- Illinois-based New Life Electronics Recycling has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The company's filings show it has no assets and owes more than $1.14 million to 45 creditors, as reported by E-Scrap News.
- The company was incorporated in 2011 and previously offered services for recycling, asset recovery, data destruction, palletizing and auditing.
- New Life's owner, Matthew Gatz, had expressed frustration with the state's system in previous news articles. He cited financial pressures due in part to the state's decision to stop allowing haulers to charge for servicing municipal programs.
Illinois is one of many states that has been experiencing challenges with its electronics recycling program. While electronics have been banned from landfills since 2012 and manufacturers are required to help fund the collection of a certain amount of material, many local programs have experienced higher volumes that are often of lower value. Televisions have been a particular issue, with residents sometimes bringing more of them to drop-off sites or events than recyclers can handle.
There has been some talk of statewide legislative changes but nothing is imminent. In the meantime, municipalities and haulers are stuck with material that they may be losing money on. While some states such as Washington have begun to see their annual e-waste collections drop off, televisions still make up a large portion of what does come in by weight. Often these are older model CRT devices that can be even more problematic to process.
With all of these financial pressures and regulatory gaps, multiple electronics recyclers haven't been able to stay in business. This tough climate even inspired one nearby Indiana recycler, EnviroGreen Processing, to run a fraudulent operation which recently led to the owner being indicted on numerous charges.