Officials from the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the State of Massachusetts and industry partners Metech Recycling, Inc., WeRecycle!, LLC, XTechnology Global, North Coast Services LLC, Waste Management Recycle America, and Electronic Recyclers International, Inc gathered recently at Electronic Recyclers International (ERI), the nation’s leading recycler of electronic waste, for a White House Energy, Environment and Conservation Roundtable discussion. The roundtable was led by New England Regional Administrators Robert Zarnetske (GSA) and Curt Spalding (EPA).The meeting was part of the Obama Administration’s strategy to promote job creation and the responsible recycling of electronics products. Topics included the need for harmonizing regulations across states and the importance of government buying green to promote responsible recycling stewardship. The visit to ERI featured a behind-the-scenes look at the recovery of precious and rare earth metals and other valuable materials from used electronics such as computers, monitors, televisions, and cell phones. It is estimated that over 30,000 computers are recycled per month across the country.
The roundtable was moderated by ERI Chairman and CEO, John Shegerian, and provided an opportunity for Zarnetske, Spalding, and a host of New England green business leaders to discuss growing job opportunities in the region, and specifically, the American Jobs Act, and what it can mean for the surrounding communities.
Zarnetske and Spalding shared specific elements of the American Jobs Act and gathered feedback and input from the other Roundtable participants, which will be shared with Washington D.C. and communicated directly to the White House.
Individuals from a number of companies and organizations were in attendance, including RMG, Enterprise, Metech Recycling, Inc.,WeRecycle!, LLC, XTechnology Global, North Coast Services LLC, Waste Management Recycle America, Electronic Recyclers International, Inc., Northeast Recycling Council, Northeast Resource Recovery Association, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, and MassRecycle.
At the conclusion of the roundtable, the group memorialized the discussion by reaffirming the commitment and value of the partnerships between private, federal, state, and local sectors toward promoting and sustaining the growth of this important emerging industry.
“It was a real honor and a privilege to co-host this very special round table event with the GSA and EPA,” said Shegerian. “It has provided a terrific opportunity for our fellow businesses here in Massachusetts and New England to get an understanding of the American Jobs Act and how it can help business growth in our region and find out how forward-thinking companies are getting traction in today’s economy.”
The discussion also featured opportunities for business leaders to brainstorm and share ideas on spurring job creation. Zarnetske shared the principal reason for the Round Table: to have a conversation about solutions — and what we as a country can do to move our economy forward and create new jobs now.
“A growing electronic recycling industry has great environmental and economic potential–it makes addressing pollution profitable while also creating green jobs,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “We applaud the leaders of this industry and are excited to continue expanding the conversation through these roundtables. “
“E-cycling is good public policy and good business. Companies all over the country are proving that environmental stewardship can be profitable,” said Bob Zarnetske, regional administrator of GSA’s New England office. “This is an important emerging market and the federal government is here to help this industry grow jobs and improve the way we handle our resources.”
More information on GSA’s green business goals and promoting federal agencies’ purchasing Environmentally Preferable Products: gsa.gov/portal/content/234565
Now the largest recycler of electronic waste in the U.S., and the world’s first dual-certified electronic waste recycler, Fresno-headquartered Electronic Recyclers International is licensed to de-manufacture and recycle televisions, computer monitors, computers and other types of electronic equipment. ERI serves public sector clients via GSA contract GS-10F-0051Y and processes more than 120 million pounds of electronic waste annually at eight locations in seven states, including California, Washington, Colorado, Indiana, Massachusetts, Texas and North Carolina. For more information about e-waste recycling and ERI, call 1-800-884-8466 or visit electronicrecyclers.com.