e-Cycle Expands Operations and Service Offerings in Response to iPhone 5s, 5c and iPad Announcements

Christopher Irion, e-Cycle Founder and CEO, announced that he is expanding e-Cycle’s operations department and service offerings due to an influx of businesses seeking to sell and recycle their used mobile devices. Irion attributes this increase to the recent launch of the new Apple iPhone 5s, 5c and iPad models.

e-Cycle has experienced a more than 300 percent increase in wireless buyback quote requests since the launch of the iPhone 5s and 5c, allowing its operations team to grow in conjunction.

According to Irion, factory resets and remote wiping technologies do not delete all the confidential information stored in mobile devices. Private data such as telephone numbers, pins, emails and photographs often remain in hidden menus.

A large percentage of mobile devices that arrive at the e-Cycle facility still contain sensitive data, even after they were reported to have been wiped prior to shipping. Of the devices received at the facility, e-Cycle’s data security department reports that:

  • 2% have active phone lines – resulting in data security risks and unnecessary carrier charges
  • 55% of devices have SIM cards that contain sensitive information
  • 1 in 5 devices have SD memory cards with access to private files

“e-Cycle employs advanced technologies and multi-step, proprietary data removal processes that not only restores the device to original factory settings, but also manually deletes or overwrites any data that might remain,” said Irion. “Every device we purchase is also subjected to stringent quality assurance testing. We hire third-party, forensic auditors on a quarterly basis to test random samples of our phones and validate our data removal processes.”

If a device cannot be reused in the marketplace or has functionality flaws that prevent removal of data, the device is shredded onsite and recycled responsibly.

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e-Cycle is the trusted wireless partner for many of the largest organizations in the world. As the first mobile recycling company to achieve e-Stewards certification, we adhere to the highest standards for environmental responsibility and worker health and safety. e-Cycle offers a simple, secure, environmentally responsible and profitable way for businesses to sell and recycle used mobile phones and tablets. Learn more at www.e-Cycle.com.

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Is Your Business Adopting the New Apple iPhone 5s or 5c? Eight Tips Choosing a Buyback Partner When Selling Your Mobile Phones

What happens to your mobile devices when it’s time to upgrade to a newer device like the Apple iPhone 5s or 5c? Retired mobile phones retain confidential information even after restoring the factory settings. Choosing a trusted asset recovery, data protection and recycling partner for your organization is critical.

Tips for maintaining a sustainable, secure and profitable Apple iPhone reuse and recycling program:

1. Know EVERYTHING about your buyback and recycling partner. Investigate every aspect your recycler’s process. Make certain their downstream partners are also conducting their business practices in an environmentally responsible manner.

2. Do not completely trust your employees or third-party software with data deletion. Our operations department found that 27% of devices received from clients who had pre-wiped their mobile phones still contained sensitive information. Be certain your iPhone buyback company has rigorous processes in place to permanently remove the data on every device and quality assurance testing.

3. Read the FINE PRINT in regards to data wiping and security. There are multiple iPhone buyback and recycling companies claiming “complete data deletion and protection.” However, if you take the time to read their terms and conditions, most will state that it is the responsibility of the customer to delete their own data. Work with a company that understands iPhone specific data wiping processes, has quality assurance practices and high-security facilities.

4. Be skeptical of extremely high buyback pricing. Research what deductions are taken for minor cosmetic flaws. Since many buyback companies resell on eBay, they take significant price reductions for even the smallest cosmetic flaws after quoting a higher price. Try to find a company that will grade only on the operability of the iPhone.

5. Be sure your active lines are canceled. Of the thousands of wireless devices tested by e-Cycle’s data security department, approximately 2% still have active phone lines. Not only is this a security risk, it often results in substantial and unnecessary carrier service charges. Be sure your wireless recycling company tests for active lines.

6. A “destroy only” policy is bad for the environment and your bottom line. Extending the use of an iPhone from 18 months to four years saves 20% more energy than recycling alone. Data security is a serious issue, but a destroy-only policy harms the environment and the opportunity to reclaim revenues that can be used to greatly offset the cost of upgrading to the newest mobile technologies.

7. Make certain your logistics are in place. Be certain that your employees understand the importance of mobile recycling as part of your green initiatives. Work with a recycling partner that can offer personal support to assist your team in maintaining a successful program.

8. Measure your environmental impact. Work with a recycling company that will help your organization measure its positive impact on the environment through your recycling efforts. By measuring and reporting your positive impact on your community, you’ll have the information that you need to report and celebrate the successes of your sustainability initiatives.

In summary, wireless phones that are not properly retired may expose confidential data when they are resold on the secondary market. Every organization should have an official asset recovery and recycling plan in place to ensure the greatest return on their telecom investment, while protecting the environment and their sensitive information.

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e-Cycle is the trusted wireless mobile buyback and recycling partner for many of the largest organizations in the world. As the first mobile recycling company to achieve e-Stewards certification, we adhere to the highest standards for environmental responsibility and worker health and safety. e-Cycle offers a simple, secure, environmentally responsible and profitable way for businesses to sell and recycle used mobile phones and tablets. Learn more at www.e-Cycle.com.

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E-waste’s Harmful Effects on African Laborers

For developing countries in areas such as West Africa, local workers often view e-waste processing as a lifeline. It’s a means to secure a meager amount of income to help keep food on the table. Often children and the elderly are used to abstract precious metals from discarded mobile phones, computers, monitors, wires and other electronic waste.  However, most are unaware of the harmful effects that improper e-waste handling has on their health.

Unfortunately, these countries do not have the resources necessary to safely dispose of e-waste so the lives of these laborers are being put at risk. Primitive methods like burning or washing with hydrochloric acid are used in these regions to dismantle e-waste to recover precious metals. Research shows that these methods are extremely harmful to human health and toxic to the environment.

E-waste contains highly toxic concentrations of chemicals and heavy metals such as lead, mercury and cadmium. When these toxins accumulate in our food chain through soil and groundwater, the effects can be deadly.

The problem is worsened by developed nations that regularly export their toxic e-waste by the tons to these developing countries who are not equipped or trained to properly handle the toxic materials. Currently, there is no legislation in the U.S. that bans such practices, but the Responsible Electronics Recycling Act has been reintroduced into Congress.

This makes it imperative to choose an e-Stewards certified electronics recyclers when disposing old cell phones and other end-of-life electronic devices. e-Stewards recyclers and their downstream vendors adhere to the most stringent global standards for worker safety and environmental protection. E-Stewards certified recyclers are regularly audited to ensure no e-waste is sent to landfills or exported to developing countries. The certification also prohibits the use of slave, coerced or prison labor in the processing e-waste.

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e-Cycle is the trusted wireless mobile buyback and recycling partner for many of the largest organizations in the world. As the first mobile recycling company to achieve e-Stewards certification, we adhere to the highest standards for environmental responsibility and worker health and safety. e-Cycle offers a simple, secure, environmentally responsible and profitable way for businesses to sell and recycle used mobile phones and tablets. Learn more at www.e-Cycle.com.

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e-Cycle Congratulates Lockheed Martin For Becoming an e-Stewards Enterprise Recognized for Responsible e-Recycling

Lockheed Martin, a global security, aerospace and information technology supplier, was recognized as an e-Stewards Enterprise for its responsible electronic waste management.

e-Stewards Enterprises are companies, governments and institutions that commit to preventing the improper management of hazardous e-waste, which has detrimental impacts on the health of people and the environment.

As an e-Stewards Enterprise, Lockheed Martin is dedicated to using e-Stewards certified electronics recyclers because they uphold the highest global standards for responsible recycling and undergo annual independent audits to ensure they do not export hazardous e-waste to developing countries or dump it into landfills.

