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Looking into legality of electronics recycling

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    Looking into legality of electronics recycling

    I was starting to poke around on what it would take for me to be able to collect electronics on a larger scale, legally (like advertising to schools, businesses, etc). I have concluded that doing things legally is nearly impossible for small operations. This discourages competition and encourages less recycling overall.

    I understand that things need to be recycled properly, and am 100% willing to put in time/training/effort to make sure that everything is done right and responsibly, but after looking into what all would be required today, it seems impossible for any non-existing, very profitable, businesses to operate in this market legally. Have a look at everything that would be required for me to legally collect and recycle electronics in my area.


    1) get local permit to designate my garage as a legal place of business (required to provide proof that business is operating and properly zoned, for the next hurdle) (few hundred bucks)
    2) get state permit allowing me to collect and recycle covered electronic devices. This requires R2/Esteward certification (few hundred bucks)
    3) get R2 certified is $2000/annually, and requires 2 inspections that cost $1400/day per inspection (each inspection can last 3-10 days), so that is $6200-$30000 right there
    4) to get R2 certified, you need to be RIOS certified, which starts at $2500
    5) to get RIOS certified, it asks if you are an ISRI member? Not sure if that is required but it would not surprise me, cant find a price on that either but I am sure there is one.


    So there is in total, there are 5+ certifications/memberships, all which cost money, and all which themselves have hundreds of pages of requirements, inspections, approvals, etc. Additionally you would have to spend $10,000 at least, possibly $30,000+, plus invest a ton of time and effort to actually qualify and pass the requirements for each certification.

    It can't be possible that everyone on here is going through all this. Is it just that not all states/areas require this much stuff to legally be allowed to take apart computers and mail them off? Is there some loophole Im missing that says you only need to do all this if you are processing XXXX tons/month? Is everyone just doing it illegally and everything is fine (this seems the most likly but seems unreasonable). By doing it illegally I mean that in my state, to legally collect waste/electronics, and to recycle/take apart electronics, you need a permit. This permit requires numerous certifications.

    Since I am not actually doing any recycling (like melting down, or shredding, or chemical extraction), and just collecting and disassembling devices, I would have thought all this was not needed but the permit says:

    PROCESSING OF WASTE ELECTRONICS
    The approval herein granted is limited to the processing by disassembling,mechanical processing (by sizing, shaping, separating and volume reductiononly), and associated storage prior to reuse or recycling at the processing ortransfer facility, of uncontaminated and source-separated electronic devices.

    I was wondering if me sending the stuff, to a place with a certification, was good enough to qualify for the permit, but I do not know that it is. It say the permit is specifically for disassembling and processing of electronics, and that disassembling/processing without the permit is unlawful.

    I am just wondering if any of the larger players here (specifically ones that are e-steward, R2/RIOs certified, etc) have any input on the matter, or advice, or pointers on how to legally collect the devices and items that are being sent to them.





    edit: I have noticed, 2 of the local places that DO take electronics waste, do not have this permit (the state publishes a list of who has the permits online), 1 other local place does. I am wondering how the 2 places that purchase electronics waste do so without this permit at a large scale without getting in trouble. So, there must be a loophole or exception that I have not found yet.... I am assuming.
    Last edited by kss; 06-28-2020 at 06:39 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kss View Post
    I was starting to poke around on what it would take for me to be able to collect electronics on a larger scale, legally (like advertising to schools, businesses, etc). I have concluded that doing things legally is nearly impossible for small operations. This discourages competition and encourages less recycling overall.

    I understand that things need to be recycled properly, and am 100% willing to put in time/training/effort to make sure that everything is done right and responsibly, but after looking into what all would be required today, it seems impossible for any non-existing, very profitable, businesses to operate in this market legally. Have a look at everything that would be required for me to legally collect and recycle electronics in my area.


    1) get local permit to designate my garage as a legal place of business (required to provide proof that business is operating and properly zoned, for the next hurdle) (few hundred bucks)
    2) get state permit allowing me to collect and recycle covered electronic devices. This requires R2/Esteward certification (few hundred bucks)
    3) get R2 certified is $2000/annually, and requires 2 inspections that cost $1400/day per inspection (each inspection can last 3-10 days), so that is $6200-$30000 right there
    4) to get R2 certified, you need to be RIOS certified, which starts at $2500
    5) to get RIOS certified, it asks if you are an ISRI member? Not sure if that is required but it would not surprise me, cant find a price on that either but I am sure there is one.


