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Vast majority of US e-scrap is recycled onshore: study

Keywords: Tags  ISRI, Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, electronic scrap, electronics recycling, Robin Wiener, Daniel Fitzgerald

NEW YORK — More than 90 percent of used electronics collected for recycling in the United States remains in the country for processing, according to a recent study.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Materials Systems Laboratory and the U.S. National Center for Electronics Recycling found that only 8.5 percent of electronic units collected for recycling in the United States is exported.

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) said the study provides "irrefutable evidence that used electronic products are being reused and recycled in America, and not ‘dumped’ into developing countries as proponents of export controls have argued for years."

However, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that only 25 percent of eligible used household electronics products is being collected for recycling.

"Figuring out a way to pull that remaining 75 percent out of the basements and garages of homes throughout America, as well as preventing the material from being disposed of in landfills, provides the largest opportunity for increasing the recycling of used electronics in the U.S., and thus increasing jobs in the domestic electronics recycling industry," ISRI president Robin Wiener said in a statement.

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