Obsolete Electronics – waste or opportunity?

​Find out in a free webinar May 9th from 1-2:30 pm EST.

Retailers – it is very likely that you are selling more electronic gadgets than ever and as a result have an increasing amount of scrap or used electronics from damaged and unsalable items or returns. It’s no wonder, every year, Americans generate over 3 million tons of used electronics, of which less than 50 percent is reused or recycled. The volume of used electronics creates an opportunity for forward-thinking retailers to be part of the solution to reclaim valuable components from used electronics and meet their environmental stewardship goals while keeping potentially hazardous components out of landfills. Many states ban certain waste electronics from landfills creating more pressure to find acceptable solutions for this waste stream (visit the CRC’s state matrix on e-waste regulations for more information on state regulations).
 
In 2012, to promote the responsible reuse and recycling of used electronics and sustainable electronics, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), launched the SMM Electronics Challenge. The Challenge asks electronics manufacturers, brand owners and retailers to strive to send 100% of the used electronics they collect to third-party certified electronics refurbishers and recyclers. Using certified recyclers that follow established environmental, health, safety and data destruction practices is important for ensuring that used electronics are properly handled. The Challenge also encourages more sustainable electronics products to enter the market. 

The challenge goals include:
  • Ensure responsible recycling by using third-party certified recyclers;
  • Increase access to quality reusable and refurbished electronic equipment;
  • Increase transparency and accountability through public posting of electronics collection and recycling data;
  • Conserve valuable resources and energy required to produce new electronics; and
  • Recognize innovations that use design practices that reduce the environmental and health impacts of products.
The Challenge offers participants awards in two categories—Tier and Champion. Tier Awards in Gold, Silver and Bronze are issued in recognition of meeting the Challenge’s requirements surrounding take-back and responsible recycling of used electronics. Champion awards are given to recognize innovations in manufacturing, planning, and electronics sustainability.

To learn more, visit the SMM Electronics Challenge website at: https://www.epa.gov/smm-electronics

Or join EPA’s webinar on May 9th on SMM Electronics Challenge: What’s in it for you? Click here to find out!


Tiffin Shewmake, Retail Compliance Center

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