    So there is in total, there are 5+ certifications/memberships, all which cost money, and all which themselves have hundreds of pages of requirements, inspections, approvals, etc. Additionally you would have to spend $10,000 at least, possibly $30,000+, plus invest a ton of time and effort to actually qualify and pass the requirements for each certification.

    It can't be possible that everyone on here is going through all this. Is it just that not all states/areas require this much stuff to legally be allowed to take apart computers and mail them off? Is there some loophole Im missing that says you only need to do all this if you are processing XXXX tons/month? Is everyone just doing it illegally and everything is fine (this seems the most likly but seems unreasonable). By doing it illegally I mean that in my state, to legally collect waste/electronics, and to recycle/take apart electronics, you need a permit. This permit requires numerous certifications.

    Since I am not actually doing any recycling (like melting down, or shredding, or chemical extraction), and just collecting and disassembling devices, I would have thought all this was not needed but the permit says:

    PROCESSING OF WASTE ELECTRONICS
    The approval herein granted is limited to the processing by disassembling,mechanical processing (by sizing, shaping, separating and volume reductiononly), and associated storage prior to reuse or recycling at the processing ortransfer facility, of uncontaminated and source-separated electronic devices.

    I was wondering if me sending the stuff, to a place with a certification, was good enough to qualify for the permit, but I do not know that it is. It say the permit is specifically for disassembling and processing of electronics, and that disassembling/processing without the permit is unlawful.

    I am just wondering if any of the larger players here (specifically ones that are e-steward, R2/RIOs certified, etc) have any input on the matter, or advice, or pointers on how to legally collect the devices and items that are being sent to them.



    edit: I have noticed, 2 of the local places that DO take electronics waste, do not have this permit (the state publishes a list of who has the permits online), 1 other local place does. I am wondering how the 2 places that purchase electronics waste do so without this permit at a large scale without getting in trouble. So, there must be a loophole or exception that I have not found yet.... I am assuming.
    Big ticket item that I believe you have missed is the cost to establish and maintain R2 compliance. I'm sure Mario will chime in on that one.

    In regards to ISRI membership, if you do less than $5 million in revenue, national dues are $3,007. You also need to pay regional dues which range from $250 to $1850.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mthomasdev View Post
    Big ticket item that I believe you have missed is the cost to establish and maintain R2 compliance. I'm sure Mario will chime in on that one.

    In regards to ISRI membership, if you do less than $5 million in revenue, national dues are $3,007. You also need to pay regional dues which range from $250 to $1850.

    Right. I had assumed there was MUCH MUCH MUCH more involved, and much more cost. Even just bringing yourself up to compliance likley costs a lot. Im just saying, all the requirements make it super unlikley that someone can break into this business, which is obviously advantageous to the people that are already in it..... I suppose this isnt unique as there are a ton of businesses that have high overhead and are pretty unlikley to be disrupted by anyone but the main players. For example, you cant just go start up an ISP or a cell phone company or a car manufacturer, without significant resources. However I have always thought of scrapping to be a business that anyone can start small and built up, but for electronics recycling specifically that does not seem to be the case. Even thought I 100% belive I could safely and responsibly handle all the materials (its literally just taking apart computers and mailing them away), it seems crazy to have all this oversight/regulation.

    Every component I get gets recycled properly. All plastic goes to the recycling center, all metal the local scrap yard, and everything else is reused/resold online, or to a buyer on here who DOES have the certs specifying they do things correctly. It almost seems as though I am more of a broker or extension of who I am selling to, rather than an individual entity that need permited.... but the state does not see it that way.

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    I can't speak for other states, but in Montana this was the process I had to go through to get a recycling license:

    It is better to ask questions to the state about recycling than to make assumptions. In my experience, absolute transparency with the state yields the best results and will keep you out of trouble.

    1. initial application process: I had to provide a complete list of my processing procedures, a complete list of which companies scrap items go to, site maps, site descriptions, water samples from the area, complete a soil map for the area, a complete list of safety and emergency procedures, a complete list of closing procedures. All the soil and water stuff needed to be completed because the initial plan was to do the recycling in a 12'x40' shed with some outdoor storage (moved to a warehouse so that part was no longer necessary)

    2. application approval (8 months later): I needed to get a $2 million liability insurance policy, a business license, and have a few site inspections.

