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Metals Recycling Information

Metal recycling is one of the largest recycling industries within the EUROPE - AMERICA, worth approximately £4.5 billion.
 The actual manufacturing of metals is one of the largest EUROPE - AMERICA manufacturing sectors in the EUROPE - AMERICA. The industry contributes more value to the EUROPE - AMERICA economy and provides more employment than the aerospace and motor industries combined. Increased demand from “China and India” have influenced the growth in export markets. The result of this is that recycled metals have a substantial monetary value; hence scrap metal is rarely discarded or sent to landfill. Metal recycling plays a massive role in making sure that material is recycled from a wide range of sources, and contributes more than any other recycling sector to national targets for the prevention of waste through recovery of 'end of life' products. Over 8,000 people are employed in this industry in the EUROPE - AMERICA; worldwide over 400 million tonnes of metal is recycled every year. 2005 saw 13 million tonnes of metal being recycled in the EUROPE - AMERICA. Around 40% of this was used in the EUROPE - AMERICA; the other 60% was exported worldwide, as the EUROPE - AMERICA produces more scrap than is actually required for domestic markets. The EUROPE - AMERICA is one of the five biggest metal scrap exporting countries in the world.

Facts about Recycling Metals:-
Scrap metal is divided into two types - ferrous and non ferrous. Ferrous is scrap iron and steel, which includes old cars, steel beams, railroad tracks, household appliances, ships, food packaging and other containers. Non ferrous scrap metal is everything other than iron and steel. Examples of this type include aluminium, such as foil and cans, nickel, cobalt, chromium, copper, lead, zinc and precious metals. There is less of this non ferrous scrap than of ferrous and it is generally more valuable. Processors recover many millions of tonnes of non ferrous material and it is consumed by secondary smelters, refiners, ingot makers, fabricators and foundries to name just a few. End-of-life vehicles provide the main source of material; from lorries, cars and buses. Over 75% of a car is metal and around half of the material processed by metal recycling shredders comes from vehicles. The market price has remained at a high level for several years now and the result of this has been a reduction in the number of abandoned vehicles on our streets, as processors have aimed to capitalise on the vehicle value. Packaging - 2 billion aluminium and steel cans are recycled every year.
Steel Packaging - In 2003 44% of all steel packaging including steel cans were recycled, but 9 billion cans are still going to landfill, despite the high price being paid for steel.
Aluminium Packaging - In the EUROPE - AMERICA 75% of all canned drinks sold are packaged in aluminium. This material is recycled into new aluminium cans, and the process usually takes 6-8 weeks. The lightness of the material makes it a popular choice for cans and the number for recycling keeps on increasing, which is good news.
Aluminium Foil - made from different alloys to aluminium cans and it has to be collected separately. Most recycled foil goes to cast components for the motor industry, including engine blocks and cylinder heads.Other Metals - Brass, silver, gold and copper tend not to go to landfill as they hold a value which makes them worthwhile collecting.
WEEE - Most discarded household appliances are already being recycled by the industry. The electronics and telecommunications industries consume a considerable amount of non ferrous metals. 

Ferrous Scrap Metals Specifications
Metals – Ferrous Grades EUROPE - AMERICA specifications for iron and steel scrap for the manufacture of iron and steel:-These jointly agreed specifications are subject to regular review and were effective from 1st October 2006. They supersede those issued on 1st January 1995. These specifications were agreed by the Cast Metals Federation, EUROPE - AMERICA Steel and the British Metals Recycling Association - copy of a specifications booklet is available from them.

