Middlebury, VT (PRWEB) April 19, 2007
The Recycling Industry trade magazine, Recycling Today, has tapped electronics export reform group, WR3A, to bring a fresh message about electronics recycling - the good, the bad, and the ugly - to its 8th annual Paper and Plastic Recycling Conference in Orlando, Florida on June 11-12.
The traditional Recycling Today trade show attendees - hundreds of office paper recyclers, plastic scrap buyers, and paper shredding companies - represent something new to electronics recyclers. This e-waste show is billed to electronics recyclers as a "a trade show with clients". Universities, government surplus property officials, and legitimate exporters will create a vibrant marketplace and networking environment. State and federal environmental regulators will be on hand to answer sensitive questions to companies who would like to start collecting electronics from their existing paper shredding accounts.
Speakers from Africa, Asia and Latin America will present at the show and describe their frustrations at trying to refurbish computers and finding obsolete junk mislabelled in the container. USA companies with hard drive shredding capacity will explain the need to screen material and destroy confidential data before computers are exported.
WR3A is a relatively new organization, much smaller than Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) or National Recycling Coalition in Washington. But the Vermont-based non-profit had previously been called on by both ISRI and NRC to organize recycling trade presentations, and Recycling Today chief Jim Keefe also liked the group's realistic message.
Robin Ingenthron, president of WR3A, claims that starting as a small selective group of recyclers is key to bringing "fair trade" practices to the burgeoning scrap export market. "Scrap exports are in the millions of tons. There are stolen cars, smuggled high tech computers, toxic waste, and gold dubloons mixed into scrap to evade customs and export rules. But to simply ban scrap exports would means mining more rain forests and coral reefs, more expensive recycling fees, lower participation, or teaching Americans not to buy new stuff. We have to be realistic."
In the past recycling companies have been asked to pledge not to export. That is like banning coffee imports to improve the life of coffee growers, says Colin Davis, WR3A executive director. Members believe that fair Trade standards for coffee imports acknowledge that some international trade is inevitable and desirable.
"The key is to do business with a select group of companies who will benefit financially if they play by the rules."
Some WR3A members still don't export scrap at all, but admire the group's goals. Ingenthron states "One recycler told me that recycling will someday be clean overseas, and there will be a level playing field. They participate with WR3A to help them stay abreast of those developments."