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Syracuse, NY, United States, 2006/12/06 - Northeast Surplus & Materials, LLC, a Syracuse based Central New York electronics recycler, has announced the completion of work on a revolutionary new circuit board recycling system.
The system’s development comes at a time when communities across the country are scrambling to figure out what to do about the huge growth of electronics trash that is causing health problems and polluting the environment. The recent release of a U.N. study outlining the need for member countries to take actions to slow the tide of toxic electronic devices entering landfills worldwide has further brought the issue to the forefront, both domestically and internationally.
The new patent-pending system efficiently and safely recovers reusable parts and valuable metals from discarded circuit boards. According to Jim Moltion, Northeast president, the new environmentally friendly, one-operator circuit board “depopulator” system removes over 300,000 parts a week during a normal 40-hour workweek.
The new system uses very little energy and leaving virtually nothing to go into landfills. “At the end of the system’s two combined processes, virtually nothing is left of the computer or electronic device to go into the waste stream,” Moltion said. “Everything is consumed or made into reusable resources. It’s important that as few of these electronic items make it into our landfills as possible because many contain very toxic materials.
”Other U.S. electronics recyclers take a more labor-intensive approach, using hotplates and hair dryers to separate these parts, Moltion said. “That’s an expensive, messy process that unnecessarily exposes workers to toxic fumes,” Moltion said.
The development of the system was made possible through the New York State Energy Resource Development Authority (NYSERDA) in 2000 as part of its Environmental Products Development Program, which assists in the development of products and systems designed to treat, process, or reuse waste products using less energy in the process. NYSERDA provided funding in the amount of more than $230,000, with the overall project totaling more than $460,000.
“NYSERDA has a long-standing role in developing waste and pollution reduction projects,” said Peter R. Smith, NYSERDA president. “These programs are beneficial to private industry, as well as communities across the state. NYSERDA’s funding programs can help companies like Northeast Surplus & Materials, LLC to develop and market energy-efficient recycling technologies designed to address serious waste management problems.”
The company is currently working out details with a few of the country’s largest computer manufacturers for them to buy systems from Northeast to recover usable circuit board components using the new system, according to Moltion. All the raw metals recovered from the process are sold to smelters for reuse in making such items as new electronics and jewelry.
Investment is currently being sought for the commercial-ready system, and the company has plans to sell or license it to others in the worldwide recycling industry, Moltion said. The National Safety Council estimates that over 600 million computers will be abandoned in 2007 and that the number will grow steadily over the next few years. To date, only about 10% of theses will be recycled. The rest will either be put into landfills or packed into ocean containers and shipped overseas where the recycling regulations aren’t as strict as those of this country. (See ban.org) Also, Recycling operations there are permitted to use such pollutant methods as bathing circuit boards in acid to remove gold and other metals before stripping them off by hand, according to Moltion.
The types of electronic equipment Northeast recycles include: monitors, computers, printers, fax machines, typewriters, copy machines, and other various home electronics. A complete list of recyclable items can be found at the company Website, along with an online quote form.
Because of the work involved in electronics recycling, the company charges a small fee for its services. “It’s a small price to pay to help save the environment and create jobs for the community, however,” Moltion said. But Northeast does all it can to make using its services as easy and painless as possible, Moltion said. The company will come to a customer’s location to pick items up, if necessary.
About Northeast Surplus & Materials, LLC
Northeast Surplus & Materials, LLC (northeast-surplus.com) is a Syracuse-based Central New York electronics recycler that has been in business since 1996.