    In Montana, there are no electronics recycling rules so a good portion is thrown into the garbage by consumers and businesses. It's a shame, but when everything is so far apart it's very difficult for state/local governments to fund electronics recycling efforts. Below is what I found that someone can do with/without a license: if anything gets big enough the state will require licensing

    -residential pickups: can do without a license

    -dumpster diving: can do without a license

    -business pickups: can do without a license (if it gets big enough licensing will be required)

    -city/county pickups: need to have a recycling license

    -state ewaste contracts: need to have a recycling license *also must have a hard drive shredder as most contracts are for ewaste pickups and data destruction

    -federal ewaste pickups: need to have R2/estewards certification (in certain instances you may get a federal pickup if you provide a complete list of your processing procedures and where material will end up). I have found that the federal organizations are mostly concerned about items being destroyed vs. being reused. The recycling is more of a bonus.

    *in other words, any local/state/federal will require some type of licensing. Businesses usually get to choose, but some have corporate rules that require licensed recyclers.


    It would be interesting to hear from Mario on what the bigger certifications take and their costs/difficulty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 406Refining View Post
    I can't speak for other states, but in Montana this was the process I had to go through to get a recycling license:

    It is better to ask questions to the state about recycling than to make assumptions. In my experience, absolute transparency with the state yields the best results and will keep you out of trouble.

    1. initial application process: I had to provide a complete list of my processing procedures, a complete list of which companies scrap items go to, site maps, site descriptions, water samples from the area, complete a soil map for the area, a complete list of safety and emergency procedures, a complete list of closing procedures. All the soil and water stuff needed to be completed because the initial plan was to do the recycling in a 12'x40' shed with some outdoor storage (moved to a warehouse so that part was no longer necessary)

    2. application approval (8 months later): I needed to get a $2 million liability insurance policy, a business license, and have a few site inspections.

    In Montana, there are no electronics recycling rules so a good portion is thrown into the garbage by consumers and businesses. It's a shame, but when everything is so far apart it's very difficult for state/local governments to fund electronics recycling efforts. Below is what I found that someone can do with/without a license: if anything gets big enough the state will require licensing

    -residential pickups: can do without a license

    -dumpster diving: can do without a license

    -business pickups: can do without a license (if it gets big enough licensing will be required)

    -city/county pickups: need to have a recycling license

    -state ewaste contracts: need to have a recycling license *also must have a hard drive shredder as most contracts are for ewaste pickups and data destruction

    -federal ewaste pickups: need to have R2/estewards certification (in certain instances you may get a federal pickup if you provide a complete list of your processing procedures and where material will end up). I have found that the federal organizations are mostly concerned about items being destroyed vs. being reused. The recycling is more of a bonus.

    *in other words, any local/state/federal will require some type of licensing. Businesses usually get to choose, but some have corporate rules that require licensed recyclers.


    It would be interesting to hear from Mario on what the bigger certifications take and their costs/difficulty.
    Yea it seems it is state specific. In PA we have a "covered devices" law that has been enacted in the last like.... 10 years I think. It makes it illegal for residents or business to throw electronics into the waste stream (dumpster, trash can, landfill, etc). Sure some people probably throw out computers here and there and they go un-noticed (I have found quite a few at the curb, even though technically thats illegal, it is not enforced). They MUST be recycled, and by a permitted entity. To be a permitted entity, you need a certain permit, and that permit stipulates e-steward or r2 cert as a requirement (and a ton of other things).

    It just doesnt seem possible that there are large recycling yards, in this state, able to get away with buying e-waste, without that permit. But that is what is the case. They publish the list of companies/people with the permit. Now its not like I can go ask these yards, "hey how are you allowed to do this".... but that is essentially what I am looking for. What allows them to collect, buy, and sell e-waste, so that I can utilize the same law/permit/loophole/etc, as them.
    Last edited by kss; 06-28-2020 at 09:15 PM.

