulate if people are going to

sit on those committees and help?

And in Georgia we actually -- I did actually sit on

one of those committees. And it's gotten stuck in our

legislative -- in one of the subcommittees, so it hasn't

moved forward. But it was helpful to be on that committee,

so I think that's a great suggestion.

So before I turn it on over to Jason, could you

answer that?

And, Jason, if you want to weigh in on this, that's

fine also.

JESSICA BRODEY: I probably would defer to Jason on

this one because I think that he's spent far more time

looking and comparing, and he has a better sense of the big

picture here than I probably do.

As far as I can tell, there seems to be a few

different categories and approaches. And I remember seeing

Jason present one time and talking about a lot of these

producer responsibility laws.

And the problem that really comes in there, from my

perspective, is that, if you have to start from the

producers, the manufacturers of a lot of this equipment, if

they have to actually register in every state -- and there

is payment that is made along with that -- it becomes a

very costly process for them to have to sign up and

register in every single state and then pay these fees to

every single state.

And it almost makes more sense to really want to

consolidate and have one place where you can register

across the country and one place to pay the fees and one

set of administration costs, which would be more of a

national model.

I do think that the California approach where there

is a technology fee on what you buy on some level makes

sense because you have individuals -- if you're going to be

consuming it, then there should be a cost or a fee for

using a particular product. And you have some control, and

it's directly tied to your purchases and your products.

But there's some downsides to how that affects

business and whether that becomes a hardship on people to

access technology so ... (audio skipped) ... does kind of

strike me as the most interesting.

Bans, to me, are the least helpful because that

doesn't really tell you in a positive way what you can do

or really deal with the problem. That trash is going to

end up somewhere. That waste is going to happen somewhere.

So that's, I guess, my opinion on the topic. At

this point I'll defer to Jason and let him talk a little

bit more about that.

JASON LINNELL: Yes. Well, thank you. And that

was actually a very good lead-in presentation to some of

the work that we've been doing.

Just on the immediate question about what is

serving as a model, it's very hard to say at this point.

And a lot of people view this time that we're in right now

as an experimentation period where we're learning what

works at the state level, and then we'll find out the best

model and use that as the ultimate national model that we

use for electronics recycling.

The concern on the other side is that we're heading

on the path of this patchwork of state approaches, and it

will be very hard at some point to make some of the

not-so-good approaches go away if we recognize that one

model is clearly superior to the others.

Carolyn, would you like me to go ahead and get

started with the overview?

CAROLYN PHILLIPS: Yes, Jason. I'll go ahead and

turn it over to you.

As I said, we've had some more folks join us.

Welcome to everybody again.

Jessica, great job.

Yvette, thank you.

And, Jason, I know you have some more information

to add to this. You were going to introduce us to your

organization. And please share your thoughts with us about

what we can do to improve e-waste, e-recycling within our

own AT reuse programs and also within our states.

Thank you, Jason.

JASON LINNELL: Okay. Great. Well, thank you for

inviting me on this call.

I'm glad to tell you about the National Center for

Electronic Recycling. We're a nonprofit organization.

We're a 501(c)(3). We're located in Parkersburg,

West Virginia, which is on the western side, if you're

familiar with the state.

We started the organization -- actually, I started

it with a cofounder named Walter Alcorn (phonetic) back in

2005, following up some national discussions about the need

for a national coordinating entity.

This was a group called the National Electronic

Product Stewardship Initiative. Not to throw out too many

acronyms at you. But there was a group that met on a

national level trying to hash out a program that could work

for all the states.

And unfortunately, there was no consensus among

that group, but there was some very good discussions about

a national coordinating NC. And we took that, and we got

some -- we were able to access some federal grant funds to

locate in West Virginia and start up that organization back

in 2005.

So since that time, we've been doing a lot of

different types of research projects, coordination efforts

for electronics recycling. But our main mission is to --

we're dedicated to the development and enhancement of the

national infrastructure for recycling of used electronics

in the U.S. And we do that through a number of different


Number one, we do it through research. We've

been -- that's mainly what we've been doing for the last

four years or so, is working on different research projects

that we see as key for the development of the U.S.

infrastructure. And that has led us to working on a lot of

the policies at the state level since that's where a lot of

the activity has been.

