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Dell, Sony, Sprint Vow to Push Recycling; Feds Unveil E-Waste Strategy

Dell, Sprint and Sony have agreed to help the Environmental Protection Agency encourage certified electronics recycling, as the Obama administration unveiled a national strategy to encourage better e-waste management.

The three companies have joined an EPA-industry partnership designed to promote environmentally sound management of used electronics. In addition, the CEOs of Dell and Sprint signed a voluntary commitment with the EPA to promote a U.S.-based electronics recycling market.

Under the EPA strategy published yesterday, called the National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship (pdf), the federal government’s purchasing arm will only buy IT products that comply with environmental performance standards, and will ensure that all government electronics are reused or recycled properly.

The strategy also commits the federal government to

  • Promote the development of more efficient and sustainable electronic products;
  • Support recycling options and systems for American consumers; and
  • Strengthen America’s role in the international electronics stewardship arena.

The collaboration aims to encourage businesses and consumers to recycle their electronics with certified recyclers, and for electronic recyclers to become certified, the EPA says.

“A robust electronics recycling industry in America would create new opportunities to efficiently and profitably address a growing pollution threat,” said EPA administrator Lisa P. Jackson.

But some environmental groups were less than impressed with the EPA strategy.

“Sadly, this report is a living contradiction,” said Jim Puckett, executive director of the Basel Action Network. BAN operates e-Stewards, one of the nation’s two major e-recycler certification programs. “On the one hand it claims to promote responsible recycling and job creation here in the U.S., but then does nothing to prevent e-waste exporting, which   squanders our critical metals resources, and poisons children abroad while exporting good recycling jobs from our country.”

“We have other companies like Dell, HP, Apple, Samsung that have set the leadership bar there, so I don’t understand why our own federal government can’t do the same with its own e-waste,” said Barbara Kyle, National Coordinator of the Electronic TakeBack Coalition.

More information on the EPA’s e-waste efforts is here.

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2 thoughts on “Dell, Sony, Sprint Vow to Push Recycling; Feds Unveil E-Waste Strategy

  1. For Immediate Release July 20, 2011

    ISRI Lauds Obama Administration on Common-Sense Steps to Shut Down Bad Actors in International Recycling of Electronics, Dismissing Calls to Ban Exports
    Washington, D.C. – The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI) today lauded the Obama Administration for taking concrete, practical steps to address how the U.S. Government will manage its used and end-of-life electronics while refuting an effort to ban such legitimate international trade, a move that would deliver a serious blow to the vibrant U.S. scrap recycling industry.

    ISRI President Robin Wiener said that the Administration’s announcement closely mirrored ISRI’s position for stepped up enforcement of the federal CRT rule to stop illegal exports, increased third-party certifications of responsible recyclers and continued exchange of U.S. technology and best practices to help strengthen the environmentally responsible processing of electronics globally.

    ISRI is a strong supporter and a stakeholder in the R2, R2/RIOS™ and RIOS™ standards. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson today embraced R2 as one of the standards increasingly used by the industry to ensure that electronics are recycled in a manner that is safe for both human health and the environment.

    Additionally, in making today’s announcement, federal officials acknowledged the importance of Design for Recycling™, a program ISRI has been promoting for more than 25 years as way to promote the design and manufacture of goods that, at the end of their useful life, can be recycled safely and efficiently to the maximum extent possible.

    Jackson, General Services Administration (GSA) Administrator Martha Johnson and White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley announced the new policy during a news conference at Round2 Recycling’s facility in Austin, Texas. Round 2 Recycling is an ISRI member and certified to the Responsible Recycling (R2) standards which ISRI helped develop.

    “Our federal government is the largest source of used and end-of-life electronics. It is encouraging to see that the government is taking a strong position on the responsible management of these materials,” Wiener said. “Even more, we are encouraged by the Obama Administration’s flat dismissal of burdensome and overreaching legislation that would ban exports and pull the rug out from under an industry that continues to create jobs and contribute to both the U.S. and global economy. Today’s announcement includes practical, effective steps that actually address bad actors instead of shutting down an industry.”

    Today’s announcement by Obama Administration officials and industry leaders shows that the sustainable path forward in ensuring the proper handling of electronics is to promote the safe and responsible recycling of electronics at home and abroad–in direct contrast to the approach taken in legislation (HR 2284/S1270) recently introduced in Congress.


    According to the 2011 Electronics Recycling Industry Survey, the U.S. electronics recycling industry continues to show tremendous growth and strong domestic capacity. The $5 billion-a-year industry employs more than 30,000 full-time workers in the United States and collected and processed over 3.5 million tons of used and end-of-life electronics equipment in 2010, up from 1.8 million tons in 2009.


    Melissa Merz Kevin Lawlor
    VP, Communications & Marketing Director, Communications
    melissamerz@isri.org kevinlawlor@isri.org
    202-662-8510 202-662-8525

  2. BCD Electro is a 30 year old+ electronics recycling company with a focus on re-use.We are ISO 9001 and 14001 registered and follow strict legal and environmentally responsible recycling best practices. NIST 800.88 data breach protection

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