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    Most states don't require R2. From a quick look at PA's regs it doesn't appear to be necessary. The gov's electronics recycling page has links to esteward and r2 facilities as well as ones without them. Unless all the others were grandfathered in this suggests all that isn't necessary. Here in NV you need a business license, a solid waste permit to do scrap including ewaste, and a trade certified and calibrated scale to buy and sell by the pound. Do al that and you're in business.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJinLV View Post
    Most states don't require R2. From a quick look at PA's regs it doesn't appear to be necessary. The gov's electronics recycling page has links to esteward and r2 facilities as well as ones without them. Unless all the others were grandfathered in this suggests all that isn't necessary. Here in NV you need a business license, a solid waste permit to do scrap including ewaste, and a trade certified and calibrated scale to buy and sell by the pound. Do al that and you're in business.

    This is the specific PA permit I was referring to


    http://www.depgreenport.state.pa.us/...me=WMGR081.pdf


    some excerpts:


    The approval herein granted is limited to the processing by disassembling,mechanical processing (by sizing, shaping, separating and volume reductiononly), and associated storage prior to reuse or recycling at the processing ortransfer facility, of uncontaminated and source-separated electronic devices


    Electronic devices that may be processed under this general permit arecomputer, telecommunication, radio, television, and electro-acoustic equipment,associated peripherals, computer components such as printed circuit boards anddisk drives, CD-ROMs, CD-Rs, CD-RWs, monitors, printers, mice, keyboards,wires, cables, laptop computers, notebook computers, notepad computers,copying equipment, electronic typewriters, calculators, telephones, facsimilemachines, answering machines, satellite descramblers/receivers, videocameras, video cassette recorders, tape recorders, audio amplifiers, cassetteplayers, record players, CD players, DVD players, vacuum cleaners, toasters,electric pencil sharpeners, blenders, small fans, desk lamps, mixers, electricgrills, deep fryers, clocks/radios, curling irons, waffle makers, food processors,irons, humidifiers, microwaves, electric carving knives, electric popcorn makers,toaster ovens, power tools, crock pots, electric scales, electronic toys andgames, coffee machines, blow dryers, electric shavers and any and allcomponents of the above (“waste electronics”).


    2. For the purpose of this permit:a. “Recycling” includes the salvaging of clean and uncontaminated metals,plastics and glass for use as raw materials for an industrial process;salvaging of precious metals via separation and shipment to a preciousmetals recycler; salvaging of uncontaminated electronic or mechanicalcomponents for re-use in their original function; and the salvaging of anypotentially leachable materials/components (including CRTs that are sent tospecialty recycling facilities for additional recycling or other beneficial use perseparate Department approval).


    4. This permit does not authorize the extraction of metals from components of theabove equipment by chemical means.5. This permit is not applicable to:a. Temporary collection events provided no recycling occurs at the site, allelectronic devices are shipped off the site within 48 hours after the collectionevent ends, and the electronic devices are shipped to a permitted recycler.b. Commercial or municipal collection sites provided no recycling occurs at thesite, the electronic devices are not accumulated speculatively as defined in25 Pa. Code 287.1, and the electronic devices are shipped to a permittedrecycler on a regular basis.


    2. Registration Requirements

    A person or municipality that proposes to operate under the terms and conditionsof this general permit after the date of permit issuance and will have no greaterthan five (5) tons of electronic devices on site at any one time must register withthe appropriate Department Regional Office (see attached list) prior toPage 5 of 12GENERAL PERMIT WMGR081WASTE ELECTRONICS PROCESSING REV. 4/2014commencing authorized activities under this general permit. A completedapplication on forms available from the Department must be submitted to theappropriate Department Regional Office. Prior to submitting the application, it isrecommended that a pre-application meeting or other contact be made with theappropriate Department Regional Office to identify the forms and otherinformation required to be part of the application. Facilities that have obtainedthird-party certification referenced in the CDRA should submit proof ofcertification as part of the application. A check shall be made payable to the“Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.” No activities shall commence unlessapproved, in writing, by the Department.


    C. Certification under the Covered Device Recycling Act.1. All permittees accepting covered devices that are required to have certification bythe CDRA must achieve and have maintained, within 18 months of issuance ofcoverage under this general permit, third-party accredited certification from theResponsible Recycling (R2) Practices Standard or the e-Stewards Standard, oran internationally accredited third-party environmental management standard thatis acceptable to the Department for the safe and responsible handling of covereddevices. Should certification not be achieved within 18 months of issuance ofcoverage under this general permit, the permittee shall cease accepting covereddevices unless an extension is granted, in writing, by the Department based onthe permittee’s demonstration of good cause as to why the permittee was notable to obtain certification in that time frame.2. All permittees accepting covered devices shall maintain and renew certificationas required.