But in the beginning we did things that you'll see

on our website under "Projects." There's things such as

our centralized data repository, which is an effort that

started early on where we tried to get different collection

programs around the country to voluntarily submit their

data on what's been collected so we can get a better sense

about how much is actually coming back in collection


We have another database that you can find on there

called our "Brand Data Management System." It's a little

bit technical, but what it really tells you is that -- the

percentage and the amount of brands -- of certain brands

that are coming back in electronic recycling programs.

So this is very important in certain manufacturer

responsibility laws where the manufacturer has to pay for

all of their products or a percentage of their products

that come back in the waste stream.

So we've tried to compile all the known existing

national data on that subject into one place on the Brand

Data Management System.

Besides some of those research projects -- and I

could go into more on those projects -- but really we're

working on data collection, analysis of existing programs.

We also work to try to get some real experience on

the ground within collection programs. So we started out

doing some collection efforts in our home state of

West Virginia. And when grant funding is available, we

continue to do those where we set up collection events,

gather all the data, and report back to all the


But one of the major things that we're working on

right now is actually in the State of Oregon where we were

selected as the contractor in the law. They talk about the

state contractor program.

And the State Department of Environmental Quality

put out a bid for someone to run that program, and we were

selected as the successful bidder for that project.

So what we do is actually set up the collection

network, set up the recycling network, and make sure

everything runs smoothly to offer free recycling options to

all the Oregon-based consumers and small businesses and

nonprofits that are eligible to participate under that law.

So we work with a team out there. We work with

folks back here in West Virginia. And that's giving us

some great experience about how programs actually work on

the ground, and we're able to build that back into our

research as we go forward.

And finally, one other thing that we do is what we

call the State Programs Group. It is really just a

coordinating body of all the different state environmental

department managers who are responsible for implementing

the electronics recycling laws in their state.

We get them together regularly on conference calls.

We share information. We try to work on projects that

might harmonize some of the existing elements of their laws

that are out there.

It was touched on in a presentation by Jessica, but

we really do have a patchwork of different approaches out

there. And I can give full presentations -- I've been

asked to give full presentations for several hours on the

differences and similarities among those different


But just to give you some overview statistics, when

we look at the different patchwork of approaches that are

being taken on in these state laws, as was mentioned,

there's five different types of manufacturer financing.

So if you're a manufacturer, you see that map that

we have on our website -- and that was referenced in the

presentation -- of producer responsibility laws. That's

not the end of the story.

There's five different overall ways that

manufacturers are asked to pay for or physically

participate in that system.

And plus we have -- we do have the one state in

California, which is the only state so far that has an

advanced recycling fee where you pay at the time of

purchase. And that goes into a fund that pays for the

recycling efforts on the back end.

Other overview statistics are the products that are

covered. Generally they cover TVs, computer monitors, and

computers. But by our count, we have ten different sets of

product lists that are covered by these state laws. So you

need to be looking at what is actually covered by the state

law, what is not covered.

And same goes for the covered entities that we

refer to. These are the people who can access the

recycling system. In many cases, large businesses are

excluded from the recycling system. But in most cases,

households are included.

But there's -- we count eight different lists of

covered entities that are in very different approaches

among the state laws that are out there right now.

And that's just sort of the high level of which

products are covered and you can participate. If you look

down into the details of the definitions of the laws,

you're going to see even more variances among all the

different state approaches.

But despite that, we do work together with the

states. We try to get them to work on different things

like the whole manufacturer registration process, which

they're all doing separately right now. That could be done

on a more joint harmonized basis.

And just -- so that's sort of an overview of some

of the main things that we're doing right now. But we

generally get a lot of questions on an ongoing basis about

what's going on in the recycling industry. We talk to a

lot of recyclers. We talk to a lot of manufacturers and

other people about the recycling industry and try to get

some up-to-date, unbiased information about what's actually

going on.

And you heard today a lot about some of the major

issues that are out there in the recycling industry that

we're following as well, such as the issue of certification

programs, the issue of who do you work with as a recycler

and how do you know that they're actually doing the right

thing with the products as they're breaking them down, and

who they're working with as their downstream processors.

That's still a major issue.

And some of the new certification programs will

hopefully address that as the next year or two or three go

forward. But as of right now, it's still very hard

actually to decipher whether or not you're working with a

legitimate recycler who can process all your material and

break it down in an environmentally responsible manner.

