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Turning eWaste into eCycling: Finding an Electronics Recycler FEC Partner Teleconference October 4, 2007 Overview Reasons to recycle electronics Electronics end-of-life flow chart Following personal property regulations FEC best practices Finding and evaluating a recycler

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turning ewaste into ecycling finding an electronics recycler

Turning eWaste into eCycling: Finding an Electronics Recycler

FEC Partner Teleconference

October 4, 2007

  • Reasons to recycle electronics
  • Electronics end-of-life flow chart
  • Following personal property regulations
  • FEC best practices
  • Finding and evaluating a recycler
    • Types of recyclers
    • Recycler performance standards
    • FEC tools
  • Preparing to recycle
  • Resources
why recycle
Why Recycle?
  • Volume
    • Used or unwanted electronics amounted to approximately 1.9 to 2.2 million tons
    • Of that, about 1.5 to 1.9 million tons were primarily discarded in landfills
    • Only 345,000 to 379,000 tons were recycled
  • Toxicity
    • Electronics may can hazardous substances (heavy metals, flame retardants)
  • Value
    • Electronics may contain precious metals
    • Recyclers recover more than 100 million pounds of materials from electronics each year
electronics end of life
Electronics End-of-Life

Reuse Internally

General Services

Administration Hierarchy

Declared Excess


for Learning



Report to GSA


Transfer to other

Federal Agencies



Declared Surplus


(States & Nonprofits)