    EDIT:

    After some re-reading, I think this may be the loophole:


    5. This permit is not applicable to:
    a. Temporary collection events provided no recycling occurs at the site, allelectronic devices are shipped off the site within 48 hours after the collectionevent ends, and the electronic devices are shipped to a permitted recycler.
    b. Commercial or municipal collection sites provided no recycling occurs at thesite, the electronic devices are not accumulated speculatively as defined in25 Pa. Code 287.1, and the electronic devices are shipped to a permittedrecycler on a regular basis.

    SO, it seem like, if I am a commercial operation, who does not recycle on-site (by my definition I do not, but their definition of recycling includes disassembly), I do not accumulate speculatively (??? will have to look into this), and ship to a permitted recycler (does out of state, R2 recycler count, or do they mean permitted by this permit?) on a regular basis, I may be legally OK.... however, if you look at their definition of recycling,

    “Recycling” includes the salvaging of clean and uncontaminated metals,plastics and glass for use as raw materials for an industrial process;salvaging of precious metals via separation and shipment to a preciousmetals recycler; salvaging of uncontaminated electronic or mechanical components for re-use in their original function; and the salvaging of anypotentially leachable materials/components (including CRTs that are sent tospecialty recycling facilities for additional recycling or other beneficial use perseparate Department approval).

    I am recycling on-site (by disassembling) so I do still need the permit..... this is all a bunch of malarkey lol


    Edit: curious what list you were looking at on a pa gov website that has non-permitted recyclers listed.... could help me get to the bottom of this


    Edit 2: this is another page I was looking at:

    https://www.dep.pa.gov/Business/Land...acilities.aspx

    "All Facilities: Currently, any electronics recycling facility that is located in Pennsylvania must have obtained general permit #WMGR081 (Processing and beneficial use of electronic equipment and components by sorting, disassembling or mechanical processing) before recycling electronic devices or electronic waste."




    Edit #3: .... more interesting malarkey

    "
    Facilities that manage or recycle covered devices that are not from an occupant of a single detached dwelling unit or a single unit of a multiple dwelling unit who has used a covered device primarily for personal or small business use are not required by law to achieve a certification. For purposes of this definition, a small business is an entity that is independently owned or operated, employs 50 or fewer people, has purchased or leased a covered computer device from a computer manufacturer or retailer and, but for the program established under this act, would not otherwise have access to electronic recycling programs."
    Last edited by kss; 06-28-2020 at 10:48 PM.

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    "legally collect and recycle electronics in my area."

    It might be time to move. The more populated the area, the more rules, the more people to make rules, and politicians think they are responsible to control the masses.

    All states must follow EPA rules and regulations. As far as I know, the EPA does not have specific rules, but instead recommendations for electronic recycling. The states I work in do not require R2 or ROIS certifications for recyclers. Electronic recycling is not classified as hazardous waste here so those rules do not apply either. Since I do very little ewaste, I had to research the requirements in this area. No county or state licensing is required as well. Our largest recyclers may have other regulations that I am not aware of.

    The point is some states issue more recommendations and guidelines than rules and regulations. High density areas tend to do the opposite. Case in point is our states handling of the Coronavirus. They made recommendations, but left it up to local communities as to how to handle it.

    I have to cut this short because I am heading to Mt. Rushmore to watch the Dakota Rednecks protect it and our history from those destroying all of our statues. Around here it is known as culling the herd.
    Give back more to this world than we take.

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    It may have something to do with what kind of state government you have. Center left governments seem to have larger bureaucracies. Center right tend to have less government regulation.

    Think of a bureau within state government .... could be any bureau. Within that bureau -or- department are regulators. Regulators aren't out there in the real world. They don't make things happen. They just make rules and and impose those rules on the people who are out there in the real world and getting things done.

    It's natural for things to grow and evolve. Plant a seed and a huge tree can grow from it over time.

    My suggestion would be to fly under the radar till you're big enough to afford the cost of their regulation. They'll probably leave you alone as long as you aren't bothering anybody.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hills View Post
    It may have something to do with what kind of state government you have. Center left governments seem to have larger bureaucracies. Center right tend to have less government regulation.

    Think of a bureau within state government .... could be any bureau. Within that bureau -or- department are regulators. Regulators aren't out there in the real world. They don't make things happen. They just make rules and and impose those rules on the people who are out there in the real world and getting things done.

