On Wednesday July 20, 2011, the Obama Administration unveiled a federal strategy that promotes the electronics recycling market. The announcement was made at a certified electronics recycling center in Austin, Texas. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, General Services Administrator Martha N. Johnson, and White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley came together with the CEOs of Dell Inc. and Sprint, and senior executives from Sony Electronics to release the “National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship”.
The strategy focuses on responsible electronic design, purchasing, management, and recycling. The goal is to promote the expanding electronics recycling market and the possibility of job creation in the U.S. Additionally, the strategy assigns the federal government to encourage friendly design of electronic products, promote recycling of used or discarded electronics, and advance a market for electronics recycling.
The General Services Administration (GSA) will be removing products from its information technology purchase contracts that do not comply with energy efficiency or environmental performance standards. The GSA will also ensure that all electronics used by the federal government are reused or recycled.
A major part of the strategy is the increase in use of certified recyclers in the U.S. Jackson signed a voluntary commitment with the Dell Inc. CEO and the Sprint CEO to promote electronics recycling in the U.S. The strategy encourages businesses and consumers to recycle at certified centers, and also encourages recycling centers to obtain certification. Two certification entities, R2 and E-Stewards, regularly audit certified centers to ensure the recycling methods are safe for both human health and the environment. With Americans generating almost 2.5 million tons of used electronics every year and a large quantity of exported e-waste, the strategy is definitely necessary.
For more information on the strategy, click here.