Electronics Recycling Coordination Clearinghouse Releases Their Collection Site Best Practices Document

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ERCC's new Collection Site Best Practices document serves as a guidance document for collection sites accepting used electronics. ERCC is encouraging state electronics recycling programs to incorporate the document into their programs and also plans to develop a program where all collectors will voluntarily demonstrate adherence to the guidelines.

This week, the Electronics Recycling Coordination Clearinghouse (ERCC) has announced the publication of a set of “best practices” for collection sites that accept used electronics under state electronics recycling laws. These Best Management Practices may also be used as a guidance document for collection sites operating outside of the state mandatory recycling programs. ERCC has been working to develop their set of recommended collection site best practices since September 2010, when ERCC members and industry stakeholders held a workshop on harmonizing state electronics recycling programs.

Collectors serve a key role in all state programs as they are usually the direct interface with consumers dropping off their used electronics. They are also the entities that make the first decision about where collected devices are sent for recycling (or disposal). In order to ensure that the devices are being handled properly, some states have implemented registration requirements and best practices guidelines. However, in many states, collectors do not register, report to the state, or follow any management guidelines. This has lead to instances where collectors have been found to be selling off more of the valuable covered devices. Also, collectors who do not have contracts with manufacturers or recyclers operating under a regulated program may not be following best management practices or sending collected electronics to certified recyclers. Therefore, even if a state has all of its recyclers operating under the program certified to the highest standards, there could still be substantial volumes diverted to sham recyclers. ERCC is encouraging state electronics recycling programs to incorporate the Collector Best Practices document into their programs. ERCC also hopes to develop a program where collectors will voluntarily demonstrate adherence to these guidelines.

In addition to the Collector Best Practices, the ERCC has also just activated their online registration system. The eCycle Registration system is a central location for electronics manufacturers to register their company and brands with the states that have enacted e-waste legislation. This application guides manufacturers through each of the varying state-by-state requirements that have authorized its use. The eCycle Registration website can be found at http://www.ecycleregistration.org and is currently accepting registrations for the state of Maine. Several other states are slated to accept registrations through the website by later this year.

The ERCC is a forum for coordination and information exchange among the state/local agencies that are implementing electronics recycling laws and all impacted stakeholders. They were launched in 2010 by two leading non-profit organizations advancing recycling efforts across the country - the National Center for Electronics Recycling (NCER) and the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC). To learn more about the ERCC or to view their Collector Best Practices document, go to http://www.ecycleclearinghouse.org.

About the National Center for Electronics Recycling (NCER): The NCER is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization based in Parkersburg, West Virginia that is dedicated to the development and enhancement of a national infrastructure for the recycling of used electronics in the U.S. For more information about the NCER, visit their website at http://www.electronicsrecycling.org.

About The Northeast Recycling Council (NERC): NERC's mission is to advance an environmentally sustainable economy by promoting source and toxicity reduction, recycling, and the purchasing of environmentally preferable products and services. As part of its mission, NERC administers and supports several programs: The Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse, the State Electronics Recycling Challenge, the Electronics Recycling Coordination Clearinghouse and the Vermont Business Materials Exchange. For more information on NERC or any of their projects, call Lynn Rubinstein 802-254-3636 or visit http://www.nerc.org

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National Center for Electronics Recycling
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