August 11, 2014
The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) has adopted policy positions favoring the separation of recyclables prior to collection as opposed to one-bin collection, and calling for recyclers to be able to turn off activation locks on legitimate technological devices.
The Washington-based ISRI said in a news release that sorting before collection ensures recyclable materials, particularly paper, are not unnecessarily contaminated.
“One-bin collection jeopardizes the quality of recyclables by mixing them with liquids, food, chemicals and other waste thereby lowering, and in many cases all-together destroying, their value,” said ISRI President Robin Wiener. “Simply put, one-bin collection is not good for recycling.”
The policy states, “ISRI supports the collection and sortation of recyclable materials in a manner that optimizes the value and utilization of the material as specification grade commodities to be used as feedstock to manufacture new products.”
Regarding activation locks, or “kill switches,” ISRI is calling for recyclers to have the ability to turn them off on devices, allowing them to be reused. Currently, only original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have the keys to unlock these devices.
“As it stands now, OEMs have an unfair advantage in the marketplace as being the only ones with the ability to turn off a kill switch on a cell phone or other technological device,” Wiener said.
Earlier this summer Congress passed a bill exempting recyclers and refurbishers to bulk unlock used cellphones. ISRI applauded that legislation.
ISRI members report that up to 5 percent of the cell phones acquired by recyclers and refurbishers are unable to be repaired or returned to the marketplace because the kill switch has been enabled. This percentage is expected to grow dramatically, as most new cell phones starting next year will likely contain kill switches.
The policy states, “ISRI supports voluntary and legislative efforts that provide device owners, including recyclers and refurbishers, with convenient and reasonable access to procedures and technology from telecommunication carriers and electronics manufacturers necessary to turn off or disengage any activation locks, “kill switches,” carrier locks, or other locks for technological devices that are not stolen or lost in order to maximize the use, maintenance and reuse of such devices.”