CEO Bobby Farris has become the majority owner of Total Reclaim, a Washington-based e-scrap recycler that was previously led by two people who were convicted on federal fraud charges.
Farris became CEO of Total Reclaim and its subsidiary, EcoLights NW, in 2019 after former leaders Craig Lorch and Jeffrey Zirkle were sentenced to serve time in federal prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Earlier this year, Zirkle was sentenced on another count of tax fraud related to using company funds for personal expenses.
According to a 2019 report from the U.S. EPA, the two “earned millions of dollars through Total Reclaim by promising to recycle safely electronic products such as flat screen monitors ... But, in fact, the defendants secretly caused over 8 million pounds of mercury-containing flat screen monitors to be exported to Hong Kong, where they were demolished in an environmentally unsafe [manner].”
Founded in 1991, the company was once known as the largest e-scrap recycler in the Pacific Northwest. The export scandal fallout significantly affected the business, leading to costly fines and the loss of certain certifications.
While operations have been scaled back in recent years, according to E-Scrap News, the company maintains locations in Alaska, Oregon and Washington. It currently focuses on recycling materials such as “consumer electronics, domestic and commercial appliances, HVAC units, refrigerant gases and batteries of all chemistries and types” as well as “mercury bearing fluorescent lamps” via EcoLights NW.
“When I agreed to join the company in 2019, my goal was to restore confidence in the Total Reclaim and EcoLights brands for our employees and our customers. Thanks to the hard work and perseverance of our entire team, I feel that goal has been achieved and it is time to move the company forward independently and in an ownership capacity with complete separation from prior company management,” said Farris in a statement.
Prior to joining Total Reclaim, Farris served in leadership positions for companies such as WM, TerraCycle and others involved in electronics recycling.