Many members of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), unaware that their membership dollars have been going toward an expensive lobbying effort that will hurt their businesses, got a huge wake up call at the recent e-Scrap 2011 Conference.
The newly formed all business Coalition for American Electronics Recycling (CAER) told recyclers at the conference that ISRI has pulled out all of the stops to battle passage of Responsible Electronics Recycling Act, which would restrict export of hazardous e-waste to developing countries. But the bill would mean more business for domestic recyclers and more jobs for Americans. The bill also includes much needed research for the recycling of rare earth metals and is something that true recyclers want.
Now, thanks to the CAER, which includes many current ISRI members, senators and other representatives are hearing the domestic electronics recycling industry’s side of the story for the first time, not just Big Metal’s side.
It is clear that this bill is not only good for the environment, but makes strong economic sense for real recyclers (not just scrap brokers) as the industry has already lost billions of dollars over the last few years to exporters. Despite this, ISRI lobbies for the global scrap dealers rather than electronics recyclers. ISRI members may be best served joining their peers at the Coalition for American Electronics Recycling and having their true voices heard.