Out With The Old In With The New
Technology is rapidly advancing, causing innovative breakthroughs that allow industry leaders to push new products to the market at a rate never seen before. As amazing as this is, there are consequences that come along with rapid development. For every new iPhone that’s purchased, an old one becomes available to discard. New laptop computers make old laptops less valuable and disposable. In many cases, old electronic devices are passed down to family and friends, but there are even more cases where they are disposed of, and sadly, this is having a negative impact on our environment.
Thankfully, there are computer recycling companies like CDR Global out there that have made themselves available for on-location liquidation and recycling of E-waste. Many companies don’t have the time to take inventory and liquidate their outdated electronics, and often times these electronics find themselves in LandFills when they could have been recycled or repurposed.
In 2006, the United Nations estimated that the quantity of global electronic waste dropped annually to become 50 million metric tons. As per a report by UNEP titled, “Recycling — by E-Waste into Resources,” that the quantity of e-waste being generated — such as cellular phones and servers — can grow by up to 500 percent during the next ten years in a few nations, including India. America is the world leader in generating digital waste, tossing out roughly 3 million tons every year. China currently produces about 2.3 million tons (2010 quote) domestically, next only to America. And, despite needing to prohibit e-waste imports, China remains a significant e-waste dumping ground for developed nations.
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How Big Of A Problem Is Electronic Waste?
Certified R2 Electronic Recycling
The R2:2013 Standard is the latest version of R2, the electronics recycling industry’s leading certification. Each provision of the R2 Standard is designed to help ensure the quality, transparency, and environmental and social responsibility, of R2 Certified electronics recycling facilities.
R2:2013 was developed through a transparent multi-stakeholder process, consistent with ANSI essential requirements.
This first step in the certification process is to fill out an application with SERI. This is a short process that asks some basic information about your company/facility and designates a point of contact who SERI will communicate with during the certification process. Before you begin you can review the R2 training modules here, or watch the embedded videos at the end of this post.
1. Apply – SERI Application Form
The license application asks basic questions about your company and facility, as well as designates a point of contact SERI will communicate with for issues relating to your certification.
2. Sign Agreement
3. Pay Invoice
Once your agreement is signed, you will be emailed an invoice for your annual R2 membership, which is required to be paid prior to your Stage 1 audit.
- $1,500 / facility / year
- $1,000 / facility / year (non-profit discount)
These funds pay for the licensing of the R2 logo and name, as well as member benefits provided by SERI, including, but not limited to, facility listing on the SERI website; free access to training programs, workshops or other forums; the R2 Implementation Manual and other technical assistance materials, and support from SERI staff.
SERI Approved Certification Bodies
• TUV SUD
Only the CB’s listed above are approved by SERI to certify companies to R2:2013. A primary criterion for approval by SERI is accreditation by an International Accreditation Forum (IAF) signatory accreditation body.
A recycler seeking to obtain R2 certification should consider their CB selection based on schedule availability, price, customer service, and training offered to help a firm through this process.
Once a recycler has decided on a CB, they will enter into a contract with them and begin the process. All information communicated to the CB during the audit process will be maintained as confidential information.
Our Top 10 E-Waste Facts To Consider
1. For every one million cell phones that are recycled, the EPA states that 35,274 lbs of copper, 772 lbs of silver, 75 lbs of gold, and 33 lbs of palladium can be recovered. For those not familiar with palladium, palladium is a precious metal using for making electrical contacts, as well as surgical instruments and parts for watches.
2. Based on e-waste disposal rates, Americans throw out phones containing over $60 million in gold and/or silver every year.
3. Recycling circuit boards can be more valuable than mining for ore! One ton of circuit boards is estimated to contain 40-800 times more gold than one metric ton of ore. There is 30-40 times more copper in a ton of circuit boards that can be mined from one metric ton of ore.
5. Guiyu, China is a major dumping ground for e-waste from the United States. After the e-waste is transported over to China, the electronics are dumped in the town where it litters the streets and poisons the residents. Hydrochloric acid is thrown on the items to reveal the steel and copper to be reused. High levels of lead have been reported among residents.
7. Not all e-waste recyclers are the same. There are safer ways to recycle e-waste, and then there are companies that simply export the waste to developing countries. Rather than monitoring the recycling of the e-waste for health and human safety standards in these developing countries, many businesses simply have residents disassemble waste and use scrap metal, exposing the workers to toxic materials. Look for an e-waste recycling company that has been vetted through e-stewards.org.
8. It is estimated that 40% of the heavy metals in U.S. landfills comes from discarded electronics, according to Jonas Allen, Director of Marketing for EPEAT, a global green electronic rating system.
9. Approximately 350,000 mobile phones are disposed of each day, according to 2010 figures from the EPA. That equates to more than 152 million phones thrown away in one year.
10. There are more mobile phones in existence than there are the number of people living on Earth. Based on the number of active SIM cards in use, there are more than 7.2 billion mobile devices being used, while there are less than 7.2 billion people on the planet. The growth rate of mobile devices compared to the population growth rate is five times greater.
R2 Certification Training
R2 Intro And Definitions
Introduction, Definitions, And Code Of Practices
Environmental Health And Safety Management System
Reuse, Recover Hierarchy of Responsible Management Strategies
On-Site Environment, Health and Safety
Reusable Equipment and Components
Insurance, Closure Plan, and Financial Responsibility
Documentation and Record Keeping
Great Electronic Recycling Blog Posts From 2017
Kane County Connects:
Little Bins For Little Hands:
The Windows Club Forum:
United Electronic Recycling:
Kane County – Geneva Celebrates Earth Day:
Little Munich Blackbook:
Make Wealth History:
Dideicated Shred Day In Lisle Township: