Advancing Manufacturing Technology

Value Recovery from Used Electronics, Phase 2

Project Leaders

Carol Handwerker, Purdue

Bill Olson, Seagate



Mid-Term Project Review Webinar

Two webinars are being scheduled to accommodate different time zones:
  • Session 1 - North America & Europe
    Wednesday, May 9, 2018
         10:00-11:00 a.m. EDT (North America)
         4:00-5:00 p.m. CEST (Central Europe)
    Register here for Session 1
  • Session 2 - Asia & North America
    Thursday, May 10, 2018
         9:00-10:00 a.m. CST (China)
    Wednesday, May 9, 2018
         6:00-7:00 p.m. PDT (North America)
         9:00-10:00 p.m. EDT (North America)
    Register here for Session 2
There is increasing pressure worldwide for societal transformation from a linear economy – based on the traditional take-make-waste model – to a circular economy. The expanding worldwide demand for electronics – and specifically, for data storage – is increasing opportunity for the electronics industry, while also increasing resource consumption.  The most successful companies will modify their business practices consistent with circular economy principals.  To date, some individual companies in the electronics industry have taken this direction, but as a whole the industry has not undertaken the business-model-level initiatives that are key for a serious transition to a circular economy. Please join the Value Recovery from Used Electronics Mid-Term report for details of how Hard Drives can be a common pool resource and discuss the future work of the team as we undertake a demonstration project to test the practical application of HDD collection, process and, at a minimum, recovery of rare earth magnets.


Project Statement of Work and Project Statement

Purpose of Project

This fast-turn project project will focus on collaboration in hard disk drive design, reuse, remanufacturing, and materials and component recovery that enables a robust, sustainable circular supply economy for hard disk drives. As articulated clearly by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the creation of a circular economy for any product requires a multi-stakeholder approach. From the users’ viewpoint, to be effective, the rationales, pathways and incentives must be compelling enough to convince users to channel their products into the value recovery stream. For HDDs in particular, data security concerns (and the legal and corporate liabilities associated with the release of confidential and sensitive data) frequently lead HDD users in the US to shred their HDDs, even if they are fully functional. One of the goals of the project is to engage with HDD users and all those in the value recovery supply chain to assess users’ data security concerns and obligations and best practices required to avoid shredding.  The stakeholder groups identified in Phase 1 (users, manufacturers, service providers, and parts manufacturers, and for others critical to value recovery of HDD) must work together to analyze the capabilities of existing and new technologies and identify the gaps needed to “complete the circle.”  The purpose of this  project will be to take the next steps in developing a circular economy for HDDs.

Steps for Joining the Project

Please note:  iNEMI membership is not required to participate in this project sign-up.  Initial sign-up has ended, but you can still join the project with team consent. Steps for joining the project follow.

For iNEMI members:

  • Complete and sign the project statement
  • Fax the completed statement(s) to +1 (703) 834-2735 or scan and email to
For non-members wishing to join iNEMI For Fast Turnaround Project Membership (participation in this project only):
  • Complete and sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) document
  • Fax the MOU to +1 (703) 834-2735 or scan and email to
  • iNEMI will then invoice you for the Fast Turnaround Project Membership fee of $5,000.00

Previous Project

Phase 1

For Additional Information

Mark Schaffer