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Chinese technology benefits US firm

Post Time:Mar 31,2009Classify:Company NewsView:426

Despite the so-called "greening" of America, the US has been slow to recycle electronic waste. Approximately 400 million units of consumer electronics are tossed out every year, creating vast amounts of potentially toxic waste.

But a California recycling firm and a Chinese tech company have teamed up to make treasure out of this e-trash, while at the same time helping the environment.

E-World Recyclers of California has a cutting edge approach to separating and recycling glass and electronic waste, thanks to its alliance with China's Loyalty Enterprises Group.

Electronic waste is chock full of potentially hazardous waste materials that must be separated out for safe disposal. The equipment also contains much material that can be reused once isolated and collected.

Robert Erie, CEO of E-World, has been working with Chinese engineers and business officials to develop a new approach to recycling e-waste.

"I got an interpreter to call Loyalty and went from there," said Erie. "I am a firm believer in the future of business with China."

Erie said it took five years of visits to Shanghai, Chengdu, and Sichuan to come up with a machine that is appropriate for the US market. The result is a hot wire separator that allows for the safe and efficient dismantling of TVs and computer monitors. The separator can be used on several different types of CRT (cathode ray tube) monitors, which makes it cost-efficient.

The separators are so new that E-World is currently the only one of 43 California CRT recycling companies to use the high-tech process.

Only two other companies in the US- Luminous Recycling of Denver and Newtech Recycling of Bridgewater, N.J.-even use the same approach. Both have taken delivery of British-made machines in the past year.

"(Loyalty) had developed the technology we wanted to cut CRT glass, but we wanted the machinery to work more efficiently," says Erie. "Their versions in Chengdu were great, but the design needed to be modified. We went through four or five renditions with their engineers. I would make some recommendations and they would change it."

Perhaps the greatest advantage of the Chinese technology is its cost efficiency. The British-made CRT machines cost $500,000 each, according to Jim Entwistle, president of Newtech. The CRT machines coming out of China cost $50,000.

Working with Loyalty has transformed Erie's bottom line. Operating out of a 47,000-square-foot warehouse facility Erie calls "the ultimate dumpster," E-World has seen strong growth in the five years since taking its first shipment of the separators. Two years ago, the company had approximately $400,000 in revenue; this year, Erie expects to bring in some $6.8 million.

What comes in as trash goes out as treasure. Recycled copper and plastics go to China, as does cardboard and paper. Recycled steel goes to the US market, while medical equipment, exercise equipment, and big screen TVs are either refurbished and re-sold or broken into components for resale.

Source: China DailyAuthor: shangyi

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