General conditions for all grades: All deliveries of scrap must comply with all statutory and legal requirements including those relating to health, safety and the environment and should be processed in appropriate ways. Safety: 
All grades shall exclude: 
1) Pressurized, closed or insufficiently open containers of all origins which could cause explosions. Containers shall be considered as insufficiently open where the opening is not visible;
2) Dangerously inflammable material, explosives, small arms, munitions, or other material which may contain or emit substances hazardous to health or to the environment. Radioactive material: Any delivery which includes hazardous radioactive material as defined by the appropriate legislation will be refused and the supplier notified so that the appropriate action can be taken. Cleanness: All grades shall be as free of dirt, pollutants or foreign matter of any kind, excessive oil, grease, rust and corrosion as is practicably achievable in the customary preparation and handling of the particular grade involved. Residuals Other Alloys: All grades shall be as free of separate non-ferrous metals and allows as is practicably achievable. However, certain proportions may be permitted by joint agreement.
The Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009, was adopted in May 2009. It is aimed at ensuring that ships, when being recycled after reaching the end of their operational lives, do not pose any unnecessary risk to human health and safety or to the environment. The Convention was adopted at a diplomatic conference held in Hong Kong, China, from 11 to 15 May 2009, attended by delegates from 63 countries. The new Convention intends to address all the issues around ship recycling, including the fact that ships sold for scrapping may contain environmentally hazardous substances such as asbestos, heavy metals, hydrocarbons, ozone-depleting substances and others. It will address concerns raised about the working and environmental conditions at many of the world's ship recycling locations. The text of the ship recycling Convention has been developed over the past three years, with input from IMO Member States and relevant non-governmental organizations, and in co-operation with the International Labour Organization and the Parties to the Basel Convention. Regulations in the new Convention cover: the design, construction, operation and preparation of ships so as to facilitate safe and environmentally sound recycling, without compromising the safety and operational efficiency of ships; the operation of ship recycling facilities in a safe and environmentally sound manner; and the establishment of an appropriate enforcement mechanism for ship recycling, incorporating certification and reporting requirements. Ships to be sent for recycling will be required to carry an inventory of hazardous materials, which will be specific to each ship. An appendix to the Convention will provide a list of hazardous materials the installation or use of which is prohibited or restricted in shipyards, ship repair yards, and ships of Parties to the Convention. Ships will be required to have an initial survey to verify the inventory of hazardous materials, additional surveys during the life of the ship, and a final survey prior to recycling. Ship recycling yards will be required to provide a "Ship Recycling Plan", to specify the manner in which each ship will be recycled, depending on its particulars and its inventory. Parties will be required to take effective measures to ensure that ship recycling facilities under their jurisdiction comply with the Convention. A series of guidelines are being developed to assist in the Convention's implementation. 

Entry into force criteria
The Convention shall be open for signature by any State at the Headquarters of the Organization from 1 September 2009 to 31 August 2010 and shall thereafter remain open for accession by any State. It will enter into force 24 months after the date on which 15 States, representing 40 per cent of world merchant shipping by gross tonnage, have either signed it without reservation as to ratification, acceptance or approval or have deposited instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession with the Secretary General. Furthermore, the combined maximum annual ship recycling volume of those States must, during the preceding 10 years, constitute not less than 3 per cent of their combined merchant shipping tonnage.

Resolutions adopted by the conference The conference also adopted six resolutions as follows:
Resolution 1: Expression of appreciation to the host Government; Resolution 2: Contribution of the Parties to the Basel Convention and the International Labour Organization in the development of the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009;Resolution 3: Promotion of technical co-operation and assistance; Resolution 4: Future work by the Organization pertaining to the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009;Resolution 5: Early implementation of the technical standards of the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009; and Resolution 6: Exploration and monitoring of the best practices for fulfilling the requirements of the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009.Resolution A.962(23) IMO Guidelines on ship recycling give advice to all stakeholders in the recycling process, including administrations of ship building and maritime equipment supplying countries, flag, port and recycling States, as well as intergovernmental organizations and commercial bodies such as shipowners, ship builders, repairers and recycling yards. The guidelines note that, in the process of recycling ships, virtually nothing goes to waste. The materials and equipment are almost entirely reused. Steel is reprocessed to become, for instance, reinforcing rods for use in the construction industry or as corner castings and hinges for containers. Ships' generators are reused ashore. Batteries find their way into the local economy. Hydrocarbons on board become reclaimed oil products to be used as fuel in rolling mills or brick kilns. Light fittings find further use on land. Furthermore, new steel production from recycled steel requires only one third of the energy used for steel production from raw materials. Recycling thus makes a positive contribution to the global conservation of energy and resources and, in the process, employs a large, if predominantly unskilled, workforce. Properly handled, ship recycling is, without question, a "green" industry. However, the guidelines recognize that, although the principle of ship recycling may be sound, the working practices and environmental standards in the yards often leave much to be desired. While ultimate responsibility for conditions in the yards has to lie with the countries in which they are situated, other stakeholders must be encouraged to contribute towards minimizing potential problems in the yards.