Abandon / Destroy

/ Recycle

Incineration /


recycling government personal property
Recycling Government Personal Property
  • Must adhere to federal regulation
    • Property must be offered through the GSA disposition process (excess, surplus, sales)
    • Property with no value may be labeled for abandonment and destruction
    • Agencies can donate to a public body in lieu of abandonment (UNICOR)
recycling government personal property6
Recycling Government Personal Property
  • Must adhere to Executive Order 13423…
    • Use environmentally sound practices with respect to disposition of agency electronic equipment that has reached the end of its useful life
  • …and the Implementing Instructions
    • Agencies shall comply with GSA procedures for the transfer, donation, sale and recycling of electronic equipment, as well as any applicable Federal, State an local laws and regulations
    • Agencies shall use national standards, best management practices, or a national certification program for recyclers
      • In the absence of these, agencies shall use EPA’s Guidelines for Materials Management for Plug-In to eCycling partners
fec best practices
FEC Best Practices
  • Use recyclers under the Recycling of Electronics and Asset Disposition (READ) Services Contract
  • Contract with UNICOR
  • Choose and contract with another environmentally responsible electronics recycler
    • Perform due diligence
  • DoD equipment must go through DRMS
finding an electronics recycler
Finding an Electronics Recycler
  • EPA’s eCycling Web site includes links to donation, recycling and manufacturer take-back Web sites
    • http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/hazwaste/recycle/ecycling/donate.htm
  • GSA’s Environmental Services Schedule (GSA 899-5), a multiple award schedule of electronic waste or hazardous material recycling contractors
  • Contact your local or state environmental or solid waste agency for assistance
    • Local collection programs or databases of vendors
types of electronics recyclers
Types of Electronics Recyclers
  • Asset Management
  • Repair and Refurbish
  • De-manufacture
  • Parts and Subassemblies Recovery
  • Materials Recovery and Recycling
  • Materials Processing and Refining
  • Brokers
asset management
Asset Management
  • Specialize in moving and managing of equipment
    • Corporate move-out firms
    • End of lease equipment
  • May handle more than electronics
  • Equipment may go to reuse or recycling
    • Useful equipment may be resold or sent to a refurbisher
    • Obsolete equipment may be disposed of or recycled
repair and refurbish
Repair and Refurbish
  • Resell equipment as-is
    • May provide media sanitization, cleaning
  • Refurbish equipment to improve value for resale
    • Repair or replace nonfunctional components
    • Upgrade obsolete components
  • Equipment likely to be reused
    • Equipment that can not be repaired or upgraded, and broken and replaced components, may be disposed of or recycled
de manufacture
  • Disassembles equipment for bulk reuse or recycling
    • By part (memory, disk drives, processors)
    • By material (plastics, glass, metals)
  • Material likely processed by hand
  • Most or all components and materials are reused or recycled
parts and subassemblies recovery
Parts and Subassemblies Recovery
  • Resell parts and subassemblies after testing
  • Recovered items vary
    • Parts: microchips and memory removed from motherboards, power supplies, video and sound cards, hard drives
    • Subassemblies: motherboards with intact components, cases with power supplies
  • May disassemble whole equipment or receive components from a demanufacturer or refurbisher
  • Most or all components and materials are reused or recycled
materials recovery and recycling
Materials Recovery and Recycling
  • Separate out, and prepare materials for recycling
  • May disassemble whole equipment or receive components from other types of processors
  • May process materials by shredding or other methods
  • Most or all materials are recycled
materials processing and refining
Materials Processing and Refining
  • Receive containers of like, processed, materials
  • Processes the material into a purer, more uniform material
  • Reuse potential of the material depends on its quality
  • Processed material is ready to be made into new products
    • Metal smelters will process base and precious metals
    • Special glass furnaces will handle CRT glass
  • Brokers use relationships and networking to find markets for equipment and materials
  • A broker’s assets are their relationships and information about them may be closely guarded
    • Ask questions so that you are comfortable that the equipment and component materials are properly handled
  • Brokers may move devices, parts, or processed material
important notes
Important Notes!
  • One recycling company may have operations covering more than one recycling activity
  • Equipment that is sent for recycling may change hands several times during its processing
    • Understand the downstream processes of your recycler and be sure they demonstrate due diligence
iaer certification program
IAER: Certification Program
  • Eligibility
    • IAER member companies
  • Requirements
    • Management systems for environment, health, safety and quality
    • Specific business practices in management, finances, insurance and security
    • Operational capabilities and processes to address materials of concern, down stream due diligence, risk management, qualification and training of personnel, and suitable equipment and facilities
  • Process
    • Application, pre-screening, audit by third-party registrar
    • Designated “Certified Electronics Recycler®”
epa guidelines for materials management
EPA: Guidelines for Materials Management
  • Eligibility
    • Guidance for EPA’s Plug-In to eCycling Partners
    • Guidelines may be used by recyclers
  • Requirements
    • Maximize reuse, refurbishment, recycling to minimize incineration and landfilling
    • Specifics for exported materials
    • Specifics for “designated materials” for reuse, refurbishment and recycling
  • Process
    • Guidance for due diligence
    • Requires proper record keeping
ban electronics recycler s pledge of true stewardship
BAN: Electronics Recycler’s Pledge of True Stewardship
  • Eligibility
    • Any electronics recycler that can meet the requirements
  • Requirements
    • No: incineration or landfilling; export of hazardous waste; use of prison labor
    • Environmental management system in place
    • Track downstream processes and compliance, provide insurance and due diligence
    • Support Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and Design for the Environment (DfE) programs or legislation
  • Process
    • Apply for BAN qualification, provide documentation
    • Sign pledge
isri recycling industry operating standard rios
ISRI: Recycling Industry Operating Standard (RIOS)
  • Eligibility
    • Scrap recycling companies
  • Requirements
    • Integrated management system for quality, environmental, and health and safety
    • Follow plan-do-check-act method
  • Process
    • Sign up as RIOS member
    • Obtain RIOS certification
important notes23
Important Notes!
  • No federal agency (including the EPA or the Department of Defense) certifies electronics recyclers
  • Companies may have environmental permits or follow agency guidelines or standards
  • All companies should follow federal, state and local environmental regulations
fec tools
FEC Tools
  • Recycling of Electronic Equipment
    • http://www.federalelectronicschallenge.net/resources/docs/recycling.pdf
  • Checklist for Selection of Electronics Reuse and Recycling Services
    • http://www.federalelectronicschallenge.net/resources/docs/select.pdf
  • Guidelines for On-Site Reviews of Electronics Recyclers
    • http://www.federalelectronicschallenge.net/resources/docs/onsite_review.pdf
checklist for the selection of electronic reuse and recycling services
Checklist for the Selection of Electronic Reuse and Recycling Services
  • Checklist to help make a first cut when conducting a market survey of potential recyclers
    • Can be completed over the phone or via email
  • Check boxes make for easy comparisons between companies
  • Even if using READ or UNICOR this can help you to decide what services to request when asking for cost estimates
guidelines for on site reviews of electronics recyclers
Guidelines for On-Site Reviews of Electronics Recyclers
  • Tool for documenting a detailed on-site visit
    • Provides questions and important considerations
    • Provides a worksheet to record answers and observations
  • Review information can be shared among FEC Partners
    • Tool contains Confidentiality Notice and addresses use of Confidential Business Information (CBI)
  • Required for 2008 FEC Award activities when using a recycler besides UNICOR or a READ contractor
preparing to recycle
Preparing to Recycle
  • Collect all peripherals and cables
  • Complete media sanitization of internal and external media
  • Remove property decals (if recipient takes ownership)
  • Remove external media (disks, CDs, DVDs, USB drives, paper)
  • Properly package equipment to reduce breakage
  • Complete necessary documentation
  • FEC (End-of-life)
    • http://www.federalelectronicschallenge.net/resources/eolmngt.htm
  • GSA (Personal Property Disposal)
    • http://www.gsa.gov/Portal/gsa/ep/channelView.do?pageTypeId=8211&channelId=-13012
  • DRMS
    • http://www.drms.dla.mil/
  • EPA (Plug-In to eCycling)
    • http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/osw/conserve/plugin/
contact us
Contact Us
  • FEC Champions
    • https://db2.erg.com/fec/champions.asp
  • Partner E-mail
    • partner@electronicschallenge.net
  • Cate Berard
    • berard.cate@epa.gov
    • 202-564-8847