Samsung, Wells Fargo and Capitol One, among others, are the first major corporations to commit to the Basel Action Network’s new e-Stewards Initiative to certify that electronics waste is responsibly recycled (PDF).
The accredited, third-party audited certification program is centered on the e-Stewards Standard, which calls for recyclers to eliminate exports of hazardous e-wastes to developing countries, and to stop dumping e-waste in municipal landfills or incinerators and using prison populations to manage toxic e-wastes.
It also calls for strict protection of customers’ private data and safeguards to protect workers in recycling plants from harmful substances.
BAN’s program, which requires participants to use certified recyclers, will compete with the Environmental Protection Agency’s less stringent program started in January, reports USA Today.
Both programs require that recyclers be certified, but EPA’s R2 or Responsible Recycling program allows them to export old electronics under certain conditions, while BAN’s program bans the export of toxic waste to developing countries.
BAN’s global e-waste recycler certification program (PDF) has been endorsed by Greenpeace USA, Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Electronics TakeBack Coalition and 68 other environmental organizations.
Major corporations or “e-Stewards Enterprises” that have committed to using e-Stewards recyclers to ensure responsible recycling of their e-waste include:
— Apollo Group
— Bank of America
— Capitol One Financial
— Independent Distributors of Electronics Association
— Natural Resources Defense Council
— Nemours Foundation
— Resource Media
— Sprout Creation
— Stokes Lawrence
There are currently about 50 e-Steward Recyclers, which have passed an internal review BAN as a preliminary step to full certification. Each has committed to becoming fully certified by September 2011.
The first companies to achieve full certification are Newport Computer Services (one U.S. location, Redemtech (all 4 U.S. locations) and WeRecycle! (one U.S. location).
Twelve others are set to begin the certification process. They include: A greenSpan Computer Recycling, California Electronic Asset Recovery (CEAR), CloudBlue, Creative Recycling Solutions, eGreen IT Solutions, Glezco (Mexico), Materials Processing Corporation, Metech, Nextend, Regency Technologies, Surplus Exchange, and Universal Recycling Technologies.