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2017 E-Scrap Conference Focuses on the Future of Electronics Recycling

This year’s E-Scrap Conference hosted by Resource Recycling and held last week, began with a discussion on asset management and data destruction from both large and small electronics recyclers.

As electronic devices become smaller and are composed of less material but contain enormous amounts of data, often private and sensitive, electronics recyclers are responding by providing services to manage those devices and destroy that data. As the conference went on, ISRI’s workshops continued this concentration by focusing on the emerging Internet of Things or IoT. It is currently estimated that there are over 12 billion IoT devices in use, and that number is expanding every day with a value well over $1 trillion.

With all these devices, the potential amount of personal and confidential data exposure is a driving force behind effective data destruction services. IoT is permeating itself into all sorts of places including smartphones and tablets that operate smart homes and connected cars. However, IoT is also powering businesses and factories providing metrics and controls over operations that would have been considered fantasy only a few years ago. During ISRI’s panel on IoT, the panelists explained that businesses are deploying IoT and want to ensure that their sensitive businesses, practices, and controls are not transferred to their competitors, especially as devices are repaired or refurbished for further use. Battery issues including removal from devices was also covered in a separate workshop led by Michael Burz from EnZinc. In this workshop, battery safety was a major topic as recyclers are experiencing trouble safely removing batteries from devices. As with each year, the devices received by electronics recyclers continue to change rapidly and pose challenges as these devices get smaller and more complex.

ISRI will continue to lead these discussions as the electronics industry innovates their products. For more information on the E-Scrap Conference or the Electronics Division, please contact Billy Johnson

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