And then just in general, other things that you

might find on the website, if you're looking for different

resources -- we try to keep this updated as we go along,

but this page that you're looking at right now, the laws

page, we keep that updated, tell you how many laws have

passed in the different states and when they pass.

As you can see, 2009 has been actually a relatively

quiet year. 2008 and 2007 we just had a number of new

states come online.

Indiana is the only state so far this year that has

actually passed a law and had it signed by the governor.

But I expect that we'll have at least one or two more

before the end of the year, maybe three or four, that will

pass new laws and will be added to this list.

If you add up all the population that's covered

under the laws that you see on this page, right now we're

at about 53 percent of the U.S. population that is covered

or will be covered once these laws take effect.

And that list, as you see it right there, not all

of those laws are in effect. I think a little over half of

them now are actually being implemented; they're working;

the recycling programs are on the ground. But some of the

other ones are not being implemented right now, and they're

still in the development stage.

If you want to look at other things, we saw the

projects page before, the e-cycling basics. We give a list

of some of the different links that you've heard about

today for looking for recycling options.

We provide a link on the main page for migrating

electronics, which is run by the Consumer Electronics

Association. We work with them on a number of projects and

have provided some updates to their recycler listings.

But as someone mentioned before, it is very

difficult to go on a website and find out just who exactly

is working in your area. There's a lot of changes that

happen in this industry. Recyclers go in and out every

day. So it's very hard to know who is actually running a

legitimate recycling program and when collection events are

being held in your local area.

The best resources in some cases is the state

environmental department or even your local recycling

office. They generally have an idea about what the options

are and what are the good options.

And then just other things we -- we update

different resources and publications that we put out. Our

updated research is under "Publications." The key research

that's coming out that we find out about is under


And then some things that might be helpful are

under "Conferences." We always post some of the latest

presentations that we give, and there's always new

information that we're adding to those presentations about

how the states are performing, trying to compare on at

least a pounds-per-capita-collected basis what's going on

on the state level right now.

But you'll see some of the more recent

presentations will have the most up-to-date information

about state laws, their performance, and what's going on in

the future.

And just one final note, just based on what I've

heard today. It's very good conversation, and I'd love to

hear more about this and about this issue of AT reuse and


When you look at the state laws it is true what

Jessica said about potentially being covered by a state law

if you were to be taking off the brands and then putting

your known brand on that product.

Although it takes several years for that to

actually occur, it is a potential liability that's hanging

out there.

But the other thing is, when people think about

recycling programs and that manufacturers are funding a

recycling effort, they might assume that reuse is actually

a big part of those programs and that, if you are

refurbishing a device and getting it back out there, that

you may have some funding to do that.

But, in fact, at the state level, reuse has been a

very uncomfortable fit within a lot of these state laws.

In many cases, the law specifically prohibits reuse

activities from taking place under the funded system. You

can certainly take them out and get them -- and process

them or reuse them outside of the manufacturer-funded


But for many collectors that were doing business

prior to the program starting, that's a change for them.

It's a change in their business models. It's a change in

how they operate, that they can no longer really

participate in that funded system and still do the reuse or

refurbishment efforts they were doing before.

Some people view the issue of reuse as a loophole

in the whole debate about exporting used electronics, that,

as long as you're saying it's going for reuse, it can be

used as a loophole to get things overseas to where they're

not being recycled in a proper manner. And that's

obviously an issue that needs to be addressed wherever

these programs are being implemented.

But yet reuse is something that for the most part,

unless it's specifically called out in the legislation, is

really not thought of. It's really -- if the device is

coming back in through one of the designated collection

points and going to a recycler, it has to be destroyed,

basically. It has to be broken down into component parts

or shredded. And that's the way all the recyclers will get

paid by the manufacturers under that mandated system.

Well, there's certainly a whole lot more I could go

into, but I'll leave it at that for now and take any

questions that you have.

YVETTE MARRIN: I have a question for you, Jason.

As you know, collection events are very popular around the

country. States and municipalities do these.

How can we be assured that, if we bring equipment

to a collection event that is run by a municipality,

theoretically governed by the regs that you've referred to,

how do we know where that stuff is being disposed of?

JASON LINNELL: That is a very good question. And

really the only way to know is to ask a lot of questions.

