Electronic waste recycling is still the new kid on the block in the eco-friendly world. While ewaste continues to be the fastest-growing category of waste globally, very few governments have stepped in to make specific laws and rules based around enforcing standards when it comes to its disposal. The state of South Carolina made dumping those old or outdated electronics into landfills illegal a few years ago, and other states (and the federal government) have begun to pass legislation aimed at regulating electronic waste as well. While this new awareness has led to greater recycling rates, regulations haven’t been able to keep up.
Many different certifications have sprung up, from the well-known R2 certification, to the e-Steward certification which is based around banning the export of electronic waste to developing countries. As the ewaste recycling industry continues to grow, the question we hear all the time is…
Do Ewaste Certifications Matter?
Unfortunately, the answer isn’t as easy as yes or no. One of the biggest problems with these certifications is simply that all of them are voluntary and often contain very little in the way of enforcement. While some federal legislation has been passed, currently there is no specific federal certification an ewaste recycler can apply for and earn. The R2 certification, specifically, has been criticized for loopholes that would essentially allow a business to retain certification even without having to follow R2’s standards, while the e-Steward certification has been labeled impractical by many in the industry.
The certifications do matter, however, primarily because they show that those involved in the business of safely and legally recycling electronic waste are working hard to maintain accountability to themselves and to other businesses within their industry. The R2 and e-Steward certifications both show promise, but until there is better enforcement, they’ll continue attracting criticism.
Our business has chosen to focus on becoming certified with the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID). While it is not an “ewaste recycling” specific certification, it maintains rigorous ethics and regulations for its members when it comes to the security of their information destruction and disposal. NAID prides itself on performing random inspections to enforce their membership standards. Our data destruction, set to meet Department of Defense standards for security, more than meets NAID’s qualifications.
When looking for a partner for electronic waste recycling, you want to know that you’re working with a company that is ethical, truthful, and honest in its dealings every step of the way. Electronic Asset Recycling will never offload ewaste by shipping it off to undeveloped nations, and we have dedicated employees ensuring that your information remains secure. We even provide hard drive shredding for truly total data destruction. Interested in finding out more about how to recycle your old, outdated electronics safely and legally? We’d love to hear from you! Give us a call at (800) 746-1823 or contact us online torequest a pickup.