An Analysis of the Website of the Bureau of International Recycling

The web site I chose for this third web assignment is the homepage for a worldwide organization that serves as a trade federation of recyclable materials for a large number of Companies, and several National Federations from many countries all over the world. This is the page of the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR). This organization has been working together with many other Recycling-oriented organizations for many years now, being founded in 1948, it has been one of the most solid organizations when dealing with the process of trading and exchange of Recyclable materials. As stated on their web page, “BIR's primary goals are to promote materials recycling and recyclability, thereby conserving natural resources, protecting the environment - and facilitating free trade of recyclables in an environmentally sound manner." The Bureau of International Recycling has established their headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, and not only do they hold a position of a trading federation, they also serve as an exchange platform for Recycling related information, technologies, and as a networking source for its group of members.

Their web site is very well organized, making it appealing to the common web surfer. Its contents are well presented, with links to every one of the content areas they offer. Sections that describe and display information about the BIR, include: the Introduction, were they mention the company's basic data, information, and objective; the Organization of the Bureau, where we can observe the way the Federation is Organized; the Members section, were they list the member companies and Federations by country of origin; among others. I found particular interest in the section labeled Recycling Information, were I could find a series of facts related to this prestigious organization and its goals and achievements in its practices, as well as specific information in the process of recycling of the different kinds of recyclable materials like Ferrous metals, Non-ferrous metals, glass, plastic and rubber, etc.

Commentary on Topic:

Within the web page in question, I could find many interesting topics with relevance to the material we are currently discussing in class, but I have to say I found particular interest in the information found under the section: 'Market Reports'. The BIR currently presents a market report on the Paper Division. The report contains information by geographical area, on the status of the current market offer and demand, as well as the upcoming situations and what to expect in regard to the price of Paper. It further explains the reasons why the prices are dropping or rising, and the effects any given levels of imports or exports have on this price variations.

Also, on the section called 'Key Issues', the BIR presents an extensive report on the results of a couple of important legislations that affect the trading of Secondary Materials. There is a very interesting section on one of the reports that is very closely related to our material of discussion. The report is based on the impact of the Basel Convention, and the ban on the trade and supply of Secondary Materials to developing countries. An interesting fact comes out, when the BIR supports the ban of secondary materials - specifically hazardous wastes - to developing countries for the purpose of final disposal, but considers that this particular legislation will negatively affect the trading of some secondary materials for recycling, and that the specific details have not been clarified. The Basel Conference basically looks to enforce three main objectives that affect and regulate the trade of Hazardous Waste. The objectives are: “1. To reduce the generation of hazardous wastes; 2. To encourage their disposal as close as possible to the source of generation; and 3. To ensure sound environmental management for all hazardous wastes." The report that is presented, contains some specific information on a case study about the Impact of the trade ban on India's secondary Zinc imports. The case report explains how the unclear regulations have affected India's Zinc supply, making it unstable, and affecting the depending industries. Zinc is a very important component that is source for metal, sulphate and oxides, used in several fields like the Galvanizing Industry, and a vital role in the agricultural industry, through the use of zinc sulphate as a fertilizer.

Through these graphs, we can observe the diversification of the uses of Zinc in the annual Indian Production, and another graph that reflects the contrast between the countries requirements, and the actual internal supply of Zinc Ash and Skimming.

In conclusion, I must observe that the web page I encountered for this web assignment turned out to be a very interesting source of relevant information, not only as an informative source, but as an opportunity to observe the actual changes and actions that are being made in regards to Laws and regulations in the handling of Hazardous Wastes. I believe that it is through the enforcement of regulations, and the implementation of newer and safer ways to handle the secondary materials that are discarded by developed countries, but so needed by developing countries, that the recycling industry will continue to develop more and more. I also believe that the creation and integration of organizations concerned with the handling of secondary materials, will greatly benefit the common public, and particularly those who are in disadvantage when the mismanagement of hazardous materials affects the local environments.