I would feel actually better about an event taking place

under some of these mandated programs than events that take

place in some of the states that do not have programs right


Because really, when you see an event advertised, a

lot of times they don't really tell you who the recycler

is. And it takes a lot of digging, even when there's a

media write-up about the event and where it's being held

and who's doing it.

It's really usually sponsored by the local

recycling office or whatever it is, and they don't really

tell you who is actually running -- getting the devices and

what they're going to do with them.

So you do need to ask a lot of questions, ask who

the recycler is, who they work with downstream, if they

have any certifications that are available and really find

out from them who -- you know, who the recycler is and

whether they're a responsible recycler based on some of

these lists.

But even that, it's still hard to find out whether

they're doing the right thing with the devices.

CAROLYN PHILLIPS: Thank you so much, Jason.

Sarah had two questions over in the public-chat

area. I don't know if you see them, but -- and actually I

assume that you would hopefully know the answer to these.

So the first one is, "Do you have information on

the State of Idaho?"

And the second one is, "If we give a piece of

equipment away to an end user and then the end user

recycles it, it might still have our information on it.

How can we ensure proper recycling?"

JASON LINNELL: Okay. To address the first

question, information on the State of Idaho, that might be

contained under some of the recycling options. You'd have

to look under the recycling options there and see some of

the recyclers that are listed.

I know from our experience in Oregon there's a

border along there, and there are some Idaho recyclers

working in the Boise area that also service communities in


So there are some that are available. I'm not sure

how widespread it is throughout the state. But that's

something I would just look into under some of the

recycling options.

And then if you -- yeah, you're bringing up the

maps here. The maps, we just talk about some of the state

laws that have actually been passed. So Idaho is not one

of the states that has passed a law.

And then the second question, that goes to the

question that Yvette just asked about collection events.

If you give away a device and someone else is responsible

for recycling it, yes, that is always a concern that

they'll just turn it over to someone who is offering to

take it for free or even offering to pay for that device.

And therefore, you have no guarantees about who

is -- what they're doing with the device and whether

they're practicing good data-security measures. So it's

always good to give them good information about where

proper recycling options are.

But again, that's part of the problem with this

industry, was we've got a lot of recyclers operating out

there, and it's very hard to find the true legitimate

recyclers without robust certifications programs.

CAROLYN PHILLIPS: Thank you so much, Jason, for

answering that.

I was wondering, Jessica, do you have any response

to Sarah's question, anything that adds on to what Jason

was saying about perhaps maybe the liability issue? I know

you touched on this obviously, but anything you want to

reiterate around that?

JESSICA BRODEY: All I would say is that I think a

big portion of it has to do with education. So one thing

that you can do when you're giving away a device is to sort

of educate them and encourage them that, when they're

finished with the device, to turn it back in to the program

so that you can dispose of it.

That way you get some more control, and you can

even include on your labels a note to say, If you're

finished with this, you know, please call and your number,

or, Don't forget to give this back to -- the name of your


If I'm not mistaken, I think that Kansas does

something to that effect where they do follow up with the

people that they distribute equipment to to try and get

them to turn the equipment back in because sometimes it can

be reutilized two and three times.

The other thing that you could do is, if they are

going to be disposing of it, try and provide them

information and encourage them to make good decisions.

But really and truly, if your end user is going to

be throwing it out, either in a landfill or disposing of it

through a recycler, there's very little you can do to

ensure that they are doing the right thing. So your best

bet is to really try and educate on the front end and

encourage them to turn back whatever product you give them

to you.

So that's probably -- yes, like what Bob is saying,

a general policy to donate the items back to the

refurbishment program works for them.

So I do think that that's a very solid approach.

Some programs seem to go as far as to even ask people to

sign in their initial agreement that they will turn it back

in. It's not really enforceable, but if people have to

sign it, sometimes it makes them pay a little bit more

attention and think, "Oh, when I'm done with it, I have to

give it back to the program."

And that should increase the percentage of things

that are returned to your program rather than just dumped


CAROLYN PHILLIPS: Thank you so much, Jessica.

What other questions do y'all have for Yvette,

Jessica, or Jason?

Okay. This has been so helpful. I feel like I

know a lot about this, but I learned even more. I really

appreciate that.

Jason, we definitely want to have you back to work

with us some more. Thank you.

And definitely appreciate you, Yvette.

And Jessica obviously you working on this too. And

we'll definitely need y'all back too.

Looks like Arthur Murphy has a comment or a

question here.

