Finding Top-Tier Electronics Recyclers - The R2 Standard - News and information about the electronics recycling industry

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Finding Top-Tier Electronics Recyclers - The R2 Standard

Finding Top-Tier Electronics Recyclers - The R2 Standard

Until recently, municipalities, businesses and residents seeking recycling services for used electronic equipment had very few assurances that electronic scrap would be handled correctly by their chosen recycler. Aside from a recycler’s promise, how would consumers of electronics recycling services know claims of environmental and social responsibility were authentic? Large corporations would sometimes take on the expense of auditing a recycler, and possibly even the recycler’s downstream vendors. However, this is a time consuming and expensive process that too few customers had the resources to perform. A certification program specifically designed for the electronics recycling industry was clearly needed. There was rising industry support to develop a standard that would effectively address the operational and materials management concerns associated with electronics recycling activities, and give customers confidence that their electronic equipment was being responsibly recycled.

 

In response, US EPA convened a group of stakeholders in 2008 to develop a standard that would establish best practices and consider the environmental and social impacts of electronics recycling. To design a standard that met the needs of all sectors of the industry, a collaborative workgroup including regulatory agencies, OEMs, recyclers, refurbishers and trade organizations was formed. The result of the two and a half year, open and collaborative effort was the R2 (Responsible Recycling) Standard. The first recycler became R2 certified in January of 2010 and since that time 177 facilities have become R2 certified.

Why choose an R2 certified recycler?
According to a survey conducted by Converge, IT managers at mid- to large-size companies cite data breach from discarded computers as the number one concern when disposing of IT, or electronic equipment. Environmental practices, ensuring proper e-scrap disposal, and supporting reuse activities were also top priorities listed in this report. The R2 Standard addresses all of these areas of concern, creating confidence that electronic equipment is managed according to the highest industry standards. Every certified R2 recycler has been rigorously audited by an independent third party auditor to 55 areas of operational and environmental performance.

The R2 Standard strongly considers the environmental impacts that electronics recycling can have if not done properly. The standard identifies Focus Materials, or materials that can pose environmental concern, and outlines how these materials should be managed to ensure environmental and worker safety. Downstream vendors handling Focus Materials must also employ the same best practices as the R2 certified facility. The standard also prohibits the export of equipment and components containing Focus Materials unless the transaction is legal under both the export and import countries’ laws and the receiving facility is state-of-the-art. No illegal exporting is tolerated under the R2 Standard.

By choosing an R2 certified recycler, customers can be confident their data is being securely managed. All R2 certified recyclers are required to sanitize, purge, or destroy data on hard drives and other data storage devices. The data destruction processes that each R2 certified recycler uses are reviewed and validated by an independent party. And, R2 recyclers are required to have a security program in place that is appropriate for the equipment they handle and the customers they serve.

R2 Shaping the Industry
Now that the R2 Standard has been in operation for a little over two years, the impact that it is having on the industry is evident. R2 Solutions is working hard to educate customers of electronics recycling services about the value of the R2 Standard, which is becoming a trusted brand for those seeking electronics recycling services. Customers of R2 certified recyclers have a new level of confidence in their service providers.

Article Published by John Lingelbach with R2 Solutions

So, when recycling your electronics in Central Ohio, choose Accurate IT Services, an R2 Certified electronics recycler located in Columbus Ohio. Visit www.accurateit.com and www.ait-recycle.com for more information.

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