Electronics recycling firm evTerra has plans to soon be running four plants across the U.S., part of a strategy to ensure a steady stream of material to the Igneo secondary smelter slated for Savannah, Ga.
Igneo is evTerra’s parent company and launched the processing arm in 2021.
The first evTerra facility is a roughly 100,000-square-foot site in Atlanta that began shredding low- and mid-grade e-scrap in 2022 (the company also has a Tampa, Fla. sales office).
Igneo (formerly called WEEE Metallica) operates a secondary smelter in France that processes exclusively e-scrap, as opposed to other smelters/refineries that take in a wide variety of virgin mined and scrap resources.
A White Plains, N.Y.-headquartered company, Igneo uses a pyrolysis technology to process low-grade electronic scrap into a copper concentrate, which is shipped to refineries for further processing into precious and base metals fractions. Igneo last fall announced plans to build an $85 million secondary smelter at the Port of Savannah using its technology.
Jeff Gloyd, an industry veteran and the newly hired president of evTerra, said the Igneo facility is slated to open in the first quarter of 2024.
In the meantime, evTerra is working to grow in different areas of the country to be ready to supply the smelter. Gloyd said ownership by a precious metals recovery company and its focus on electronics that may otherwise be landfilled – as opposed to higher-grade scrap or reusable devices – makes evTerra unique.
“Really, I think the differentiator for us is that the focus is truly on low- and mid-grade material,” Gloyd said. “We’re talking about a lot of material that electronics processors – of course everyone in the [IT asset disposition] industry – is not interested in.”
“There’s a lot of companies saying, ‘We don’t want this stuff.’ Even shredding companies,” he added.
Gloyd explained that the vision is for evTerra to serve as a feedstock collection and preparation operation to supply circuit boards to the smelter, which will also purchase printed circuit boards from other e-scrap companies.
Now, evTerra is planning to copy and paste the Atlanta headquarters facility in several other U.S. locations.