What do you recycle?
The first step in understanding responsible recycling standards is to understand what it is that is being recycled. R2 certified recyclers are primarily responsible for electronic waste, also known as e-waste. “Electronic waste” may be defined as discarded computers, office electronic equipment, entertainment device electronics, mobile phones, television sets, and refrigerators.
Risks of e-waste?
E-waste contains a number of toxic substances such as lead, cadmium, beryllium, mercury and brominated flame retardants. When improperly disposed of these highly toxic items may cause huge detriment to the environment. Currently, less than 20% of discarded electronics are being safely recycled. The list of ways that electronics are being improperly disposed of is vast. Illegal dumping and open air burning are just some examples. Just as serious is the data that may still be stored within the e-waste. Getting tied to damages caused by e-waste or compromise of sensitive data can create a public relations nightmare, and expose a firm to the financial and reputational risks of litigation.
How do you responsibly recycle?
The best way to keep yourself, the environment, and/or company safe is to use a properly certified recycling company. [The] EPA encourages all electronics recyclers to become certified by demonstrating to an accredited, independent third-party auditor that they meet specific standards to safely recycle and manage electronics. However, many recycling companies have not yet taken steps to become certified. Some may even advertise that they are “compliant” which is not the same as being certified. Only certified e-waste recyclers are properly audited to assure that they are within the bounds of the standard.
“The accredited certification program has been developed by a multi-stakeholder group consisting of: the U.S. EPA; regulators from state agencies; electronic recyclers, refurbishers and their trade associations; OEMS/customers of electronic recycling services; NGOs. ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB) provides oversight of the independent R2 Certification Bodies (CBs), who in turn assure a recycler’s conformity to the Standard”.
The certification program is designed to certify that electronics recycling and refurbishing facilities conform to the R2 Standard, which is based on best practices in environmental health and worker safety, data security and applicable laws.
Commonwealth Computer Recycling (CCR) is a R2 and Rios certified e-waste recycler based in Greensburg and Philadelphia PA. CCR currently services the Mid-Atlantic region. As a local leader in e-waste and as a member of the larger recycling community, CCR takes it’s responsibilities very seriously. Please feel free to view both our policies and a white paper article written by our founder below.