Key Definitions

 Recycle: Recycling involves processing used, unwanted materials (waste) into new products to prevent waste of potentially useful materials, reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, reduce energy usage, reduce air pollution (from incineration) and water pollution (from landfilling) by reducing the need for "conventional" waste disposal, and lower greenhouse gas emissions as compared to virgin production. 

Reuse is to use an item more than once. This includes conventional reuse where the item is used again for the same function and new-life reuse where it is used for a new function.

Scrap is a term used to describe recyclable materials left over from every manner of product consumption, such as parts of vehicles, building supplies, and surplus materials. Often confused with waste, scrap in fact has significant monetary value.

Waste (rubbish, trash, refuse, garbage, or junk) is unwanted or unusable materials.

FAQ “Frequently Asked Questions “and Recycling Topics

For Data Destruction of disk drives and other electronic storage media, what are the options and compliance requirements?  There are two primary methods for destroying all device data.  First, physical destruction of the devise.  Shredding of the storage device is the most complete method.  Having a company’s representative observe or having a video of the actual shredding is an additional method for documenting the destruction.  A second method is Sanitization (i.e., “wiping”, “scrubbing”) which uses commercially available toolsets for software-based data destruction.  These methods overwrite all data, including partitions, files, boot record information, etc.  It is important to be compliant with DoD5220.22-M standards, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), Sarbanes-Oxley Act, etc.

Are products that will be “scrapped” considered “waste”?    A common misconception is to use these terms synonymously.     If a product is recycled responsibly, unusable waste (i.e., refuse, garbage, etc.) will be minimized.  An environmentally sound solution is achieved when the product is sorted into commodities to be Reused or Recycled.

Are “end of life” products and “retired assets” only a cost?  These products are a cost if the customer does not have the knowledge or resources to identify potential ways to generate revenue.  In order to determine the value of the materials, the customer needs to establish a strategic relationship with a recycling partner who can assign a value based on reuse or recovery.  In addition to product value, identifying and reducing the costs associated with collection, sorting, transportation, logistics, etc. will increase the value of the “retired assets”. 

What are the legal requirements for the recycling industry?  Electronic recyclers are subject to federal, state & local environmental, safety and export-import regulations.  It is important to understand the type of materials that will be recycled to be in compliance with the appropriate regulations.  For example, universal and hazardous waste each have specific regulations.

When you think of scrapping a product, where does it go?  The import and export of scrap is a global economic topic.  Organizations including Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) provide a global forum for recycling best practices for ferrous and nonferrous materials.  Given the established framework for collecting, sorting and processing, they have also taken a strong and strategic role for establishing responsible processing and exporting policies for global electronics recycling. 

Will a complete ban on the export of used and end of life electronics solve the problem of illegal and incorrect disposal practices?  A study released in the journal, Environmental Science & Technology, March 22, 2010, author Eric Williams of Arizona State University writes “the prevailing assumption that trade is the main driver of informal recycling will soon become obsolete.”  It is forecasted that as early as 2017, the amount of e-scrap generated from the developing world will exceed the e-scrap from developed world countries.  Since most of the reuse and manufacturing of new products is not done domestically, the key is to continue building on established global environmentally practices. With proper recovery of commodities within a country, the materials will be exported responsibly and comply with the appropriate regulations.

Contact Information

ITRAN Electronics Recycling
4100 Congress Parkway West
Richfield, Ohio 44286

Phone: 330.659.0801