Learn more about the e-Stewards certification here or by visiting e-Stewards.org.

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e-Cycle is the trusted wireless mobile buyback and recycling partner for many of the largest organizations in the world. As the first mobile recycling company to achieve e-Stewards certification, we adhere to the highest standards for environmental responsibility and worker health and safety. e-Cycle offers a simple, secure, environmentally responsible and profitable way for businesses to sell and recycle used mobile phones and tablets. Learn more at www.e-Cycle.com.

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e-Cycle Update: Global E-waste is Ending up in Toxic Wastelands in China

A recent United Nations report revealed that approximately 70 percent of globally produced e-waste is being exported to China for disposal, making it the largest e-waste dumping site in the world.

Many of these products are originally manufactured in China and are finding their way back through illegal exportation from developed countries, even though the U.N. has a ban that strictly prohibits this practice.

Over the past decade Guiyu, a small town in southeastern China, has become a major hub for the disposal of e-waste. Here, hundreds of thousands of people dismantle the world’s electronic junk in dangerous, primitive ways.  The effects on the environment and the health of the local community are catastrophic.

Environmental Pollution

The U.N. report stated that the e-waste disposal industry has caused “environmental calamity” in Guiyu. Much of the toxic pollution is a direct result of burning the equipment and washing it with hydrochloric acid.

The washing technique is used to obtain valuable metals from devices. For example, approximately 35 thousand pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold and 33 pounds of palladium can be recovered for every million cellphones recycled, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The U.N. report showed that using the burning and washing methods releases hydrocarbon ashes into the air, water and soil, and it contaminates the environment with toxic heavy metals.

Health Hazards

While Guiyu locals downplay the potential damage their work has on their health, studies conducted by Shantou University Medical College have shown reasons for concern. Reports revealed that many children tested in Guiyu had higher than average levels of lead in their blood, which is known to stunt the development of the brain and central nervous system.

In addition, mercury can be released into the environment during the dismantling and disposal of electronic devices like mobile phones, TVs and computer monitors. Mercury can easily accumulate within the food chain, particularly fish, causing damage to the brain and kidneys.

What can you do?

To ensure your wireless devices and other electronic equipment are being recycled responsibly, be sure to only work with an e-Stewards certified recycler. The certification is recognized globally and e-Stewards recyclers and their downstream vendors are rigorously audited to ensure they adhere to the highest standards for responsible recycling and reuse of electronic equipment. e-Stewards is the only electronics recycler certification in the world that strictly prohibits the export of toxic e-waste into developing countries, includes industry-specific worker health and safety requirements and bans the use of child, slave and prison labor.

e-Cycle is the first wireless buyback and recycling company in the world to achieve e-Stewards certification. To learn more about responsible mobile phone and tablet recycling, contact us at www.e-Cycle.com.

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Congratulations to Cyber City for becoming an e-Stewards Enterprise!

The entire e-Cycle team congratulates Cyber City Inc., a leading cloud solutions provider, for joining the e-Stewards Enterprise program. By becoming an e-Stewards business, Cyber City has made the commitment to ensure their e-waste will be managed, wherever possible, by e-Stewards Certified Recyclers.

e-Stewards recyclers adhere to the highest standards for responsible recycling and reuse of electronic equipment. e-Stewards is the only electronics recycling certification in the world that strictly prohibits the export of toxic e-waste into developing countries, includes industry-specific worker health and safety requirements and bans the use of child, slave and prison labor. The EPA estimates that 70 to 80 percent of electronics recyclers in the U.S. export toxic e-waste overseas into developing countries.

Glenn McGinnis, co-founder and CEO of Cyber City Inc., highlighted the importance of environmental stewardship in his organization.

”Our business is helping our clients get more from technology. Reducing environmental impact to a minimum is central to our mission and is a component of every service Cyber City offers,” said McGinnis.

Cyber City is the first technical support company based in New York’s “Silicon Alley” to become an e-Stewards Enterprise.