    It's natural for things to grow and evolve. Plant a seed and a huge tree can grow from it over time.

    My suggestion would be to fly under the radar till you're big enough to afford the cost of their regulation. They'll probably leave you alone as long as you aren't bothering anybody.

    That is what I am doing. I know a few people doing the same thing as me who have for years in the same state, with no problems at all. I just dont understand the point of the rules if they are not enforced or if somewhere that is large, like a huge scrap yard, can not follow the rules, with no consequences (advertise that they purchase e-waste, but do not have the permit). At that point, just get rid of the rules since they do nothing. I am hoping I am missing something here, and will keep investigating.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kss View Post
    That is what I am doing. I know a few people doing the same thing as me who have for years in the same state, with no problems at all. I just dont understand the point of the rules if they are not enforced or if somewhere that is large, like a huge scrap yard, can not follow the rules, with no consequences (advertise that they purchase e-waste, but do not have the permit). At that point, just get rid of the rules since they do nothing. I am hoping I am missing something here, and will keep investigating.
    It's sort of like the nerdy little hallway monitor back in school. He's harmless enough at first but there comes a point where he's so obnoxious that you just stuff him in the nearest locker.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kss View Post
    That is what I am doing. I know a few people doing the same thing as me who have for years in the same state, with no problems at all. I just dont understand the point of the rules if they are not enforced or if somewhere that is large, like a huge scrap yard, can not follow the rules, with no consequences (advertise that they purchase e-waste, but do not have the permit). At that point, just get rid of the rules since they do nothing. I am hoping I am missing something here, and will keep investigating.
    Thought it best to take another run at this.

    The rules are very hard to get rid of once they are in place. Much easier said than done. (Have some experience in this area not related to ewaste.)

    Now ... the question arises .... and this is a very important question: Do the regulators even have the authority to propagate rules that carry the weight of law ?

    There are three branches of government. The judicial is the system of courts. The legislative branch propagates law. The executive branch puts the law into practice.

    The regulators come under the executive branch. They can enforce the law but they cannot make law. That power is reserved to the legislature alone.

    All that legal and constitutional stuff aside :

    Here in Maine they have different classifications -or- permits for different jobs. For example ... you might be an ewaste consolidator. You might be a dismantler. You might be a processor that actually works with chemicals and refines ewaste. As you can imagine ... the regulations for a processor would be much more involved than the regulations for a consolidator.

    I'm just wondering if there may be something similar in your state. Maybe you wouldn't need all of the special certifications for the ewaste activities you're engaged in ?

    Maybe all of the things mentioned in your first post pertain only to an ewaste operation doing millions of dollars of business in a year ?

    That might be worth looking into.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hills View Post
    Thought it best to take another run at this.

    The rules are very hard to get rid of once they are in place. Much easier said than done. (Have some experience in this area not related to ewaste.)

    Now ... the question arises .... and this is a very important question: Do the regulators even have the authority to propagate rules that carry the weight of law ?

    There are three branches of government. The judicial is the system of courts. The legislative branch propagates law. The executive branch puts the law into practice.

    The regulators come under the executive branch. They can enforce the law but they cannot make law. That power is reserved to the legislature alone.

    All that legal and constitutional stuff aside :

    Here in Maine they have different classifications -or- permits for different jobs. For example ... you might be an ewaste consolidator. You might be a dismantler. You might be a processor that actually works with chemicals and refines ewaste. As you can imagine ... the regulations for a processor would be much more involved than the regulations for a consolidator.

    I'm just wondering if there may be something similar in your state. Maybe you wouldn't need all of the special certifications for the ewaste activities you're engaged in ?

    Maybe all of the things mentioned in your first post pertain only to an ewaste operation doing millions of dollars of business in a year ?

    That might be worth looking into.

    I was/am hoping that is the case, but from reading the law/permit (http://www.depgreenport.state.pa.us/...me=WMGR081.pdf)

    ANYONE recycling electronics (and by their definitions of recycling, which is outlined in the document/link above) I am a recycler and required to have this permit to legally operate.