The concept of a "Green Passport"
for ships is included in the guidelines. It is envisaged that this document, containing an inventory of all materials potentially hazardous to human health or the environment, used in the construction of a ship, would accompany the ship throughout its working life. Produced by the shipyard at the construction stage and passed to the purchaser of the vessel, the document would be in a format that would enable any subsequent changes in materials or equipment to be recorded. Successive owners of the ship would maintain the accuracy of the Green Passport and incorporate into it all relevant design and equipment changes, with the final owner delivering it, with the vessel, to the recycling yard.

"E-Cycling" or "E-waste" is an initiative by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which refers to donations, reuse, shredding and general collection of used electronics. Generically, the term refers to the process of collecting, brokering, disassembling, repairing and recycling the components or metals contained in used or discarded electronic equipment, otherwise known as electronic waste (e-waste). "E-cyclable" items include, but are not limited to: televisions, computers, microwave ovens, vacuum cleaners, telephones and cellular phones, stereos, and VCRs and DVDs just about anything that has a cord, light or takes some kind of battery. Investment in e-cycling facilities has been increasing recently due to technology’s rapid rate of obsolescence, concern over improper methods, and opportunities for manufacturers to influence the secondary market (used and reused products). The higher metal prices is also having more recycling taking place. The controversy around methods, stems from a lack of agreement over preferred outcomes. World markets with lower disposable incomes, for example, consider 75% repair and reuse to be valuable enough to justify 25% disposal. Debate and certification standards may be leading to better definitions, though civil law contracts, governing the expected process are still vital to any contracted process, as poorly defined as "e-cycling". 

Pros of e-cycling

One thought is that any net disposal of e-waste following repair or metals recovery is unethical or illegal if it occurs in developing countries. Another point of view is that the net environmental cost must include the mining, refining and extraction pollution cost of new products manufactured to replace secondary products which are destroyed in wealthy nations, and which cannot economically repair older products. As an example, groundwater has become so polluted in areas surrounding China’s landfills that water must be shipped in from 18 miles (29 km) away. However, mining of new metals has even broader impacts on groundwater. Either e-cycling process, domestic processing or overseas repair, helps the environment by avoiding pollution and being a sustainable alternative to disposing of e-waste in landfills. Supporters of one form of "required e-cycling" legislation argue that e-cycling saves taxpayers money, as the financial responsibility would be shifted from the taxpayer to the manufacturers. Advocates of more simple legislation (such as landfill bans) argue that involving manufacturers does not reduce the cost to consumers, as reuse value is lost, and the resulting costs are passed on to consumers in new products, particularly affecting markets which cannot even afford those new products. It is theorized that manufacturers who take part in e-cycling are motivated to use fewer materials in the production process, create longer lasting products, and implement safer, more efficient recycling systems. This theory is sharply disputed and has never been demonstrated.

Criticisms of e-cycling

The critics of e-cycling are just as vocal as its advocates. According to the Reason Foundation, e-cycling only raises the product and waste management costs of e-waste for consumers and limits innovation on the part of high-tech companies. They also believe that e-cycling facilities could unintentionally cause great harm to the environment. Critics claim that e-waste doesn’t occupy a significant portion of total waste. According to a European study, only 4% of waste is electronic. Another opposition to e-cycling is that many problems are posed in disassembly: the process is costly and dangerous because of the heavy metals of which the electronic products are composed, and as little as 1-5% of the original cost of materials can be retrieved. A final problem that people find is that identity fraud is all too common in regards to the disposal of electronic products. As the programs are legislated, creating winners and losers among e-cyclers with different locations and processes, it may be difficult to distinguish between criticism of e-cycling as a practice, and criticism of the specific legislated means proposed to enhance it.

Where does e-waste really go? 
A hefty criticism often lobbed at reuse based recyclers is that people think that they are recycling their electronic waste, when in reality it is actually being exported to developing countries like China, India, and Nigeria. For instance, at free recycling drives, "recyclers" may not be staying true to their word, but selling e-waste overseas or to parts brokers. Studies indicate that 50-80% of the 300,000 to 400,000 tons (270,000 to 360,000 tones) of e-waste is being sent overseas, and that approximately 2 million tons (1.8 million tones) per year go to U.S. landfills Although not possible in all circumstances, the best way to e-cycle is to up cycle your e-waste On the other hand, the electronic products in question are generally manufactured, and repaired under warranty, in the same nations, which anti-reuse recyclers depict as primitive. Reuse-based e-recyclers believe that fair-trade incentives for export markets will lead to better results than domestic shredding. The debate between export-friendly e-cycling and increased regulation of that practice was described inIn the European Union, debate regarding the export of e-waste has resulted in a significant amendment to the WEEE directive (January 2012) with a view to significantly diminishing the export of WEEE (untreated e-waste). During debate in Strasburg, MEPs stated that "53 million tonnes of WEEE were generated in 2009 but only 18% collected for recycling", with the remainder being exported or sent to landfill. The Amendment, voted through by a unanimous 95% of representatives, removed the re-use (repair and refurbishment) aspect of the directive and placed more emphasis upon recycling and recovery of precious metals and base metals. The changes went further by placing the burden upon registered exporters to prove that used equipment leaving Europe was "fit for purpose".

