About 10 years ago, a growing recognition of the need for safe standards and accountability set in motion the move toward certification for the electronics recycling industry. Through a multi-stakeholder process that included representatives from the US EPA, the recycling industry, original equipment manufacturers and other concerned parties, the safest and most sustainable practices for electronics recycling and reuse were identified for inclusion in what is called the R2 (Responsible Recycling) Standard. The R2 Standard was initially published in 2008, with an updated version released in 2013.
As growing numbers of businesses and organizations recognize the benefits of working with R2 certified recyclers, the global recycling landscape continues to improve. There are now more than 600 R2 certified companies operating in 17 countries, with more coming on board each month. This is good news for the economy, health and safety, and the environment. Preserving resources, while protecting people and the planet, is in everyone’s best interest.
Choosing the right electronics recycler to manage your company’s IT assets is a critically important decision. Selecting the wrong electronics recycler can mean exposing your company to data mismanagement, and putting your company at unnecessary legal and financial risk. Contracting with an electronics recycler that is R2:2013 Certified means peace of mind in knowing that your company’s IT assets are being managed by a recycler that has demonstrated they have a system in place to properly handle materials according to the R2:2013 Standard.
R2 Practices addresses all of these areas of concern, so you can be sure that your IT equipment is managed according to the highest industry standards while meeting your organizational goals and needs. Every certified R2 recycler has been rigorously audited by an independent third party auditor that evaluates each recycler in more than 50 areas of operational and environmental performance.
Here are just a few examples of how R2:2013 Practices addresses these top corporate concerns that impact decision making when choosing the right IT asset disposal provider:
- All R2:2013 certified recyclers are required to sanitize, purge, or destroy data on all hard drives and data storage devices.
- Data destruction processes are reviewed and validated by an independent party periodically.
- R2:2013 recyclers are required to have a security program in place that is appropriate for the equipment they handle and the customers they serve.
- R2:2013 defines focus materials, or materials that can pose environmental concern, and outlines how these materials should be managed to ensure environmental and worker safety.
- Requires downstream due diligence on all vendors handling focus materials to ensure materials are handled properly throughout the chain of custody.
- Prohibits the export of equipment and components containing focus materials to developing countries unless the transaction is legal under both the export and import countries’ laws and the receiving facility is state-of-the-art.
Proper e-waste disposal
- All R2:2013 certified electronics recyclers maintain necessary permits, licenses, and insurance as required by state and federal regulations.
- R2:2013 requires that all recyclers send materials to licensed and permitted facilities.
- Rigorous shipping and material tracking systems are employed by all R2:2013 certified recyclers.
Remarketing and reuse
- Recognizing the importance that reuse has, both environmentally and socially, R2:2013 Practices establishes a “reuse, recover, dispose” hierarchy all along the chain of custody for material handling.
- R2:2013 certified recyclers that test equipment diverted for reuse, and confirm key functions of the unit are working, may export this equipment. Without such testing and confirmation, such equipment must be treated as though it is going to recycling and may not be exported unless the R2:2013 exporting provisions for recycling are satisfied.
- Also recognizing that some clients would not want their equipment re-marketed or reused, R2:2013 Practices require recyclers to have systems in place to ensure that all equipment can be recycled, rather than recovered for reuse, if the client wishes.