    This document defines recycling as:

    For the purpose of this permit:a. “Recycling” includes the salvaging of clean and uncontaminated metals,plastics and glass for use as raw materials for an industrial process;salvaging of precious metals via separation and shipment to a preciousmetals recycler; salvaging of uncontaminated electronic or mechanicalcomponents for re-use in their original function; and the salvaging of anypotentially leachable materials/components (including CRTs that are sent tospecialty recycling facilities for additional recycling or other beneficial use perseparate Department approval).


    So even if I was just taking ram out of computers I get from people, and putting in other computers, TECHNICALLY I am an electronics recycler and would need this permit..... according to what is in this document.

    In a few places in the document, they do make a distinction and different requirements for recyclers who have >= 5 tons on-site at any one time, and those that do not. However it does not say that anyone, with any amount can be exempt from requiring this permit.



    I may just go down the the office and ask them what the deal is


    after some googleing, I did find this, which seems to reference a 5 ton exemption.... on page 19

    https://www.philadelphiastreets.com/...-2-26-2015.pdf

    But cant find any more info on that being the case
    Last edited by kss; 06-29-2020 at 09:04 PM.

  21. #14
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    So get what you need to repair and resell then responsibly recycle that which you can neither repair nor resell like any responsible repair tech should

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patriot76 View Post
    "legally collect and recycle electronics in my area."

    It might be time to move. The more populated the area, the more rules, the more people to make rules, and politicians think they are responsible to control the masses.

    All states must follow EPA rules and regulations. As far as I know, the EPA does not have specific rules, but instead recommendations for electronic recycling. The states I work in do not require R2 or ROIS certifications for recyclers. Electronic recycling is not classified as hazardous waste here so those rules do not apply either. Since I do very little ewaste, I had to research the requirements in this area. No county or state licensing is required as well. Our largest recyclers may have other regulations that I am not aware of.

    The point is some states issue more recommendations and guidelines than rules and regulations. High density areas tend to do the opposite. Case in point is our states handling of the Coronavirus. They made recommendations, but left it up to local communities as to how to handle it.

    I have to cut this short because I am heading to Mt. Rushmore to watch the Dakota Rednecks protect it and our history from those destroying all of our statues. Around here it is known as culling the herd.
    This is not an attempt to hijack a thread, only a follow up on my last statement. We had a protest that blocked the one of the main routes to Mt. Rushmore. That was quickly disbursed. The hills were alive with firearms, military, law enforcement, and law abiding citizens. Crazy thing was, nobody toppled the statues. It might have been because of the fighter jets over head instead of the firearms. I doubt the monument is in jeopardy, there are several armed citizen groups camped just outside the restricted area.

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  24. #16
    kss started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJinLV View Post
    So get what you need to repair and resell then responsibly recycle that which you can neither repair nor resell like any responsible repair tech should
    Just realized I never replied to this. Like I said, It would take six-figures of $$, and years of time/inspections, in my state, to do this legally, from my reading of the laws. I was hoping I misread or that I missed some loophole.

    To "recycle" electronics in PA (which according to their definition, even just taking ram from one computer for uses, qualifies as recycling),legally, you need PA GENERAL PERMIT WMGR081
    To get GENERAL PERMIT WMGR081 you need R2/RIOS certified
    To get R2/RIOs certified, you need money for the certs and inspections, and a qualifying facility to be inspected.


    Not going to happen for me unless I can scrape up some serious money to commit to this. Might be easier and cheaper to get a property in a neighboring state that has no such restrictions.
    Last edited by kss; 12-27-2020 at 04:55 PM.

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    Did you call the appropriate government office? BC the official state webpage still has links to R2/e-steward and non-R2 facilities. So there is clearly a way.

  26. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJinLV View Post
    Did you call the appropriate government office? BC the official state webpage still has links to R2/e-steward and non-R2 facilities. So there is clearly a way.

    I know there MUST be a way, Im just trying to find it lol.... that is the point of this post. I have not called. I really should. I have just read the laws and permits and both clearly state the requirements, and neither had (that I could find) any exceptions to the requirements.




    Namely this permit:
    http://www.depgreenport.state.pa.us/...me=WMGR081.pdf

    Which states:

    C. Certification under the Covered Device Recycling Act.1. All permittees accepting covered devices that are required to have certification bythe CDRA must achieve and have maintained, within 18 months of issuance ofcoverage under this general permit, third-party accredited certification from theResponsible Recycling (R2) Practices Standard or the e-Stewards Standard, oran internationally accredited third-party environmental management standard thatis acceptable to the Department for the safe and responsible handling of covereddevices. Should certification not be achieved within 18 months of issuance ofcoverage under this general permit, the permittee shall cease accepting covereddevices unless an extension is granted, in writing, by the Department based onthe permittee’s demonstration of good cause as to why the permittee was notable to obtain certification in that time frame.2. All permittees accepting covered devices shall maintain and renew certificationas required.