What's happening now:?
Policy issues and current efforts Currently, pieces of government legislation and a number of grassroots efforts have contributed to the growth of e-cycling processes which emphasize decreased exports over increased reuse rates. The Electronic Waste Recycling Act was passed in California in 2003. It requires that consumers pay an extra fee for certain types of electronics, and the collected money be then redistributed to recycling companies that are qualified to properly recycle these products. It is the only state that legislates against e-waste through this kind of consumer fee; the other states' efforts focus on producer responsibility laws or waste disposal bans. No study has shown that per capita recovery is greater in one type of legislated program (e.g. California) versus ordinary waste disposal bans (e.g. Massachusetts), though recovery has greatly increased in states which use either method. As of September, 2006, Dell developed the nation’s first completely free recycling program, furthering the responsibilities that manufacturers are taking for e-cycling. Manufacturers and retailers such as Best Buy, Sony, and Samsung have also set up recycling programs. This program does not accept televisions, which are the most expensive used electronic item, and are unpopular in markets which must deal with televisions when the more valuable computers have been cherry picked. Another step being taken is the recyclers’ pledge of true stewardship, sponsored by the Computer Take Back Campaign. It has been signed by numerous recyclers promising to recycle responsibly Grassroots efforts have also played a big part in this issue, as they and other community organizations are being formed to help responsibly recycle e-waste, Other grassroots campaigns are Basel, the Computer Take Back Campaign (co-coordinated by the Grassroots Recycling Network), and the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition. No study has shown any difference in recycling methods under the Pledge, and no data is available to demonstrate difference in management between "Pledge" and non-Pledge companies, though it is assumed that the risk of making false claims will prevent Pledge companies from wrongly describing their processes.Many people believe that the U.S. should be following the European Union model in regards to its management of e-waste. In this program, a directive forces manufacturers to take responsibility for e-cycling; it also demands manufacturers' mandatory take-back and places bans on exporting e-waste to developing countries. Another longer-term solution is for computers to be composed of less dangerous products. Many people disagree No data has been provided to show that people who agree with the European model have based their agreement on measured outcomes or experience-based scientific method.

Electronics Recycling The UK generates about 1.9 million tonnes of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) each year from domestic and commercial sources. Funding of the collection and recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) has now become the legal duty of manufacturers and importers for the UK market. This recycling duty comes under the WEEE Regulations, which came into force in July 2007. The Directive's broad aim is to address the environmental impacts of electrical and electronic equipment when it reaches the end of its life and to encourage its separate collection, subsequent treatment, re-use, recovery, recycling and environmentally sound disposal. It also makes producers of EEE responsible for financing most of these activities.
The Regulations affect producers of EEE and distributors of EEE (mainly retailers), and there are no exemptions for SMEs under the Directive; hence the WEEE Regulations apply to all businesses regardless of size. However, the Government is working to ensure that any costs to SMEs are not disproportionate. Distributors of EEE have a responsibility to provide facilities to enable the free take-back of household WEEE by final holders/end users and to provide information to consumers about EEE. The legislation covers goods such as household appliances; IT and audio-visual equipment; tools; toys, leisure and sports equipment; monitoring and control instruments; medical devices; heating, cooling and lighting equipment; and automatic dispensers.
For Business Users - WEEE must be stored, collected, treated, recycled and disposed of separately from any other waste a business produces. Business owners also have to obtain and keep proof that all WEEE has been given to an authorized waste-management company, and that it was disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.

