CEO Bobby Farris has become the majority owner of Total Reclaim, a Washington-based e-waste recycler that was previously run by two people convicted of federal fraud.
Farris became CEO of Total Reclaim and its subsidiary, EcoLights NW, in 2019 after former executives Craig Lorch and Jeffrey Zirkle were sentenced to serve federal prison time for conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Earlier this year, Zirkle was convicted on another count of tax evasion related to the use of company funds for personal expenses.
According to a 2019 report from the US EPA, the two “have earned millions of dollars from Total Reclaim by promising to safely recycle electronics such as flat panel monitors… But, in fact, the accused secretly caused more than 8 million pounds of mercury. – containing flat panel monitors intended for export to Hong Kong, where they were demolished in a hazardous environment [manner].”
Founded in 1991, the company was once known as the largest e-waste recycler in the Pacific Northwest. The fallout from the export scandal significantly affected the company, leading to costly fines and the loss of some 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, household and commercial appliances, HVAC units, refrigerant gases and batteries of all types and chemicals” as well as “fluorescent lamps containing mercury” via EcoLights NW.
“When I agreed to join the company in 2019, my goal was to restore trust in the Total Reclaim and EcoLights brands for our employees and customers. Thanks to the hard work and perseverance of our entire team, I believe this goal has been achieved and it is time to move the business forward independently and as owner with complete separation from the previous management of company,” Farris said in a statement.
Prior to joining Total Reclaim, Farris held leadership positions for companies such as WM, TerraCycle and others involved in electronics recycling.