As the first mobile buyback and recycling company to become e-Stewards certified, e-Cycle applauds Cyber City for their environmental stewardship. If you are interested in selling and/or recycling your business mobile devices securely and responsibly, please visit www.e-Cycle.com.

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Five Fundamental Flaws of the 2013 R2 Standard for Electronics Recycling

The Basel Action Network (BAN) recently released a critique entitled “Five Fundamental Flaws: A Concise Critique of the R2:2013 Standard.” It speaks to the loopholes caused by the ambiguity of the certification, but does mention that the overall implementation of the R2 certification has improved.

“We remain disappointed and very concerned with the substance of the Standard itself, which has change little from the initial version (R2:2008) published five years ago,” BAN stated.

The fundamental flaws of the certification stem from what appear to be intentional loopholes that facilitate social and environmental irresponsibility in the electronic recycling and asset recovery industry. The critique outlined the following flaws:

  1. R2 does not adhere to international hazardous waste trade laws that apply to the exportation of used electronics. These laws, established under the Basel Convention, have been adopted by 180 countries and are the legal waste trading framework practiced worldwide. Basically, the R2 certification has no provisions that prohibit the export of harmful toxic waste. This creates problems for developing countries where e-waste is being imported because they do not have the appropriate infrastructure in place to prevent harm to the environment and to the health of their communities. Enterprises that recycle their mobile phones, tablets and other electronic devices may be at risk of having their electronics discovered in overseas “toxic wastelands.”
  2. R2 allows recyclers to be certified without certifying all of the facilities operating under the company’s control. This presents serious issues because irresponsible, unethical recyclers can externalize costs by sending toxic materials that require expensive management to developing countries. These organizations do not have to adhere to any regulations regarding the disposal of e-waste, while the parent company can still claim R2 certification.
  3. R2 allows insufficient Environmental, Health, & Safety Management System (EHSM) to be substituted for the internationally accepted ISO and OSHAS standards. To remedy issues with earlier versions of the R2 standard, the requirement for an EHSM System was added to R2:2013. This is problematic because it falsely implicates that an EHSM system is equivalent to the comprehensive and internationally accepted ISO standards. R2:2013 also fails to define any measurement to qualify an EHSM system as being acceptable.
  4. R2 does not require ethical labor practices. Unfortunately, child, slave and prison labor are still common practices in the recycling supply chain worldwide. The R2:2013 Standard fails the test of being socially responsible by excluding any reference to minimum labor standards. The terms “labor” and “social accountability” do not even appear in the Standard. E-waste contains hazardous materials and sensitive data, so a truly responsible certification must strictly exclude such dangerous and unethical practices.
  5. R2 does not require satisfactory occupational health and safety protections. The Standard fails to require mandatory air testing and does not prevent the shredding of devices containing hazardous materials like beryllium, cadmium or mercury. These practices can cause irreparable harm to the health of workers in the e-waste industry.

R2:2013 Standard’s ambiguity and refusal to acknowledge the guidelines of the Basel Convention creates loopholes for irresponsible recycling. It provides unwarranted credit to electronics recyclers who deceive consumers and businesses by allowing them to believe their devices are being recycled in a secure and responsible manner.

It is imperative that businesses and individuals properly recycle their retired devices with a responsible electronics recycler. BAN, together with industry leaders, developed the globally recognized e-Stewards certification program in an effort to eliminate the growing e-waste problem.

e-Stewards is the only electronics recycler certification that strictly prohibits the export of toxic e-waste into developing countries, includes industry-specific worker health and safety requirements and bans the use of child, slave and prison labor. Using e-Stewards certified recyclers guarantees the highest standards of environmental responsibility, data security and worker protection are being met.

To download BAN’s full report, visit http: www.e-cycle.com/wp-content/uploads/FiveFundamentalFlawFinal.pdf.

To learn more about responsible mobile phone and tablet recycling, visit www.e-Cycle.com.

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