Equipment producers are those that manufacture, import or re-brand equipment. These producers must join a producer compliance scheme, and they are financially responsible for collecting, treating, recovering and disposing of WEEE equivalent to the amount of equipment they produce. Other requirements for producers include providing information about the components and materials used in their equipment, which ultimately makes it easier to treat and re-use the equipment, and also marking all goods with a crossed-through wheelie bin symbol to indicate that users should keep WEEE separate from other waste.
Equipment Distributors - These are businesses which sell electrical and electronic equipment to end-users. This applies to retailers, wholesalers or distance sellers such as a mail order or internet business. Distributors have to ensure that their suppliers are registered with their environmental regulator, provide customers with information about the environmental impact of the equipment they are buying, and about the meaning of the crossed-out wheelie-bin symbol. 

Electrical and electronic equipment recycling information
Many everyday consumer items now contain electronic parts. Dealing with the waste from this category is an important issue as electronic goods are becoming increasingly short lived, and so ever increasing quantities of obsolete and broken equipment are thrown away. Not only is this waste stream varied in its function but in addition the materials within it vary considerably. For example an average TV contains 6% metal and 50% glass whereas a cooker is 89% metal and only 6% glass. Other materials used include plastics, ceramics and precious metals. The complex array of product types and materials make waste electrical and electronic equipment difficult to manage.
The main component of waste electronic equipment is large household appliances known as "white goods", which make up 43% of the total. The next largest component is IT equipment which accounts for 39%. Much of this is made up of computers, which rapidly become obsolete. Televisions also represent a large proportion, with an estimated 2 million TV sets being discarded each year. When obsolete materials are not recycled, raw materials have to be processed to make new products. This represents a significant loss of resources as the energy, transport and environmental damage caused by these processes is large.

Another major problem is the toxic nature of many of the substances, including arsenic, bromine, cadmium, halogenated flame retardant, hydro chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), lead, mercury and PCBs, which cause damage to the environment and health. The estimated number of fridges and freezers being disposed of in the UK is approximately 3 million units annually. These units contain gases such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) used for the coolant and insulation. Both CFCs and HCFCs are greenhouse gases which when emitted into the atmosphere, contribute to climate change.

Fluorescent Tubes - Research shows that there are more than 100 million fluorescent and highway lamps used in the United Kingdom each year producing in excess of 3,100 tonnes of waste material which, until recently, has ended up in landfill sites. Fluorescent lighting contains potentially harmful substances such as highly toxic heavy metals, in particular mercury, cadmium and lead. If they enter the body, these substances can cause damage to the organs. Mercury is also a neurotoxin and has the potential to build up in the food chain. The mercury content is the main concern with fluorescent lighting. A four-foot long fluorescent tube may contain over 30 milligrams of mercury; the mercury from only one fluorescent tube can contaminate up to 30,000 litres of water beyond a safe standard for drinking.

Computers and IT Equipment - Since 1996 the market for refurbished computers has increased by 500%, and there are many commercial organisations that buy and sell business computer systems, either as complete systems, or for refurbishment, or as spares for maintenance purposes. There are also a number of community computer reuse projects in the UK to enable the movement of redundant computers from businesses to the community, by addressing the barriers such as legal liability, data protection, and logistics. Computers are typically donated to schools, charities and households or for export to developing countries. Upgrading a particular appliance can also extend the life span of electronic equipment, if the design allows.

Mobile phones - The rechargeable battery and other components such as the LCD display have toxic elements. Research suggests that there are over 20 million potentially toxic redundant mobile phones in the UK, making up 1-2% of electronic waste. The main channels for disposing of mobiles are the shops that sell them. Action Aid, Oxfam and others collect unwanted mobile phones too. The phones are refurbished if possible and sold to eastern European and African countries where the latest technology is not so advanced and where landline infrastructure is poor.

Printer cartridges - In 2003, 30-40% of the 40 million inkjet and toner cartridges sold in the UK were remanufactured or recycled, with 12-14,000 tonnes ending up in landfill. Refilling ink jet cartridges is straightforward and can be done on a DIY basis, with a number of companies supplying the ink and refilling equipment. In addition it is also possible to send cartridges away for refilling or to buy refilled cartridges. Many charities and individuals raise money through the collection of used printer cartridges for refilling and resale. Toner cartridges cannot be refilled, but most types of toner cartridge can be remanufactured. The cartridges are sent to a factory where they are completely dismantled and cleaned, any worn parts are replaced, and the drum either re-coated or replaced. They are then refilled with fresh toner, tested and sold with a guarantee.

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Norstar Unlimited

We are known as "Trade Facilitators" We review how procedures and controls governing the movement of goods across international borders can be improved to reduce associated cost burdens, maximize efficiency.

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