If only the federal government was as good at retiring debt as it is computers! Given that it pulls the plug on 10,000 computers per week, the feds will lead by example when it comes to e-recycling. The question remains, however, which way will it lead, and how that will impact the $5 billion electronics recycling industry.
The Environmental Protection Agency and General Services Administration say they will decide next year on which third-party certification to apply to electronics recyclers under the National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship, unveiled this past summer. The two certification bodies are E-Stewards and R2. E-Stewards was developed by the Basel Action Network, an environmentally focused non-profit that bans exports of electronics waste to developing countries, thus increasing the opportunity for the domestic e-recycling industry to build on the 30,000 jobs it already creates, and to keep valuable recycled materials within the domestic economy. Responsible Recycling, or R2, is promoted by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, and is considered more business friendly. Ultimately, the success of electronics recycling will count on a healthy, profitable industry.
Regardless of which certification they choose, for me the key is that they go with one of them, and that industry follows. What do you think?