And he's asking, "What is the future of green jobs

and scrap reuse?"

So Yvette, Jessica, or Jason, would y'all mind

addressing that, one of you?

JESSICA BRODEY: I'll start with a quick response.

I know that there's been some challenges with the economy

the way that it's been going and a lot of the scrap reuse,

that a lot of reutilizers are having issues selling and

distributing their product right now because, on the

manufacturing side, manufacturing is down, and their

ability to take the scrap and turn it into product that can

be sold has dropped. So I do think that all of that is

kind of tied back up in the economy.

As for the rest of the landscape, I don't know that

I have all the specifics there to get into it. And maybe

Jason or Yvette would have more information.

YVETTE MARRIN: This is Yvette. We work with

thousands of grassroots partners across America. And some

of them are doing a really fine job of taking equipment in

and refurbishing it for use -- for reuse.

Scrap reuse, we have noted that there are a smaller

percentage who are being trained to demanufacture and sort

out the stuff. For example, Goodwill Industries, in their

Reconnect program, has employed people for that purpose.

Whether it is practical for people to dream about

green jobs and scrap reuse in an expanded way, it really

depends on the community and what is going on in that


In New York City, there's an organization that

spends a lot of time training people in that work. And if

anyone wants to start a program that involves that, it's a

pretty large investment. It's not so simple to say, Well,

we can start this and make a little project.

One group that we know is a not-for-profit, but

they own a rather expensive tensing machine. Another

group -- or I would say Goodwill Industries, they need the

space to take it in, and they still have a relationship

with a manufacturer who then collects the stuff that they

are collecting in their local communities and preparing for


So not a simple solution and not so straightforward

as it might have been in the days before all these issues

that you have heard us discuss today because very

critically integrated into the thinking of what does it

really mean to get engaged in scrap reuse. It's not a

simple solution.

JASON LINNELL: And, yeah, I'd just add that

there's different effects when the economy and the

commodities markets take a tumble like they did late last


So for some of them -- for some of them on the

recycling side, they were definitely on the rise. And you

could still say they are definitely on the rise because

there still is demand for recycling old electronics.

But for some of them that were highly dependent

upon commodity values, when they started plummeting, they

really took a hit, and some of them have gone out of

business as a result of that.

But others, if they were heavily invested in the

reuse side -- can't say that there's any one statistic that

really explains it, but there does seem to be higher value

on the reuse side if you're selling used systems as opposed

to selling new systems just when the overall market takes a


So there's different effects depending on which

sides of the business you're engaged in. But in general,

the electronics recycling industry has been on the rise; it

is getting bigger; and with a lot -- the implementation of

a lot of these state programs, there will be a future

market for those types of companies.

CAROLYN PHILLIPS: Thank you. That's very helpful.

I appreciate y'all answering that.

And Bob Rust also added that many of the recyclers

that they're working with have reduced income tied to the

price of copper, but they're finding ways to segregate

their products for better return on their investment.

Thank you, Bob.

The last question that has been asked -- I had

somebody actually e-mail this to me behind the scenes, and

it's one that we're always aware of, which is

sustainability. And the question basically is, they're

wondering if y'all see any piece of this that could help

make the AT reuse programs more sustainable making money on

the e-waste or e-recycling.

So if one of you could address that, that would be

great, or any of you that would like to address that,

Yvette, Jason, or Jessica.

And then I am aware of the time. We usually wrap

these up around 3:30. It's now 3:31, and I want to be

mindful of your time.

So if one of you could address that.

And as I said, we are definitely going to be having

a second part to this, perhaps even a third part to this

where we'll get more in depth with some of the questions

that you've asked here. And we have some other questions

we'll address.

So if somebody could address the sustainability

aspect, that would be great. Thank you.

It looks like Bob said the recycling effort can

gain money for a nonprofit if they agree to piece the items

they're recycling.

I know that's true. It definitely was true in the

past when I was working directly hands on with ReBoot. We

got 70 cents per pound -- if we pulled the different drives

out and the motherboards and all the different boards, we

would get 70 cents per pound. And if we just threw the

computer into a box and the same recycler was picking it

up, we would get 5 cents per pound.

So there definitely, you know, is a difference

there. Those markets change all the time based on metal

prices and all of that out there.

Jason, anything else that you would like to add to


Oh, and, Bob, you said circuit cards are now $1.25.

That's good. But a complete system is 15 cents a pound.

So that gap has definitely gotten wider.

Yvette, it looks like you have something you wanted

to add?

YVETTE MARRIN: I wanted to add that commercial

recyclers are really struggling with this issue. But it

depends really on the part of the country you're in and

what needs to be transported and what, you know, in the

chain can be supportive.

I've heard from commercial recyclers about the 15

cents a pound, but it's up from 3 cents a pound not too

long ago. So I think what we're going to be finding is

that, once the economic downturn begins to settle down --

and that's not going to happen yet, obviously -- stimulus

money is going into some of these efforts, and perhaps some

of that can find its way to you.

JASON LINNELL: Yeah. And I'm not sure if this

answers the question exactly on the sustainability, but I

would just point to a lot of the different efforts that are

out there right now that will increase the volumes of

electronics that are coming back.

We know that there's a lot out there that has not

come back in. And there is more that will come back in

once you offer programs that make them convenient.

And getting those volumes back into the recyclers

where they can, one, triage for reuse and make that a more

profitable side of their business and then get the

economies of scale so they can process more and keep them

moving through their facilities.

Because many recyclers around the country are not

operating at their full capacity. They could be recycling

more. It's just a matter of efficiently getting the

products to them so they can recycle them. So that should

put the -- reduce the cost overall and help everyone that's

working under the system.

And then I'm just looking at these comments here.

There's a cost for recycling CRTs now, and they used to

purchase CRTs in the past.

Yeah, CRTs -- that's the big problem, cathode ray

tubes. They're used in monitors and televisions that --

the new market for them has virtually died down or is there

in very small amounts.

But we do have a legacy of CRTs with leaded glass

in them that are very bulky, difficult to manage, and

there's no glass-to-glass recyclers left in North America

that are actually recycling that glass back into new glass.

So it's difficult to get them back into recycling options.

CAROLYN PHILLIPS: Thank you very much. I

appreciate y'all addressing that.

Well, it's time to wrap up.

And we definitely want to extend a big thank you to

Yvette Marrin and Jessica Brodey. Thank you so much.

And we really do appreciate you, Jason Linnell, for

being with us.

We definitely will be adding the next part of this

onto our schedule, and so you'll be hearing more about that

in the very near future. We're going to be releasing that

schedule shortly as we're confirming our speakers. So

thanks again.

I also wanted to point out to you this is the Pass

It On Center website that I'm sure a lot of you are

familiar with.

This presentation and the information that you just

heard and additional information will also be in our

knowledge base, which is the second tab -- well, third tab

over on the top -- on the menu bar up there on the Pass It

On Center.

I also wanted to, once again, make you aware of the

National AT Reuse Conference that we're going to be hosting

with NATTAP. We're very excited about that partnership.

That's going to be at the Omni Hotel in Atlanta. It's

right there at the CNN Center, September 15th through the

17th. And the theme of that is Shaping a National

Collaborative For Assistive Technology Reutilization.

The other piece to this is, down at the bottom of

this little box, you'll see an assistive technology AT

reuse award nomination form. And in there, one of the

seven categories that we have is actually for effective

recycling and being mindful of e-waste. So it's the green

award, if you will.

If you feel like you've done a good job or you know

somebody who has done a good job, we really would like you

to nominate them. There's all kinds of other categories.

Feel free to nominate folks. Feel free to nominate


And without anything else, I would like to say

thank you so much for attending, participating in this.

And Yvette, Jessica, or Jason, do you have anything

else to add before we close?

YVETTE MARRIN: I think the discussion has truly

begun amongst us, and I am pleased to note that we have

some colleagues who understand the process and equally

understand the challenges.

JASON LINNELL: And, yeah, this is Jason. Nothing

else to add. Just I look forward to participating. I'm

glad to be on the call today. And you can look at our

website. And if you have any questions, you can contact

me. Thanks.

JESSICA BRODEY: And I just wanted to say thanks

again. And I have nothing additional to add. I'm glad

that Jason and Yvette were able to join us today.

CAROLYN PHILLIPS: Excellent. Okay.

Thank y'all, and y'all take care. Visit our

website. And we'll be placing our schedule up there.

If you have any other questions or if you need us,

feel free to contact the Pass It On Center. Contact me

directly if you would like. Very happy to be here and work

with you.

Take care.