    So that states that anyone accepting devices that is required to have certification, must have certification, to obtain that permit. So next going to the
    covered device recycling act to see who is required to have certification yeilds the followings:


    Applicability:
    Section 301. Applicability.
    The collection, transportation and recycling provisions of
    this act shall apply only to covered devices used by and
    collected from a consumer in this Commonwealth.
    https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs...tn=1&subsctn=0

    So I guess does that mean if I collect from another state I am ok? Maybe,,, moving on....


    Section 505. Environmentally sound management requirements.
    (a) General rule.--Covered devices collected through any
    program in this Commonwealth, whether by a manufacturer,
    retailer, for-profit or not-for-profit corporation or unit of
    government, shall be recycled in a manner that is in compliance
    with all applicable Federal, State and local laws, regulations
    and ordinances and may not be exported for disposal in a manner
    that poses a significant risk to the public health or the
    environment.
    (b) Performance requirements.--
    (1) All entities shall, at a minimum, demonstrate to the
    satisfaction of the department that the facility to be used
    to recycle covered devices has achieved and maintained third-
    party accredited certification from:
    (i) the Responsible Recycling (R2) Practices
    Standard;
    (ii) the e-Stewards standard; or
    (iii) an internationally accredited third-party
    environmental management standard for the safe and
    responsible handling of covered devices.
    (2) All entities shall provide information about their
    certification and its standing to the department along with
    any other requirements regarding this subsection that may be
    mandated by Federal or State law. The department shall make
    this information available on its Internet website.
    (c) Department to maintain Internet website.--The department
    shall maintain an Internet website that includes a list of
    entities and organizations that the department has determined
    have met the performance requirements.
    https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs...tn=5&subsctn=0


    So that says anyone collecting materials:

    "facility to be used to recycle covered devices has achieved and maintained third-
    party accredited certification from:"


    And that would be fine, since all my stuff is going to someone on here with that accreditation, BUT since I am disassembling and sorting prior to shipment,
    technically MY location where I am doing that is the facility, and would also need to be accredited, since the law defines:


    "Recycling." A process by which covered devices that would
    otherwise become solid waste or hazardous waste are collected,
    transported, separated and processed, including disassembling,
    dismantling or shredding, to be returned to use in the form of
    raw materials or products in accordance with environmental
    standards established by the Department of Environmental
    Protection.


    I guess I could argue that I am not "recycling" the devices because I am not sending them to be returned to raw materials.... I am sending them to someone else, who is then doing that. Idk....
    Last edited by kss; 12-28-2020 at 10:19 AM.

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    It's sad to see laws this complicated messing with you. Heck, here in Wyoming, small E-Waste operators are totally exempted. This year, I really should get the "big guy" licenses though- the Wyoming exemption is based on how much stuff you have stored, so that limit can be a pain in the butt sometimes.

    That said, Wyoming has super-easy licenses. At least last time they checked. Here, your building can have a dirt floor and only three walls. It's so laid back, it's almost comical in the other direction.

    Depending on how close you are to a state border, cheap rent across the state line may not be a bad option. Everyone in Wyoming flocks to Montana for "No sales tax shopping", and a lot of people prefer to live in Wyoming due to the lack of an income tax. If you're near a state border, sometimes you can make that really work in your favor. Just be careful your truck doesn't get too large- over 10,001 pounds gross, and you open up a can of worms with the DOT in crossing state lines. That's a huge part of why my "Hauling E-Waste to Billings" rig is an SUV and a small trailer. At about 9,300 gross weight, I don't need a DOT number, vehicle inspections, a medical card, or any of that. I have my CDL so I'm good for the medical card, but it's nice to not have to worry about any of it. I can just hop in and go like I was driving to town for groceries.

    Your Tacoma will be under 10,000 gross for sure. Just make sure not to get too crazy with the trailer and you should be good to go!
    More than Scrap Value Shipment Tips: http://www.scrapmetalforum.com/scrap...tml#post242349


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