Companies and organizations that recycle their old
electronics, such as computers, printers, cellphones, and
monitors, should carefully select their recycler.
Because of the sensitive data that may be stored on
electronics devices, as well as some hazardous materials that
older electronics contain, responsible handling is essential.
If your organization is selecting a new recycler, consider
developing a team to develop the contract.
Each member of the team can focus on a different element
of the recycler facility review process.
This group can later conduct on-site reviews of the
Develop your criteria and goals before researching recyclers.
If your organization wants to sell scrap metal associated with
its electronic waste, make this a part of the criteria.
Narrowing the Field
As you begin to research possible e-cycler facilities,
consider the following:
The type and
volume of products that the recycler processes
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All fees for
processing various types of electronic waste
services, such as hauling, pickup, product tracking, or
recycling guarantees that the recycler offers
or reputation of the recycling facility. If possible, verify the
facility’s compliance history to relevant state and federal
The EPA encourages government and private organizations to
choose a Responsible Recycler or e-Steward certified recycler;
these organizations certify recycling facilities according to
legal requirements and their own sound practices. However,
electronics recyclers are not required to become certified by
Obtain some background information on the facility when
considering a contract with them, such as
The length of
the facility’s operation
of the facility’s ownership
and outgoing numbers of electronics.
If the facility is not reselling or remanufacturing many
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handling quantity of hazardous waste, which determines their
The validity of
a facility’s state license or operating permit.
should keep records of the weight and receipt date of all
incoming electronics, as well as an acknowledgement that the
materials will be processed legally. Make a note of the types of
electronic waste the facility accepts.
should make every effort to reuse or refurbish electronic
materials, instead of incinerating or sending them to landfills.
Ensure that electronics sent out for reuse are tested
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type of processing the recycler completes on site.
This could include:
of remanufactured products with the sellers
units for parts retrieval
plastics, metals, glass, and other materials for processing
the recycler handles hazardous waste, and if so, verify the
recycling facility’s practice for treatment, processing, and
the handling of media, such as disks, paper, hard drives, or
memory boards. Are
these media devices disposed, purged, cleared, or destroyed?
If devices are being refurbished and cleared, ask about the
type of equipment or process that the recycler uses for
overwriting or resetting the media.